Due to Covid 19 – pandemic the world faced the problem of how to provide legal aid in remote areas.
Legal Development Network (LDN) from Ukraine has found an appropriate way.
Users may submit their questions on the LDN website, through a dedicated chat box. A pool of over 50 lawyers from 20 LDN member organisations respond to the questions and engage in a live conversation with the user from Monday to Friday during normal business hours. LDN member organizations are scheduled on specific days of the week to provide support for the live chat, which typically involves one lawyer answering around 20 to 30 questions per day. If a matter requires follow-up, the lawyer will send the individual information for a personal consultation with the LDN legal office. If the office is unable to take the matter on, it will refer the matter to one of LDN’s member organizations or partner organizations/institutions. However, approximately 95% of questions are resolved in the live chat, and only 5% require outside referrals.
In the last two years, LDN has helped 5,912 individuals receive free legal assistance through its online services. In 2019, LDN served 749 individuals online/ remotely, and in 2020, it served 5,163 individuals online/ remotely. 39% of the beneficiaries live under the national poverty line, and 62% are unemployed. The most common legal issues occur within family law, housing, social protection, labor, and inheritance.