LegalApp Colombia: “Legal Guidance with Just One Click”

More than 4,800,000 users have been assisted in judicial procedures and services through LegalApp, a Colombian initiative of the Ministry of Justice and Law. This initiative is part of the second action plan within the framework of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Colombia, which is described as a “transformation” project that seeks to guide the resolution of conflicts, problems or disagreements of a legal nature that any citizen can face during his or her life (divorce, breach of contract, payment of debt, pensions, among others). LegalApp provides assistance through the use and appropriation of information and communication technologies and works as a tool window to promote the access to the administration of justice.


The Ministry of Justice and Law created LegalApp, taking into account two main issues: (i) the lack of knowledge of users about the procedures to solve a legal problem, (ii) the unawareness in relation to the institutional justice offer.

LegalApp is a free digital consultation tool, that through simple and easy-to-understand language, offers information on more than 260 "routes of justice" to solve a conflict. It holds answers to important questions such as what to do? where to go? and what alternatives the user has in different situations. LegalApp also includes diverse tips and updated information on norms in different legal areas, such as: civil law, labor law, criminal law, commercial law, administrative law, constitutional law, environmental law and consumer law.

In addition, this tool includes other features that can be highlighted:

a) It has a directory with the contact information of approximately 20,000 state authorities that can solve conflicts and details like the address, telephone numbers, hours of operation and exact location in every municipality through a geolocation service.

b) It is also the only webpage in Colombia that informs the user if a judicial procedure requires a lawyer and if it involves any cost.

c) It includes a bank of model drafts of legal documents, in order to facilitate the communication with institutions and to save time and resources.

d) It offers the " you must know" section, which includes FAQ`s that citizens must be aware of in order to initiate a judicial procedure. For instance, it explains how much it can cost to hire a lawyer and if it is possible to change the lawyer during a judicial process.

e) It includes a dictionary of legal terms used by justice operators, so that users will be able to know the meaning of different legal terms like “care” or “custody”.

f) Recently, LegalApp includes the possibility for users to schedule appointments with legal clinics to receive personalized legal advice.

The success of this service has led Colombia to consolidate its position as a leader in the index of online judicial services of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA). LegalApp is ranked first among 130 websites from 32 countries that are part of the Organization of American States (OAS). Additionally, one of the main commitments of Colombia in the OECD is to continue strengthening LegalApp considering that it has an important number of visits from different users in Colombia and other countries like United States (34,365), Mexico (20,362), Spain (14,002), Peru (8,453), and Argentina (8,322).

The preference of users for LegalApp, created the need to advance from a web version to the design and implementation of a mobile application. For this reason, since April 6, 2017 it can be found in digital stores for IOS and Android. The mobile application already reports more than 57,340 downloads, and the topics most consulted are, among others: “what should I do if I want to settle or fix my child's support payment?”, “what can I do to get a debt paid?” , “how to terminate a lease and recover the property due to a tenant’s non-compliance?”, “how to report a crime if I was a victim or I have knowledge of a crime?”, “what to do if I have conflicts with my neighbors?https://www.legalapp.gov.co/Portals/0/noticias/8J5B5597.jpg

Initiatives like LegalApp close the gap in relation to the access to information about the administration of justice and the institutional offer. With this service a citizen has greater clarity on the mechanisms to solve problems or situations through the justice system and to locate the relevant entities and authorities.

For these reasons, I invite the reader to access www.legalapp.gov.co or download the mobile application in Google Play stores or the App Store.

Website: www.legalapp.gov.co
Twitter:@LegalAppMJ
Facebook:LegalAppMinJusticia
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.gov.minjusticia&hl=es
IOS (Apple): https://www.apple.com/itunes/download/

Filed Under: Research