A simple $300 website can improve the justice system overnight.
If I had to pick one technology that is most capable of improving the justice system overnight, in any jurisdiction, I would pick a website builder. Now you might be thinking, a website builder, come on. Yes, a simple, well-designed website is the building block to modernizing our courts. Not only does it provide lawyers and litigants easy access to critical information they desperately need. A website also enables the courts to become more efficient and effective in administering justice. It’s a win/win for everyone. So why don’t more courts have a website?
- Objection #1 — “We don’t need a website. The parish/city/county has one. This is how it has always been done.” If you don’t own your website, you can’t control the content. And we all know too well that the information provided on a website can become stale and outdated very quickly if not managed properly. It is an access to justice issue.
- Objection #2 — We can’t afford it. Any court in the country can afford its own website. You can build and host an amazing website for $300 a year. And the best part is that you can update it at no cost. I’ve even built “apps” for free using websites (more on this later).
- Objection #3 — We don’t have IT. You don’t need an IT department to build and host a website. There are plenty of website builders that offer beautiful templates. There is at least one person in your court who can use these templates to build a website. If I can do it, you can too!
- Objection #4 — We don’t have the time. It really does not take much time to learn how to build a website. It took me only a few hours to figure out how to use the software and a couple of weeks to collect the information from my colleagues. Further, once you launch your website, you will be amazed at how much time your team saves not answering the phones. The phone in my chambers hardly ever rings anymore. Most of the commonly asked questions are answered on my website.
- Objection #5 — “They” will never go for it. Ahh yes. The proverbial “they.” You are probably right. “They” will never go for it. But if “you build it, they will come.” Most people just don’t want to deal with the hassle. But if you remove the barrier to entry, you will find that most will go along with the change. (There will always be a few who absolutely resist. That’s ok. Just move on.)
In my next post, I will share with you what every well-designed website needs before you launch it. In the meantime, you are welcome to check out a few examples at www.geauxtocourt.com.