Apps assisting access to justice

MLS JD students are teaming up to build legal apps in collaboration with not-for-profit legal services.

Teams of MLS students designing and making legal apps

This semester 30 students worked together with seven not-for-profit legal services to develop a range of unique web-based law apps to help their clients.

MLS’s Law Apps gives JD students the opportunity to engage with new technology, learn about human centred design and build apps that increase access to justice in our community.

Each app will be unveiled and judged at the Law Apps Awards on 29 May, and live streamed via the MLS website and social media. See below for more information on each of the apps, and don’t forget to tune in on the night.

West Heidelberg Community Legal Service

Designed to provide support to those (or those who know someone) suffering from financial and economic abuse as a form of family violence, this app gives users the tools to understand and identify abusive behaviour and recommendations on how to safely exit an abusive relationship. The app also includes information to help users develop money safety strategies specific to their needs.

Australian Lawyers for Remote Aboriginal Rights

A multi-purpose app, the ALRAR app is designed for lawyers, volunteers and remote tenants to help streamline requests for housing repairs in remote Aboriginal communities. Users can input the repairs required, correspond with the Department of Housing and generate an Application to the Tribunal, reducing the administrative burden on the ALRAR.

Peninsula Community Legal Centre

This app will help vulnerable young people in Melbourne’s outer-south east to enter the private rental market. It will provide legal information, education and strategies for securing, maintaining and ending a tenancy, and feature an optional certificate of completion to support rental applications.

Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre

Hosted on FlemKen’s website, this app for the Centre’s Police Accountability Project (PAP) will support the Centre’s specialist public interest legal project in police accountability. The key function of the app is to give victims of police mistreatment the ability to seek help from through PAP in one cohesive manner through a series of guided questions. The app also allows user to tell their story which can be used by PAP to advocate for reform.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal Service North Queensland

This app has been designed to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who are at risk of having, or have had, their children removed by the Department of Child Safety. Focusing specifically on users with low literacy levels and limited access to justice, this app provides information in plain English on working with Child Safety, relevant legal processes and how to approach child services, as well as links to support services.

Mental Health Legal Centre

The app will assist Victorians in understanding advance statements and prepare a first draft of a statement. It aims to empower Victorians living with mental illness to reflect on their personal experiences and provide guidance to treatment teams and the Mental Health Tribunal. The app will be linked on the MHLC website, community health and legal services and centres.

Asylum Seeker Resource Center Human Rights Law Program

Providing FAQs and resources for people seeking asylum ­­– and their supporters – at all stages of the refugee determination process, this app is trauma-responsive and features easily accessible language and design options for a broad range of users. Links to the app will feature on the ASRC website and all correspondence.

Find out more about Law Apps