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LawHelp Interactive Resource Center


LHI September/October 2012 Newsletter

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • Pro Bono Net

LawHelp Interactive Newsletter for September/October 2012


Technical Updates

The next LHI code push will be toward the end of September. The technical team is now focusing on developing the LHI widget capacity under a TIG grant.


Training and New Resources Available

Registration is now open for the January 2013 Live LHI Training. Applicants are encouraged to submit their registration ASAP and before 12/1/2012--first come first served. We have class size limits to keep the training relevant. We will be offering a two-day beginner training and hopefully a one-day advanced training. We will only offer the advanced training if we get enough interest--so if you are an advanced developer and there is a chance you are going to TIG--please let us know ASAP and before 12/1. This training will happen January 14th and 15th, which are the two days right before the LSC TIG Conference. It will take place at the LSC TIG conference site, which is the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel:

Please visit: by December 1, 2012 to register. Additional information about the training is available here:

We hope to see you at both the Live LHI Training and the 2013 LSC TIG Conference. LSC TIG Conference session topics will cover a range of issues such as how the use of technology can enhance internal legal services operations, improve client services, address access and triage issues, provide legal information to low-income people, encourage pro bono, address LEP and other special need populations, or provide litigation support. This conference is partnering with the MIE National Conference for Legal Services Administrators, which will be held January 15-16, providing one day of collaborative sessions for TIG and MIE Administrator attendees. More information is available here:


Upcoming: In the next few months we will be releasing additional resources based on our summer usability study as well as our CMS/LHI guide for programs interested in integrating online forms to their CMS systems. The LHI National Technical Webinar will be held on November 8, 2012. This webinar will focus on technical topics of interest to online form developers using LHI, HotDocs and A2J Author in an integrated fashion. Capstone Practice will lead the webinar-and will cover advanced topics. For information and to register click here:


Development Opportunities and Additional Resources

A2J New User Workshops occur the first Thursday of each month. A2J will host its next New User Training on November 1, 2012. Visit: for additional information.

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:


ABA Access to Justice Commission Expansion Project: The ABA is accepting applications for grants that support the development of new access to justice commissions as well as expanding agendas and promoting innovative initiatives in existing commissions. There are three phases of the grant. The application deadline for phase II is on October 1, 2012 and the application deadline for phase III is January 15th. Learn more by visiting here:


The State Justice Institute(SJI) is also accepting applications for 2013, deadline on 11/1/2012. Courts can apply for these funds under a variety of funding categories. Courts interested in developing their own self-help initiatives using online tools, including online forms via LawHelp Interactive are encouraged to email, Adam Licht and/or Claudia Johnson


The 2012 Annual NLADA Conference is scheduled for December 5- December 8. This is the leading national training event of the year for the civil legal aid, indigent defense, and public interest law communities. This year's conference theme is: "Building on our Legacy: The Next 100 Years". Mirenda Watkins will be co-presenting at a session titled “How the Development of On-Line Forms is Affecting the Way We Assist the Self-Represented Litigant”. She is looking forward to meeting some of you in person. We hope to see you there! For more information, visit:


In addition, Access to Civil Justice: Re-envisioning and Reinvigorating Research, a two-day workshop will be held in Chicago, Illinois on December 7-8, 2012 to coincide w/the NLADA. The workshop opens with a poster session and town hall meeting on the afternoon of Friday, December 7. This open session, held in conjunction with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association annual meetings, will bring together scholars and practitioners from many perspectives to identify and explore access to civil justice research needs. On the following day, Saturday, December 8, the Workshop will convene a smaller, closed session to push forward the work of revitalizing access to justice research. Claudia Johnson from LHI has been invited to attend the sessions. The convening is possible with funding from the National Science Foundation Law and Social Sciences Program (SES-1237958).


Further information about the workshop and the application form may be found at: If you have any questions regarding the workshop, please send an email to and we will respond promptly.


Tips and Reminders


Do you have a deeply technical or template-specific question? Capstone is available to provide expert one-on-one support to the LHI community. Send a message to to set up a meeting.


We want to hear from you! As a reminder, we have 2 document assembly lists, and one support inbox.

• (our developer list): this list is supported by PBN and Capstone Practice (under contract with PBN) and it is a forum to share tips and general questions about approaches to templates, basic information on LHI functionality etc. Questions related to A2J Author and HotDocs are supported, as well as questions related to the LHI infrastructure and how to interact with it.


• (our announcements list): this is a more general list that includes non-technical managers—and it is mostly for announcements related to LHI or general questions, more in the realm of policy or sharing best practices about projects.


• Send a message to this address to get help with template-specific questions. This inbox is reviewed daily by PBN staff with support from Capstone Practice and our full tech team. If your template is not behaving as expected, or if you are having a very specific problem about an upload—this is where you send the report.


LHI Feedback


Many users believe that LHI is an invaluable service that truly increases access to justice. Here’s what one user had to say: "This was extraordinarily helpful! A fantastic service! A very big heartfelt thank you!"


Staffing updates-


Introducing Ahuva Shabtai Ahuva joined Pro Bono Net in 2012 as the new Business Analyst for LHI. She was previously a business analyst consultant for companies such as Scholastic and Equinox. Prior to that she worked as a Business Systems Analyst for, and as a business analyst for Donovan Data Systems & MediaOcean as well as several small startups in Montreal, Quebec. Ahuva holds a bachelor's degree in information systems from McGill University. She is based in New York.


Mirenda Watkins, Esq.

LawHelp Interactive Program Coordinator

Pro Bono Net

(217) 607-5901 |

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