Of civil legal problems experienced by low-income Americans each year are met with inadequate or no legal help at all. Those involved in civil lawsuits that are unable to afford an attorney must represent themselves as their own attorney in court.
The reality is troubling, yet clear: accessing one's civil legal rights is prohibitively expensive for the majority of Americans.
One of the (many!) amazing things about Chicago is that there are numerous organizations dedicated to providing low-income parents and families with high-quality legal services for free (pro bono) or at a cost below the market-rate ("low-bono"). However, each of these providers often only have the resources to address a particular set of legal problems.
This imbricates a fundamental marketing challenge, which evinces a core inefficiency within the distribution of legal services to low-income consumers. How can consumers – who are not attorneys themselves – know which provider can address their unique legal situation?
SAEF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit justicetech startup based in Chicago, Illinois building tools and services to help low-income parents families access streamlined paths to free and affordable legal resources. The core value-proposition our team is dedicated to delivering is two-fold:
Provide low-income Chicagoans with a self-help platform to triage and diagnose their core legal problem, receive reliable referrals to local free & affordable legal resources, and obtain substantive information on how to access those resources as efficiently as possible
Help legal aid and pro bono legal service providers complete more successful intakes in a shorter amount of time by referring them more of the right clients in the greatest need –increasing their impact and overall operational capacity at scale