The User Experience of the Internet as a Legal Help Service: Defining Standards for the Next Generation of User-Friendly Online Legal Services

72 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2017

See all articles by Margaret Hagan

Margaret Hagan

Stanford Legal Design Lab; Stanford Law School

Date Written: November 15, 2016

Abstract

This Article presents empirical research about how the Internet is currently failing laypeople who are searching online for legal help to their life problems and what a future agenda of user-centered standards and practices for better legal help on the Internet could be.

It first examines the existing literature about how the Internet can best be used as legal resource and the status quo of legal help sites. Then it surveys and examines negative consumer reports and reviews of legal help websites. Finally, it presents the first study of how laypeople search for resources to resolve a legal issue, how they scout and assess legal help services online, and their feedback on which existing legal help sites they consider to be the most usable, the most trustworthy, and the most valuable.

This data is useful to propose new best practices about how these tech-based services can best serve laypeople, in terms of usability, quality of service, and protection of the users' interests. It also confirms the importance of the Internet as a legal help service and highlights the need for more research and development on better online legal help sites that fit laypeople’s needs and preferences.

Keywords: Legal Design, Access to Justice, Online Legal Services, Legal Technology, Procedural Justice

Suggested Citation

Hagan, Margaret, The User Experience of the Internet as a Legal Help Service: Defining Standards for the Next Generation of User-Friendly Online Legal Services (November 15, 2016). Virginia Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 20, No. 394, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2942478

Margaret Hagan (Contact Author)

Stanford Legal Design Lab ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://margarethagan.com

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

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