Legal Services Vermont has created a collection of step-by-step tutorials called “Roadmaps” for the statewide legal help website at VTLawHelp.org. The Roadmaps help Vermonters move through the steps of some common legal and benefits issues:
asking the court for a Relief from Abuse order
getting a divorce
getting a security deposit back on a rental unit
starting a small claims case, and
appealing when you are denied disability benefits from Social Security.
The Roadmaps at https://vtlawhelp.org/roadmaps feature step-by-step directions and short, colorful videos.
“We focused on these topics because many Vermonters contact us looking for this information,” said Legal Services Vermont Executive Director Sam Abel-Palmer. “They can be scared or upset about the situation they find themselves in and unsure how to move forward. With the new Roadmaps, they get a good overview of the process, in addition to detailed instructions on what to do to solve their problem. They also learn where to find help.”
The project was funded by a grant from the Legal Services Corporation. The high-quality, motion-graphics videos were created by Sandbox, Inc. of Toronto. The Roadmap text and scripts were created by Legal Services Vermont staff with input from Vermont Legal Aid staff and a variety of community advocates in Vermont. Members of the general public and colleagues at other northeastern legal aid organizations were recruited to provide feedback on the Roadmaps before they were launched.
“The input we received helped us create videos and tutorials that will empower Vermonters who are facing tough situations,” said Legal Services Vermont Web Manager Kris Surette.
Legal Services Vermont maintains the VTLawHelp.org website in conjunction with Vermont Legal Aid. Since the start of the pandemic, traffic to the website and calls to the legal helpline have doubled.
Legal Services Vermont (LSV) is a nonprofit legal services law firm based in Burlington, Vermont. Founded in November 1995, LSV provides free consultation, advice and community education for low-income Vermonters. LSV is supported by a grant from the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C. LSV’s services are available to any low-income Vermonter with a civil legal problem.
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