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LawHelp Interactive Newsletter for June/July 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

  • Pro Bono Net

Quarterly reports are here!

417,004 interviews have been served and 224,678 documents have been assembled through LHI so far this year. These numbers show tremendous growth; in fact, they surpass the number of interviews and assemblies for the full calendar year of 2010. This first half of 2013 also includes over 14,872 emails being sent via LHI. The states with the most LHI interviews this quarter were New York, California, Illinois, Texas and Michigan.
You can access the full reports here:

Technical Updates

The next LHI code push will occur on the weekend of August 2nd, 2013. It will involve bug fixes, administrative enhancements, and work on the widgets project. LHI will be down for this code push starting on Friday at 9 pm ET and testing through the weekend and LHI will be back up and running by Monday 9 am EST at the latest.  We will confirm the push via the lists on Monday.

LHI Rebuild

As you may know LHI is going to do a rebuild of its technical infrastructure between 2013 and 2015. The infrastructure that LHI currently uses was identified in 2001 and though it has served us well, it is time to invest in a new infrastructure that can provide additional flexibility and cost savings in the management of the technology.  The first phase of LHI’s rebuild was to write up a comprehensive description of LHI in its current technology and also included holding a focus group with template providers provided feedback on potential administrative workflow changes to LHI.  The focus group took place on June 7th and participants included expert and new developers and program managers. The participants provided feedback on proposed enhancements related to useful links, uploading and updating templates, downloading and deleting templates and other files, and updates to the contributor portal. 

The next steps on the rebuild will include development & internal testing, integration testing with external partners and gathering feedback from external partners. We are targeting the latter half of 2014 to migrate partners over to the new platform.

In case you missed it…

Check out the recording and slides from our May 2013 monthly developer support call where we featured partners from South Carolina and Michigan who shared their experiences beginning new projects using LHI forms. They shared some tips on how to develop the forms quickly and how to incorporate user feedback during the testing period including using focus groups in South Carolina for forms and videos. They provided some helpful models and samples. The materials and recording are available here:

Training and Conference Updates

Last Live Training for LHI Developers this Year:

Registration is still open for the fall 2013 LHI live training, which will be held in Chicago on September 12-13, 2013 in Chicago. Ron Staudt and the CAJT team are graciously hosting the training. We will focus on beginners training and, for the first time, we will be holding an additional optional half-day for additional A2J training and support.  Full details and registration information will be posted to Please sign up!

One-on-one support:

If you are working on a project and you feel like you are getting stuck, please reach out.  We can provide you with one-on-one support and guidance to help you move your project forward. This could be related to managing a project, ethics, politics of forms projects, or to detailed question about routines in interviews.  Another option is to post to the lists--but please reach out.  Don’t sit alone--connect!
In addition, 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.


Claudia Johnson and Mirenda Watkins attended the May 2013 ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference and presented on a number of panels. Check out Mirenda’s blog about her first time at EJC:

Congrats to States that received ABA Access to Justice Commission Expansion Project Innovation Grants

Access to Justice Commissions in a number of states received funding to develop and test innovative new projects and expand the scope of their ongoing activities related to increasing access to justice. These states are: Arkansas, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wyoming. Well done! More information is available here:

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