March 23, 2022
Kentucky- Kentuckians now have access to a free, new, and improved legal resource that provides answers to common legal questions, self-help forms, guides, and other tools to resolve life’s important legal problems.
Kentucky’s civil legal aid programs and the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission are proud to launch kyjustice.org. The website provides information in plain language to help individuals and families with legal issues involving housing, debt, public benefits, criminal record expungement, family law, and more.
At a press conference Wednesday, Chief Justice John Minton, Jr. officially announced the launch of kyjustice.org adding, “The goal of kyjustice.org is to provide a central depository of free legal help for individuals seeking legal help. The website, which is jointly managed by Kentucky’s civil legal aid programs and the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission, provides helpful resources, including high-quality legal information, self-help forms, a tool that screens for legal aid eligibility, and an interactive county resource map.”
Justice Michele Keller, who chairs the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission, also shared that “the justice system can be complex and hard to navigate. One of the goals of this website is to make legal information easily accessible and understandable. The content is managed by the Commission. The Commission’s goal is to provide access to justice to our citizens regardless of their economic circumstances.”
The website, which has taken over a year to build, includes many new features to make finding legal help easy. The website also includes a volunteer section for attorneys looking to provide free services and a section for the latest news and information about changes in Kentucky law.
“This great new tool connects legal experts, Kentucky courts, volunteer lawyers and people across the Commonwealth. It is a shining example of how we can unite to better serve Kentuckians,” said Rep. Ed Massey, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Roughly 400,000 Kentuckians visit the site each year. Many visitors to the website are people who are representing themselves in court. These self-represented litigants may lack a necessary understanding of the law and make mistakes along the way leading them to a loss of housing, income, safety, or family. The tools offered by kyjustice.org remove legal barriers for those who may not financially qualify for legal aid assistance and otherwise would not have access to high-quality legal information.
“We know it can be difficult for to ask for help. The stigma to seek assistance must be removed,” said Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Deputy Secretary Keith Jackson. “Kyjustice.org is a great resource to help Kentucky take critical steps in the right direction.”
Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (LABG) received funding for this project through a 2019 Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) Technology Innovation Grant (TIG) to make the website more user-friendly, including easy-to-use guides and templates. LABG collaborated with the Kentucky legal aid programs and the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission to overhaul kyjustice.org. Joshua Crabtree, Executive Director of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, expressed gratitude for the partners who helped make the website a success.
“Providing accurate high quality legal information took tremendous collaboration from many partners. These partnerships will continue into the future so we can ensure that kyjustice.org stays a premiere resource for Kentucky families. Thank you to the Legal Aid Network of Kentucky, LSC, Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr., Justice Keller and the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission and the many partners who helped us in this endeavor.”
The Legal Aid Network of Kentucky provides free civil legal help to low-income and vulnerable Kentuckians. The Legal Aid Network of Kentucky is comprised of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, Kentucky Legal Aid, AppalRed Legal Aid, Legal Aid Society, and the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission.