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Introduction to the Document Assembly Line

The Document Assembly Line is a toolbox for building online guided interviews for court forms and other legal documents for use by self-represented litigants. It is supported by the Legal Innovation and Technology Lab (LIT Lab) at Suffolk University Law School and an active community of courts, orgs, and volunteers.


This short, 3-minute video by David Colarusso and Quinten Steenhuis explains how the Document Assembly Line was born from a large-scale international pandemic collaboration:

The LIT Lab gathered more than 200 volunteers from around the world and built tools such as:

More information

All Document Assembly Line interviews:

  • Have a common look and feel, with reusable components.
  • Are mobile friendly so users can do everything on a smartphone.
  • Contain contextual help to guide users through the interview.
  • Use a standardized structure and questions to build consistency and gain trust.
  • Use address autocompletion to improve accuracy and save time.
  • Allow users to text, email, or share a link to their work in progress with a friend or advocate if they want help.
  • Have an integrated feedback form for users to report problems or send praise.
  • Gather anonymized statistics in aggregate for reporting on usage.
  • Support digital signatures.

See it in action

These websites and interviews are built with the Document Assembly Line tools:

Get involved/how you can help

The Document Assembly Line is community built and supported. Because all our tools and software are open source, courts and orgs can build with confidence knowing the underlying software will be free to use, forever, with no vendor lock-in. Instead we are building digital public infrastructure together.

Join the community

The Document Assembly Line community is hosted and supported by the LIT Lab. The community is open to courts, legal aid organizations, and anyone else interested in building online guided interviews with Docassemble and the Document Assembly Line Tools.

You don't have to go it alone! We offer:

  • Weekly community check-ins. Interview builders meet every Monday at 10am Eastern. We follow a standup-style agenda focused on identifying and removing "blockers." Backend developers who work on the Document Assembly Line tools have a similar meeting on Fridays at 12:30pm Eastern.
  • Community forum. The LIT Lab hosts a community forum for the Document Assembly Line in Microsoft Teams for general discussions, coding help, server admin, and more.
  • First-Wednesday workshops. On the first Wednesday of each month at 3pm Eastern we host online workshops where we go in-depth on topics requested by the community. These are informal sessions centered around questions from viewers. Our workshops are also streamed and archived on YouTube.

To join the community, just email us!

Partner with the LIT Lab

The LIT Lab's work has been and will continue to be supported by grants. Moving forward we will also rely on our court partners to help support our work. Funded partners pay for software development and support, training, user research, community building, project management, and technical support as well as direct costs like servers and staff time.

  • We can partner with legal aid organizations on grant applications for building online interview portals.
  • We can partner with courts that want to build online interview portals.
  • We can partner with granting organizations that want to help us expand access to justice by building digital public infrastructure.

Our funded partners can access additional training, Docassemble server hosting, and e-filing.

Our repositories

All code generated as part of this project is available for free on GitHub under the MIT license.

Docassemble interview-building tools

  • The core AssemblyLine package contains runtime code and shared questions for interviews.
  • ALWeaver is a tool for rapidly generating interviews from marked-up court form PDF and DOCX templates.
  • ALToolbox contains functions and components that might benefit Docassemble developers whether or not they choose not to install the full Document Assembly Line toolbox.
  • ALRecipes examples and snippets that use Assembly Line features or demonstrate best practices. Can be included directly in the Docassemble Playground to supplement the list of Playground examples.
  • PovertyScale which contains a Python library, Docassemble code, static JSON and a REST server for determining income qualification based on the United States Federal Poverty Scale, updated on an annual basis.
  • GithubFeedbackForm helps Docassemble authors collect feedback from users and generate GitHub issues.

Docassemble server tools

  • ALDashboard is a Document Assembly Line–independent tool that makes it easier to maintain a Docassemble server.
  • InterviewStats for gathering usage analytics.


  • EFSP Integration is a Python and Docassemble frontend for Suffolk Law School's electronic filing Java server.
  • EFileProxyServer is a Java-based REST server that provides a simplified interface to Tyler EFMs, as well as an interface to JeffNet, the home-brew efiling server run by Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.