Semi-automatic Triage of Requests for Free Legal Assistance

Free legal assistance is critically under-resourced, and many of those who seek legal help have their needs unmet. A major bottleneck in the provision of free legal assistance to those most in need is the determination of the precise nature of the legal problem... This paper describes a collaboration with a major provider of free legal assistance, and the deployment of natural language processing models to assign area-of-law categories to real-world requests for legal assistance. In particular, we focus on an investigation of models to generate efficiencies in the triage process, but also the risks associated with naive use of model predictions, including fairness across different user demographics. read more

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