The idea behind MyLawBC is innovative: create an interactive site that helps British Columbians diagnose their legal problem and then give them an action plan to solve it. It’s something we haven’t seen in the province — or even country — before. It’s a new approach and, for us, it requires a different way of thinking.
Rechtwijzer (which means Signpost to Justice in Dutch) is one of the big inspirations for MyLawBC. It’s a joint project between HiiL (the Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law) and the Dutch Legal Aid Board. The online diagnosis and triage tool helps users get to the information they need to resolve their legal problem. An upcoming version of the site will actually allow users to go through most of the divorce process and will give access to mediators and other tools that will help people avoid the court system.
Because of their experience creating such an innovative system, we invited HiiL to come to Vancouver for a one-week scrum where we could learn from HiiL’s experiences with developing a project similar to MyLawBC. Over the course of the week, staff from LSS and HiiL worked collaboratively to write more than 17,000 words, mapping out the development process for MyLawBC and creating effective pathways to guide users to their needs. We also had a promising conversation with HiiL about ways that we might use not just their learnings, but also the Rechtwijzer platform itself for MyLawBC.
Right now, we’re working on writing a detailed proposal on how we might move forward with working with HiiL, including ways that we can use Rechtwijzer as a collaborative platform with other PLEI providers in BC. If we move forward with HiiL, we see significant opportunities for sharing what we’ve learned with other PLEI providers in future scrums.
By mid-October, we will make our final decision about what IT platform we’ll be using for MyLawBC. In the meantime, we will move forward with planning and preparation for developing the site’s content and developing plans for broader community stakeholder engagement and advisory and steering committee development.
— Sherry MacLennan, Director Public Legal Information and Applications