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LawHelp Interactive Resource Center


LawHelp Interactive Newsletter for August/September 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

  • Pro Bono Net

Technical Updates

Next Code Push

We completed our most recent code push at the end of August and it included administrative updates, bug fixes and work related to the widgets project. Bug fixes included addressing some unusual behavior in the HotDocs open text questions where the size of the field was changing as the user typed. Thanks to those of you who reported the issue. Our next code push will occur on the evening of Saturday, October 26th and we will send more details about this monthly release to the listserv in the coming weeks.

Where did the Developer Portal go?

You may have noticed that when you now log in as a template provider, the portal does not display as a tab. We now have a new feature called “My Tools”.  “My Tools” will display when you log into using your template provider account. “My Tools” is a drop-down menu that includes “My Content” and “Portal”. “My Widgets” will be included in this menu once this option is fully available to the LHI community. If you click on “Portal” you will then access the portal with the same look and search functionality as before.

HotDocs 11

HotDocs Corporation has released HD 11. For developers looking to upload forms to LHI, please continue to use HD 10.2 until we announce LHI has been updated to accept HD 11 templates. We will be sharing updates on the lists and in the calls--so please stay tuned. We plan to set up the CommunityQA testing environment as we do with major software updates sometime later on this fall--so please stay on the lookout for updates on this. For those of you who want to obtain discounted HotDocs Licenses under the non-profit program, please visit

Past Trainings and Resources

The week of 9/9/2013 was eventful for the LHI community and partners!

On September 11th, Claudia moderated a LSNTAP webinar entitled “Online Resources and Innovative Technology to Assist Unrepresented”. Panelists featured were Gordon Shaw, Executive Director of Massachusetts Justice Project, Raquel Colon of Deputy Director Legal Services of Northern VA, and Kathleen Caldwell, Website Coordinator of Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Visit http://  for a copy of the materials and you can check out for a complete list of trainings in this series.

LHI completed its fall live training which included 10 trainees from the following states: Florida, Connecticut, Illinois, Arkansas, Washington, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. For the first time, in response to trainee feedback, we held an additional optional  half-day Saturday A2J training that was well-attended and well-received. We thank Prof. Ron Staudt, Jessica Bolack Frank, and the CAJT team for graciously hosting the training. The next training will take place in January 13-14th in Jacksonville, Florida directly before the LSC TIG Conference ( Full registration details will be shared with the LHI community soon through the lists.

Reminder: A2J is on YouTube! Check out A2J’s YouTube channel with recorded trainings and other helpful content:

Upcoming Trainings, Events and Opportunities

September Monthly Call: E-filing

For this month’s developer community call we will cover e-filing for self-represented litigants. The focus on the call will be on the best practices--however we hope to have a discussion about e-filing in general and hear what is happening in your courts and in your states.  Please join us: .

The Court Technology Conference is a conference that occurs every two years. This year, the CTC will include a track focusing on court technology for self-represented litigants: . Many of our partners will be there as presenters including Richard Zorza from the SRLN, Bonnie Hough from the California Courts AOC, Snorri Ogata from Orange County Superior Court California, Glenn Rawdon of Legal Services Corporation, and Susan Ledray of Minnesota Courts. Adam Licht and Adam Friedl will attend the conference on behalf of Pro Bono Net. We will share highlights in the September LHI Monthly call.

LHI National Technical Webinar

LHI will host its national technical webinar on November 12, 2013. This call will cover browser independence and other technical issues relevant to the LHI community. Registration is available here:

NLADA Annual Conference

The National Legal Aid and Defender Association holds its annual conference on November 6-9 in Los Angeles, California: Claudia Johnson will be attending and speaking on a number of panels including “Technology Innovations to Increase Access to Justice in Suburban and Rural Communities”. She hopes to see some of you there!
Housekeeping/Seasonal LHI activities

LHI evaluation will start earlier this year

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. We hope to release our main LHI survey in late December and keep it open through the end of the TIG conference. In the meantime, if you attend the monthly calls please give us feedback at the end of each session. You will receive a survey link after the call or you can go here:

Program Calls Update/Other News

Mirenda and Claudia will be reaching out one-on-one to each of our partners to set up meetings to touch base and do some LHI housekeeping. In addition, we would like to discuss any of your LHI support needs or new local developments. We will also be asking content owners to let us know how many of their templates are created for legal aid staff and pro bono lawyers vs. self-represented users. We hope to touch base with all of our content owners by the end of December! So please look out for an email requesting this call and meeting.


DOJ has released this list of grant opportunities: Some of these grants could be used by courts or legal aid groups to increase their online content collection on LHI, and find new ways to incorporate online forms into their daily advocacy work.

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