LSC Legal Aid Hackathon: Jan 2017, San Antonio, TX

The objective of this first ever hackathon at the LSC TIG Conference was to develop open source tools and solutions to improve access to justice.  

The hackathon was held on Tuesday January 10, 2017 (8am to 5:30pm Central Time), the day before the LSC TIG Conference in San Antonio, TX. It was organized by Abhijeet Chavan, Mary Zimmerman, and Steve Rapp.

Conference attendees were invited to the Hackathon Team Presentations at 4:30PM on Jan 10

LSC TIG Legal Aid Hackathon 2017 Highlights Presentation


Hackathon participants working.

Hackathon participants working.

Hackathon participants presenting projects.




(U.S. Central Time)


  • 08:00 Introductions & Process

    • Day's schedule

    • Communications

    • Deliverables

  • 09:00 Session 1: Start Development

  • 10:30 Informal break, check-ins

  • 10:45 Session 2: Development

  • 12:15 Lunch break, check-ins, share progress

  • 01:00 Session 3: Development

  • 02:30 Informal break, check-ins, share progress

  • 02:45 Session 4: Development

  • 04:15 Informal break, check-ins

  • 04:30 Session 5: Team Presentations

  • 05:30 End of Hackathon


1. Knowledge Management

We will create a secure, password protected document library for use by legal aid professionals for sharing case related documents (and other media) with other legal aid advocates and pro bono attorneys. We will build the document library with Drupal 7 and Apache Solr because of its speed, flexibility and security. The project will be made available publicly on Github as a Drupal 7 distribution for use by anyone who wishes to download it. Functionality for the document library will include: be searchable and browseable with faceted filtering by authenticated users; be simple for authenticated users to post and categorize content; contain an editorial layer that will allow documents to be reviewed before they are published; have a user dashboard so authenticated users can see the newest documents that have been added in the categorizes of their interest; allow users to receive regular emails with links to new briefs in the categories of their interest; allow users to flag their favorite documents to add them to their dashboard.

2. WriteClearly GoogleDocs Addon

Develop a WriteClearly Google Docs Addon. Currently, the WriteClearly tool is a web based bookmark that allows for anyone to test any webpage for plain language. This addon will allow for users to  test content authored in Google Docs for readability using the same tool they use for checking web content readability. This will also give legal aid content authors a chance to test their content for readability prior to posting it on the  live website. The addon will use the same logic as the existing WriteClearly tool and any future enhancements that are developed. By creating a WriteClearly Google Docs addon, we are encouraging users to make plain language writing a part of their everyday writing workflow.

3. Legal Aid Grants Open Data Standard

Legal aid staff have to understand hundreds of variables across dozens of funding grants to match a potential legal aid client with a grant.  We need expert systems to match clients with grants based on client needs and grant attributes. We need consistent community-driven data standards so that grant attribute data can be shared. This project is a continuation of work done during the Virtual Justice Hackathon.

4. JusticeHub

A social network & hub aimed to aid in the identification, prevention, mitigation and solving of justice issues that affect our communities. (on GitHub)

5. Legal Services Community Dashboard

Create a community dashboard that provides an overview of web traffic to all participating community websites to understand need for legal services in different services areas. (on GitHub)

6. Legal Checkup

7. Houston Module

A module that provides API integration to the Houston.AI service. Under active development; not ready for drop-in use, but it currently provides access to the Classify, classify-feedback and problem code APIs that allow Drupal sites to submit text or documents to and get back a legal problem code.

How helpful do you find the information on this page?

You voted 'Very helpful'.

Add comment

Posted: January 10, 2017