Serious Games for Self-Represented Litigants

nulawlab; lsntap; webinar; represent; self-litigation; self representation; statewide legal services in connecticut;; pine tree legal assistance; northeastern university school of law; georgetown law school institute for technology law and policy; self-represented litigation network; legal assistance; legal services corporation; technology initiative grant program; RePresent; RePresent Renter

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Back in 2014, we thought self-represented parties could benefit from an online interactive

“serious game” simulating aspects of an actual legal proceeding. Games have proven to make a

positive impact on cognition and behavior because they are experiential learning environments

that allow users, through trial and retrial, to attain the necessary (virtual) experience to help

guide future action in reality.

Thanks to two grants from LSC’s Technology Initiative Grant Program, we’ve developed,

launched, and evaluated two games designed to help people without lawyers represent

themselves in court. RePresent, originally launched in 2015 and now in its second iteration,

prepares litigants for the basics of self-representation. It is available in Connecticut,

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. RePresent: Renter (2018) focuses on summary

process eviction proceedings, and is available in Connecticut and Maine. Both games are

available via native mobile phone apps, and through web browsers. You can learn more, and

access both games, at

Our most recent LSC-TIG grant included funds specified for an independent evaluation. That

effort, undertaken by Professor Jack Tsai of Yale University’s psychology department, concluded

that “the RePresent games have potential to have population- level effects on legal outcomes . .

. .” We now seek to introduce LSC-funded entities (and others) to the promise of serious games

in the legal aid space, and specifically to how organizations can use Northeastern’s StudyCrafter

platform to easily modify the games for their jurisdiction, or create entirely new games that

help close the access to justice gap. Our presentation will cover:

• The rise of serious games and their application to legal aid;

• The RePresent suite of games and Dr. Tsai’s evaluation of same;

• The StudyCrafter platform, and how to access and use it to modify either RePresent

game, or to build entirely new games.


Kathy Daniels, IT Administrator at Statewide Legal Services in Connecticut

Kate Frank, Website and Publications Manager at

Jack Haycock, attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance

Eduardo Gonzalez, Access to Justice Tech Fellow at Georgetown Law School Institute for Technology Law & Policy and the Self-Represented Litigation Network

Dan Jackson, director of NuLawLab at Northeastern University School of Law

Last updated on .

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