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LawHelp Interactive Newsletter February/March 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • Organization: Pro Bono Net
  • Source: Pro Bono Net Programs

Survey Time:

We are asking everyone who works with online forms powered by LHI to give us some feedback on how LHI did in 2012 through our annual LHI community survey. It’s available here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/S8JJHTX.  Every year, we share a survey, that helps us evaluate our work, helps us plan our activities for the current year, and provides us with feedback on what is working, not working, or could be made better in the LHI platform.  The analysis of the survey also helps us plan future trainings, activities, and some of the survey results are shared with our funders and supporters.

As an incentive to participate, we will raffle 7 $15 Amazon gift cards! We will randomly choose from those who answer by 2/28/2013. We estimate the survey takes under 20 minutes to answer. We thank you in advance for your participation.


Technical Updates:

As we announced in our Monthly Call of January 2013, we are upgrading LHI to work with HotDocs 10.2. This is important, in part, because this version of LHI/HotDocs Server will be the first to support HotDocs interviews in non-IE browsers, including support for Mac users. Information and instructions about testing HotDocs 10.2 is available here: http://www.probono.net/dasupport/library/item.460966-Testing_HotDocs_102_in_the_Community_QA_Server . We are asking that the LHI community completes its testing by March 8, 2013 and you can report any problems to us by using the following form: https://docs.google.com/a/probono.net/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dEt0R1RuOEpVSG5WQ19HdXN2eHYzYWc6MA.

Once HD10.2 is rolled into production, bugs or issues occurring with the templates will be treated on a first come first served basis, and thus some templates might become unusable for a while if issues are reported to us after 3/8/2013. So between now and 3/8/2013 is the time to surface any potential issues with your valuable templates.

We will have our 2/26/2013 call focus on testing updates and get feedback on how testing is going. Please join us for the call. To register go to : https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/646364750.


Training and Conferences:

The 2013 Equal Justice Conference will take place May 9-11, 2013 in St. Louis ,MO. The registration is now open and early bird specials are available. The goal of this conference is to join all members of the civil legal community to discuss equal justice issues related to the delivery of legal services to low-income individuals in need of legal counsel. Claudia Johnson and other Pro Bono Net Staff will be attending and presenting on the topic “E-Filing for Access to Justice: Why Should We Care?”   You can take advantage of early registration rates if you register before March 1st. To get additional details and to register, please visit: http://www.americanbar.org/calendar/2013/05/equal_justice_conference/general.html.

We encourage those attending to join the pre-meeting of the Self Represented Litigants Network. This will be a day that will focus on ideas and sharing on how different states are working to address the needs of those without lawyers. The meeting will take place the Wednesday before the conference starts. Details will be posted at http://www.accesstojustice.net.

LHI and Capstone Practice Systems completed its January 2013 live training with a group of about 20 beginner and advanced enthusiastic participants! The Fall 2013 LHI live training is now confirmed in Chicago. It is tentatively scheduled for September 2013. Prof. Ron Staudt and the CAJT team are graciously hosting the training. We will focus on beginners for live training this fall. Full details and registration information will be posted to http://www.probono.net/dasupport/trainings/ . Live training details will also be announced in our monthly calls and distributed to the lists.

A2J New User Workshops occur the first Thursday of each month. For information about this and other A2J trainings and workshops, see: http://www.a2jauthor.org/drupal/. You can register here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/861790690.

The 2013 LSC TIG Conference had a large crowd this year with over 170 attendees and around forty presenters. Claudia Johnson along with Richard Zorza and Susan Ledray presented a workshop on E-filing Best Practices and will be releasing a guide on theirs findings in the coming weeks. Claudia also presented on a panel addressing advocate use of online forms. The panel included Mirenda Watkins, Tony Lu of CitizenshipWorks and Phil Bertenthal (formerly of Bet Tzedek Legal Services) who shared about their successful projects that involve legal aid attorneys, pro bono lawyers, and other advocates who utilize interactive forms to serve large groups of individuals with legal needs. Jim Wiegand, Dina Nikitaides, Phillip Johnson, and Kristin Verrill did a workshop on systems integration. 2013 TIG Conference materials are available here: http://tig.lsc.gov/tig-conference/2013-tig-conference-materials.

There was also a wonderful round of Ignite sessions at TIG. IV Ashton of PS Technologies Inc. shared a vision of integration between CMS systems, telephony, and other basic building blocks including information and referral LSC-approved websites that was inspiring. William Guyton co-presented. Their deck is posted in the same folder.


Development Opportunities and Additional Resources:

Need assistance with a Document Assembly project? Students at Chicago-Kent College of Law are available to build projects for your legal aid organization through its clinical hybrid course called: Justice & Technology Practicum. The course is designed to teach students how to build A2J Guided Interviews and HotDocs templates for use by legal aid organizations on their statewide websites. This is a great opportunity! Here is a form you can use to request that a student team work on a project for you: http://www.probono.net/link.cfm?20048.

Information about the 2013 TIG Grant Cycle will be made available here: http://tig.lsc.gov. LSC anticipates that approximately $3 million dollars will be available for 2013 grant awards. The TIG online system will be available this month with letters of intent due in March.

Quarterly Reports are here:

The LHI Quarterly reports are here and you can access them at: http://www.probono.net/dasupport/library/folder.464622-2012_Q4_LHI_Statistics.

LHI has served 716,147 interviews and assembled 399,124 documents in 2012. There are currently over 3,000 active HotDocs templates and 1,030 active A2J interviews.  In addition, a number of states continue to have a rate of assembly at 60%. They include California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, and Oklahoma. On average, LHI is serving about 1,900 interviews and assembling about 1,090 documents per day. This is an increase from 2011 when we served on average 1,621 interviews and assembled 874 documents per day. We are also excited that a few states have gone live with their LHI content recently. They include South Carolina and Massachusetts. Congrats to the LHI community on another strong year of growth in numbers!


Check out Pro Bono Net’s Blog:

Visit http://www.connectingjusticecommunities.com/, a blog with posts about Pro Bono Net’s efforts to use innovative technology and collaboration to increase access to justice. Mirenda recently blogged about the LHI Computer Station Best Practices released in November. This guide was based on a usability study and resource created by Yanting Zhang, a graduate student at University of Michigan School.

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