Escambia Project: community-driven legal design in Pensacola

(c) Florida Bar Foundation 2017

I’ve been honored to be the design facilitator on the Escambia Project, a community-driven design initiative in Pensacola, Florida, to reimagine, prototype, and pilot new ways to get people access to legal services. It’s funded by Florida Bar Foundation, spearheaded by Melissa Moss (who leads special initiatives of the Foundation), and driven by Pathways for Change, a local services provider in Pensacola along with Legal Services of North Florida.

We celebrated the 1-year mark of the Escambia Project last month in Pensacola, in which we went from design workshops and hackathons to 3 working pilots to get people in low-income areas of Pensacola to get legal services on their terms, in more trustworthy and accessible ways. You can see my initial write-up of our beginning design work here, back from February. Since then, we’ve formed 3 community-based teams to lead the prototyping and implementation our pilots.

A great encapsulation of the project was created by the NPR journalist Sandra Averhart, for Northwest Florida’s WUWF, with the radio piece “‘Escambia Project’ Expands Residents’ Access to Legal Help”. It’s a 6 minute piece that goes into depth on the project, the pilots, and next steps.

The pilots are now moving to the next phase of scaling up, trying different outreach strategies, and making them into replicable protocols. Stay tuned!