DoNotPay, a chatbot initially created to offer combat unfair parking tickets with a “robot lawyer,” has expanded its free, legal services to handle cases of those who are homeless or facing eviction in the UK. The website has offered guidance to thousands of Londoners and New Yorkers who sought to appeal paying parking tickets and then extended to include compensations for delayed flights. Since its launch, the chatbot has helped some 160,000 people challenge unfair parking tickets, making major headlines across the world.
“DoNotPay has launched the UK’s first robot lawyer as an experiment. It can talk to you, generate documents and answer questions,” the website reads. Highlighting that the robot lawyer is “just like a real lawyer, but is completely free and doesn’t charge any commission.”
Visitors of the website can chat with an automated service that inquires about necessary information. The provided information is then translated into legal documents that can be used to appeal parking tickets. Users can also choose to chat with the legal robot, which converts the provided information into a legal request.
At just 19-years-old, Stanford University’s undergraduate student Joshua Browder, the creator of DoNotPay, focused his attention on the issue of eviction after his inbox filled up with pleas for help.
“I started to receive a large number of messages about evictions and repossessions, and noticed that they were at the highest levels ever recorded,” he told the Washington Post. “I felt bad that I didn’t have the knowledge to personally help people, especially since they were being made homeless.”
The new service asks users to enter all necessary information such as the reason for eviction, any medical conditions or disabilities and their employment status then automates a legal document that can help facilitate the user’s chance of getting a new home.
The homeless legal service has launched in the UK, ahead of its launch in the States. In 2015, the UK recorded its highest ever number of evictions – an average of 170 tenants were evicted daily throughout the year. In the same year, more than 7,500 people slept on the streets of London, signalling a growing issue that DoNotPay seeks to solve for free.