ABA collaborates to develop app to support victims of hate crimes

The American Bar Association's new Center for Innovation is developing a browser-based app designed to help victims of hate crimes identify, report and find resources in their local communities.

As part of the effort, the center is tapping the technology expertise of software development firm CuroLegal and support from global technology leader Cisco, as well as Stanford University and Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Development of the app will be the focus of an all-day work session on Monday, March 20, at Suffolk Law.

The Boston event will bring together lawyers, designers, subject matter experts and various other stakeholders in a design sprint to develop a prototype and test versions of the app for hate-crime victims. The attendees will include members of communities of color, LGBTQ advocates and representatives from various religions who will be asked to draw from their experiences to help develop the app.

"The ABA is pleased to join with Cisco and others to chart new territory dealing with technology and access to justice issues," ABA President Linda A. Klein said. "This application will greatly help victims of hate crimes identify, report and find resources in their local communities."

The ABA collaboration with Cisco, a world leader of web-based networking products and services, represents one of a number of new projects for the ABA Center for Innovation. The center was established in September 2016 to encourage and accelerate innovations that improve the accessibility, affordability and effectiveness of legal services and to transform how the public accesses the law and legal information.

"Cisco's proud to support the application of smart networking technology to drive access to justice and solve pressing social needs," said Mark Chandler, Cisco senior vice president and general counsel. "By helping citizens determine for themselves whether their rights have been violated by hate crimes, and how to get help, the ABA is driving innovation and efficiency into provision of legal services."

Published: Thu, Mar 16, 2017