Justice Rising
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Justice Rising

Introducing LaDierdre Johnson, an LSC Emerging Leader

Photo by LaDierdre Johnson

LaDierdre Johnson, based in Ypsilanti, MI, is the manager of the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP). LSNTAP helps legal aid programs improve client services through effective and innovative use of technology.

Welcome to the Emerging Leaders Counsel, LaDierdre! We’re thrilled to have you. To start us off, how did you become interested in access to justice issues? I became interested during my time as an A2J Technology Fellow. The fellowship gave me a better understanding of both the issues and importance of access to justice and how technology and innovation can improve access.

Why is LSC’s work and the value of civil legal aid in the United States so important? LSC’s work and the value of civil legal aid in the United States is so important because justice is for all, not just those who can afford it.

Why is access to justice so relevant to Michigan residents in particular? Can you tell us about a local LSC grantee’s recent ATJ win? Michigan Legal Help (MLH) recently launched their What’s Next Text program. What’s Next Text will improve the delivery of legal information via automated text messaging. What’s Next Text will help MLH understand how online legal information can be used to help people achieve better outcomes when handling their own legal problems. What’s Next Text sends texts to web visitors who opt-in to find out whether they were able to use the information they received to resolve their legal issues while also providing visitors with reminders and more information on the next steps they need to take.

What do you see as the role of nonprofits in increasing access to justice? Their role is to serve as many people eligible for their services as possible!

What advice do you have for aspiring law students, lawyers, and others looking to get involved with LSC’s work? My advice for anyone looking to get involved with LSC’s work would be to explore their current grants and initiatives and find one that matches your interests. There are so many ways to do your part.

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