Project Term: Winter 2018
The Easy Forms project was an exciting collaborative project, started by Evans Family Law, and supported by both ACE Project Space students and RRC Business Administration students.
A pair of lawyers at Evans Family Law were inspired by a conference they attended, they saw a need to serve an underserved demographic of people who have trouble financial accessing legal services. The vision? Create a virtual law firm to solve the shortcomings of the traditional law system.
Starting with being able to generate legal divorce documents, Evans Family law plans to provide access to other legal documents such as: separation; cohabitation; prenuptial agreements; and child consents. At the outset of the project, it was in its conceptual stage, our clients are now working on launching their product throughout Manitoba.
Consider the high cost of divorce, it is out of reach of a majority of couples who have low-incomes. When one-in-four Manitobans make less than $1,600 per month, the average cost of an uncontested divorce, around $1,4000, is prohibitively inaccessible. In 2017 alone, approximately 33% of the total married population’s marriages ended in divorce. Approximately 16% of all people end up getting divorced more than once. In Manitoba, 3,000-4,000 people get divorced each year. The process of divorce is traditionally inconvenient and time-consuming, our clients feel like it shouldn’t have to be this way.
There currently exist some divorce document providers, yet access to these services remain expensive and do not provide quality products.
Our students helped to develop Easy Forms, an online platform that will assist the working poor with preparing complex family law documents at a fixed price point. The end user enters their information in a user-friendly interface, they will answer simple questions and the rest will be taken care of by Easy Forms. The information will be taken and generated into court documents which will be securely sent to an associated lawyer for verification.
At a starting price of $275, Easy Forms will be able to offer a solution to parting couples that is 80% cheaper than the traditional route. The process itself is very convenient, quick, and easy – users can file an uncontested divorce at their own convenience. The team at Evans Family Law felt very strongly that their product must be high quality ensuring that their documents will hold up in court.
Our students developed a fully functional website coded with ReactJS on the front-end, and Meteor on the back-end built on Mongo database that will provide the required court documents that DIY’ers can file on their own or with the help of a lawyer. Visitors will be able to answer simple questions and print out their legal documents in less than 10 minutes.
Our students and the Business Administration students learned a lot during this project, gaining real-world experience and applying the skills they learned at school towards something real that also adds value to the community. The team used agile development methodologies, stakeholder analysis, process mapping and requirements gathering.
Technologies used: ReactJS, Meteor, MongoDb