A ‘robot lawyer’ giving legal advice for free

The lesser fortunate interact differently with the justice sector. They are more likely to face certain types of disputes, but have less access to services that can help resolve them. Costs, particularly lawyer fees, are a considerable obstacle. Yet legal problems (e.g. wrongful termination, eviction from housing, debt, family problems) left unaddressed, can cause the type of economic shock that pushes a vulnerable person into poverty. Unresolved legal problems can also keep those in poverty from escaping it.

DoNotPay is a ‘robot lawyer’ that helps to make the law free through a chatbot. The chatbot already overturned more than 160,000 parking fines and helped vulnerable people apply for emergency housing, and now the bot has been tuned to help refugees claim asylum by giving free legal aid to users through a simple-to-use chat interface. The chatbot, using Facebook Messenger, can help refugees fill in an immigration application in the US and Canada. For those in the UK, it helps them apply for asylum support.

The idea of automated legal services is bigger than parking fines. DoNotPay and its technology could revolutionize and democratize legal work, making a professional 'lawyer' available for everyone - not only for ones with lots of money. The ultimate goal is to level the playing field so that any citizen can have the same standard of legal representation as a billionaire.