The 2010 LawHelp Interactive Innovative Demonstration Project
This program provides one-time funding, awarded in late 2010, to organizations using LawHelp Interactive (LHI) to deliver online document assembly content in innovative ways. Resources developed for these projects will be shared with the legal services community.
Funding for LHI Demonstration Projects has been made possible through a Technology Initiatives Grant awarded by the Legal Services Corporation to Ohio State Legal Services Association.
This year's demonstration projects are as follows:
Colorado Legal Services (CLS) will create templates for parenting issues, particularly custody modification pleadings when children are in danger. CLS and partners will then be able to more effectively and efficiently serve both English and Spanish speaking low-income Coloradans with post-decree parenting time issues. Pro se litigants will use the program to become better informed about their legal rights while preparing to represent themselves in court. Moreover, CLS advocates will use the program when quick action is needed to modify parenting time orders when children are endangered.
Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) will create and implement an evaluation plan for its online document assembly initiatives. MLSA has been providing online forms for a few years, and now seeks to assess the impact of the program on users of the forms in rural areas, and on MLSA's delivery system. This evaluation will help MLSA review its online document assembly initiatives and ascertain what level of resources may be necessary in the future.
Prairie State Legal Services in partnership with Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) will use online forms to increase pro bono attorney participation in clinics that provide assistance with advanced directives for low-income seniors. The goals of the project are to increase pro bono attorney participation and to educate low-income seniors about the value of wills and advanced directives. As part of the project, Prairie State Legal Services will streamline its elder law web page, including video training materials and other educational materials for seniors. In addition, a new template will be developed for a pro bono practice area.
Blue Ridge Legal Services will do outreach and training for Virginia's first online document assembly program, an online interview for simple divorce documents. The outreach will target courts, judges, public libraries, the United Way and its agencies, domestic violence staff and shelters, and the Agencies on Aging. Blue Ridge Legal Services will work closely with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, which developed the divorce interview.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance (PTLA) has developed a food stamp calculator that is hosted in LHI, which has proven very popular. This project will take this tool and translate it into Spanish. It will then be incorporated into PTLA's migrant farm worker project. In the process PTLA will learn about the barriers that need to be overcome when making online tools available to different cultures in different languages.
The LawHelp Interactive community had a call in October 2011 to learn more about these projects, including lessons learned, materials and resources created.
Please contact Claudia Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.