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Using Social Media to Support Self Represented Litigants and Increase Access to Justice

NCJ Number
Katherine Bladow; Joyce Raby
Date Published
6 pages
This article discusses how courts are using social media to increase access to justice and support self-represented litigants.
Using the findings from the Conference of the Court Public Information Officers report examining social media's impact on the public's trust and confidence in courts, this article discusses how courts can use social media to increase access to justice and support self-represented litigants. The article begins with a discussion of current uses of social media by the courts examining visual-media sharing - the posting of videos on visual-media sharing sites, social networking - the use of social networking sites to provide information to litigants and the general public, and microblogging. The article also presents information on how courts and court personnel can implement social-media projects in their courtrooms. The implementation of these projects requires five steps: establish a goal, pick a tool, pilot the project, evaluate success, and revise and repeat. These five steps are discussed in more detail in this article. The authors note that increasing the use of social media in courts can improve the use of limited resources and improve access to justice, especially in the case of self-represented litigants. Figures, endnotes, and references