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LawHelp Interactive Newsletter for November/December 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

  • Organization: Pro Bono Net

Quarterly Reports/New LHI Reporting Infrastructure

Third Quarter 2013 LHI statistics were released on October 31, 2013 and are available here.

Beginning this quarter, we have begun compiling automated reports from our new reporting database for LHI.  The new reports use an improved mechanism for handling historical information and the reports are also available in a new format. The number of assemblies and interviews grew by 12% and 14%, respectively, in comparison with the numbers for the same period in 2012. We also saw significant growth in the number of LHI documents emailed (an increase of 25%). Over 3 million interviews and over 1.6 million assemblies have occurred on LHI since 2005.

In the third quarter of 2013, LHI delivered 223,711 interviews, 119,142 assemblies, and 8,771 emails. In addition, LHI has a content collection of over 3,100 active HotDocs Template and over 1,100 active A2J interviews

The states with the most assemblies include New York, California, Illinois, and Texas. Michigan moved to the 5th place this quarter, replacing Kansas. Michigan released divorce documents and continues to expand its collection of online forms in LHI.

Technical Updates

Monthly Code Releases

We completed our most recent code push at the end of October and it included work on the Minnesota e-filing project, administrative updates, bug fixes and preliminary steps toward an upgrade to the HotDocs 11 server.  Bug fixes included a fix to allow interviews with Spanish characters to be updated in LHI. We also returned the interim save disk icon to HotDocs Interviews.

Our next code push will occur in December and is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of December 14th, 2013. We will send more details about the last release of the year to the listservs in the coming weeks.

HotDocs 11

As you may know, HotDocs Corporation has released HotDocs version 11.02. For developers looking to upload forms to LHI, please continue to use HD 10.2 until we announce LHI has been updated to accept HotDocs 11 templates. We will be sharing updates on the lists and in the calls--so please stay tuned. We plan to cover information about transitioning to HotDocs 11 in our December monthly developer support call, which is scheduled for 12/17/13 at 2pm Eastern. We hope you can join us. Registration is available here.

Trainings, Conferences, and Resources

Registration is now open for the 2014 LHI live template developer training. It will take place January 13-14th in Jacksonville, Florida directly before the LSC TIG Conference. Registration for the TIG conference is open and available here.  The LHI pre-conference training will have a beginner track and possibly a project manager’s track (if there is sufficient interest). Full registration details and information about the LHI training is available here.  Please register by 12/15/2013. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and will close once we reach capacity.  Don’t miss out!

LHI Program Manager Claudia Johnson and Pro Bono Net Director of Product Management Adam Licht presented at the Court Information Technology Officers Consortium (CITOC) webinar held in October on the Minnesota E-Filing Project. The webinar was well-attended and the materials are available here.

As part of National Celebrate Pro Bono Week and the LSNTAP webinar series, Mirenda Watkins, LHI Program Coordinator, spoke on a panel examining technology-enhanced pro bono. Check out the http://www.connectingjusticecommunities.com/blog for a summary of the webinar and other great Pro Bono Week content. The next webinar in this series is on online intake, expert systems and triage and will take place on December 4th at 1:00PM Eastern. For more information about the upcoming training and for resources from past training in this series, visit http://lsntap.org/.

The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) held its annual conference November 6-9 in Los Angeles, California. Claudia Johnson attended and presented on panels including “How to complete over 1,400 complicated cases a year with two FTE's; The Story of Technology and Partnership” and “Technology Innovations to Increase Access to Justice in Suburban and Rural Communities”. She enjoyed connecting with members of the LHI community there.

LHI hosted its national technical webinar on November 12, 2013. This call theme was browser independence. Capstone Practice Systems covered how browser independence has increased access to LHI and also examined the challenges and lessons learned from supporting a wide range of user environments.  Capstone facilitated a lively discussion on the LHI community’s experiences with browser independence to-date. Visit http://www.probono.net/link.cfm?22183 to access the recording and materials from the webinar.


LHI evaluation beginning in December

Stay tuned because we will be releasing an LHI evaluation survey soon! We generally complete an evaluation of LHI in March of each year. This year, as part of our evaluation activities, we will be asking you for feedback on our support and performance earlier. This will allow us to know what we are doing well, how we can improve, and also allow us to be able to meet funder requirements.

Other News

ID Theft Forms

Interactive ID theft forms are now available in over 50 % of states – 28 jurisdictions which include 27 states plus Micronesia.  If you’d like information about adding ID theft forms in your state, please contact Russell Butler, RButler@mdcrimevictims.org. A list of jurisdictions with ID theft materials can be found here.


South Carolina

Congratulations to South Carolina Legal Services and their partners!  This month they released their child support online forms and materials. Congratulations to all the partners for releasing this comprehensive guide and online forms.http://www.modifychildsupportsc.com/.

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