TALS Receives American Bar Endowment Opportunity Grant

NASHVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) announced today that it has received a $20,000 Opportunity Grant from the American Bar Endowment (ABE). The grant will fund the development of TALS’ web-based Legal Wellness Checkup app, which will make important legal services more accessible for all Tennesseans via www.HELP4TN.org.

TALS’ Legal Wellness Checkup uses a multi-generational approach to help families solve legal issues together, and empower individuals to identify and manage their legal risks. Offering the service online, through an interactive, web-based and mobile friendly app, powered by Neota Logic, will help remove legal and social barriers and make the benefits of the TALS Legal Wellness Checkup easy and more accessible for users across the state of Tennessee, especially low-income income families.

“We are extremely grateful to enjoy the generous support of the ABE. This grant is crucial for the development of our Legal Wellness Checkup, and will help further TALS’ ultimate goal, which is to empower disadvantaged Tennesseans to avoid legal pitfalls that can drive them further into poverty,” said TALS’ Executive Director, Ann Jarvis Pruitt.

As with the current manual process, the web-based Wellness Checkup will lead clients through a questionnaire that’s based on the 2016 guidelines published by the American Bar Association (ABA). At the end of the Wellness Check, clients will receive a personalized report that identifies their areas of legal risk, an explanation of the issues their household faces, and a list of local resources to gain help to address them. The automated report will take into account the client’s geographic location, applicable law and resources available nearby. The automated report will also include direct links to TALS’ HELP4TN.org web portal, which includes interactive forms, self-help videos, tutorials and other educational materials on a variety of legal issues.

The $20,000 grant to TALS, was one of 15 Opportunity Grants that ABE awarded in 2017. The purpose of ABE Opportunity Grants is to support innovative projects addressing issues of critical importance to the public and the legal profession. The majority of funded programs focus on improving access to legal services among underserved populations.

About the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS):
TALS is an alliance of the civil legal aid programs and other agencies that are committed to increasing equal access to justice in Tennessee. TALS hosts 1 844-HELP4TN, a free legal information and referral helpline staffed by a Tennessee attorneys, as well as HELP4TN.org, a mobile responsive web portal that serves as a one-stop venue for connecting to civil legal resources statewide where users can email a volunteer attorney, find their nearest legal clinic, watch videos, use court approved forms and more.

About the American Bar Endowment (ABE):
The ABE is an independent, not-for-profit public charity that sponsors high quality, affordable life and disability insurance to ABA members. Lawyers participating in ABE-sponsored insurance plans donate available dividends which in turn support ABE’s annual grants to projects and programs. In addition to donated insurance dividends, grant dollars are supplemented by income generated through the ABE’s Endowment Fund. Over the last 60 years, the ABE has awarded more than $277 million in grants to support legal research, educational, and public service projects and programs.

Posted: April 4, 2017