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Frontline Justice to Develop Tech-Enabled Innovations Empowering Economic Mobility

Frontline Justice to Supercharge Community Justice Workers by Developing Tech-enabled Innovations that Empower Economic Mobility. 

Less than 10% of low-income Americans have access to adequate legal help to address their civil justice problems, including issues related to housing, debt, access to public benefits, education, and other basic needs. Unlike criminal cases, there is no right to representation in civil matters. Frontline Justice aims to address this crisis in access to justice by expanding the kinds of helpers available beyond lawyers through trained, trusted, and culturally and linguistically relevant community justice workers. To supercharge this effort, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made a catalytic investment of $500,000 to support user research and design to develop tech-enabled tools that support community justice workers to more effectively and efficiently deliver legal assistance to low-income, working age adults to resolve civil legal issues that prevent economic mobility. This funding will support the development of an equitable innovation platform that prioritizes community-engaged research and participatory design to build evidence and tools to increase access to justice and reduce barriers to economic mobility in low-income communities. By combining the power of community justice workers and advances in Generative AI and other technologies, Frontline Justice will create effective, scalable, and sustainable solutions that democratize the law for everyday Americans.

“We are thrilled by this catalytic investment in Frontline Justice and its transformative mission to empower frontline justice workers to address the critical unmet civil legal needs of low-income Americans,” said Founding CEO Nikole Nelson. “Technological innovations, including recent advances in Generative AI, in the hands of trained and trusted community members has the potential to transform the civil justice landscape and improve economic mobility among low-income communities.”

“The United States faces a civil access to justice crisis of extraordinary scale, entrenching poverty and inequality, and estranging the vast majority of low-income Americans from the law,” said Frontline Justice Co-Founder and Senior Advisor, Matthew Burnett. “Equitable innovation has a critical role to play in ensuring the impact, scale, and sustainability of the justice worker movement across the US.”

About Frontline Justice:

Frontline Justice empowers a new category of legal helper, the community justice worker, as a scalable solution to this civil access to justice crisis. Justice workers are ordinary people who have the knowledge, skills, and ability to support people as they solve their civil legal problems. Justice workers are crossed-trained community helpers who are recruited from a variety of trusted roles, such as social workers, librarians, counselors, community leaders, teachers, coaches, faith leaders, mediators, and local elected representatives. They are trained and empowered to help others in their community to use the law to resolve their critical life-altering civil legal needs. 

Click here to access our full press release. To learn more, visit www.frontline

Press Contact:

Nikole Nelson

CEO, Frontline Justice

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