I am writing a paper on ways to bring good design to create new models of access to justice. I have been scouting out some such threads, to see what might be worth developing further.
In my browsing, I came across this pdf pamphlet from the State Bar of California. It is an overarching list, meant to apply to all kinds of common situations that might arise in a person’s life. It’s not about litigation as much as planning & abiding by regulations a person may not be aware of.
The list suffers somewhat from being overly general — trying to cover everything from obligations on those turning 18, to those just having a baby, to those buying a home, to those stationed in California with the military. It also would do well not to be buried in a .doc/.pdf file, but rather live on the web, and more easily searchable and reachable.
I can’t really imagine the use case of who the Bar expected to be using this, or how. Perhaps they imagined that a person would print this out and just keep it around their home, and check back in periodically — o yes, I’m making plans to get married, and I know I should be doing something legal, but I don’t remember exactly what, let me go find that pamphlet!
I don’t envision myself or many others doing this — much more likely, they would type in a quick search “legal requirements getting married” and do their best to navigate the chaos that would result.
But regardless of the form of presentation and delivery, the checklist does have some interesting content. It includes a general ‘stay healthy’ protocol for any person.
The pamphlet also outlines some basic alternatives to getting a lawyer, should such a problem arise. Again, I ask, why is this buried in a .doc and not prominently on the web? This is a good first step to legal self-management for consumers — letting them know their options and plan out for themselves.
This info could be made more helpful it was all linked out to richer explanations, examples, and how-tos.
I love the concept of the pamphlet, and would like to see it (or make it) brought to life in a more linked, lively, and findable instantiation.