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Technology initiative grants awarded to a pair of Florida legal aid organizations

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LSCTwo Florida legal aid organizations were recently awarded Technology Initiative Grants from the Legal Services Corporation designed to strengthen the use of technology in providing legal services to low-income Floridians.

The corporation’s grant includes more than $425,000 for Community Legal Service of Mid-Florida, Inc., and Legal Services of Greater Miami. This year, LSC will award a total of 33 technology grants to 29 legal services organizations across the country totaling more than $4.6 million dollars.

In a press release, the corporation’s President Ronald S. Flagg said, “Legal aid providers are constantly looking for tools that will help them provide increased legal assistance to more low-income Americans in critical need. LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants empower our grantees to use technology in innovative ways that strengthen legal services for families facing issues like eviction, domestic violence, and natural disasters.”

Community Legal Service of Mid-Florida, plans to use its $170,294 grant to enhance its existing chatbot initiative to automatically disseminate information about the organization and its services, connect residents to resources and legal information, and triage emergency matters to quickly connect users with a legal professional.

Once live, the chatbot will be available on the organization’s website 24/7. The grant money will help improve the bot over time by analyzing user data and updating legal resources.

Legal Services of Greater Miami will use the $255,696 grant to help rebuild the Florida Law Help statewide legal information and referral website. This project will transition the management of the site to leading legal services organizations in the state and create a centralized hub for access to free legal information and automated resources.

Several members of Florida’s congressional delegation congratulated the Florida legal aid organizations for receiving technology grant funding.

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-FL, congratulated both organizations for receiving the grant.

“I am excited that these local organizations received these funds so they can continue helping members of our community receive the legal aid they need,” Rep. Salazar said.

Rep. Val Demings, D-FL, said this grant will provide services to more Floridians.

“When it comes to our legal system, everyone should have a fair shot to win or lose on the merits of their case. Legal services should be available to every Floridian, regardless of income or background. I’m excited to congratulate Legal Services Corporation on this important new grant to ensure equality under the law for all Americans,” Rep. Demings said.

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