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LawHelp Interactive Resource Center

LawHelp Interactive has offered a broad range of trainings for developers over the years, both in person and online, in collaboration with our partner, the Center for Computer-aided Legal Instruction. The trainings cover the concepts and vocabulary and techniques of document automation and guided interviews, as well as the technical details of working with A2J Author and HotDocs Developer.

Our online training materials are available for self-guided instruction.  [insert link here] They include videos and exercises you can follow on your own.

The groups providing the training include Capstone Practice SystemsCenter for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), and PBN's LawHelp Interactive (LHI) staff


We offer to technical support calls to those doing the online series and learning both HD and A2J Author 8 software.  During these calls, those following the online course, can join to go over homework and issues they encounter as they do the online training.  And as members of the LHI community, one-on-one assistance can be arranged with our experts at CALI and Capstone during this period.

If you are new to LHI forms, and responsible for an existing collection of interviews, or are just starting a new project, this online training is highly recommended if you want to learn how to create a form.  It provides a brief overview if you are planning something further in the future. The training is free to Courts and legal non profits.

We will host a separate online form project management and administration call, to go over how to plan, select forms, fund, evaluate and develop new remote services for your community, partners, Courts using online forms.

Call Schedule:

Technical calls, October 10/10 at 2 pm EST and 10/17 at 2 pm EST.

Project management and planning call, 12/12 at 2 pm EST


You will need to get a license for HotDocs Developer if you or your organization doesn't already have one.  The vendor (CARET) offers a substantial discount for nonprofit legal service organizations. To request your discounted version of HotDocs Classic visit  I[information here]  A2J Author is free [information here]


In 2024 LHI will be using a newer version of HotDocs, called HotDocs Advance. The techniques and approach to form development will carry through.

Please let us know if you embark on this training and how we might best help you get the most out of it.  For now—rather than doing weekly calls—we will offer 2 review sessions. 

In addition, we will hold 1 webinar going over the basics of planning for an online form project. This will be to cover all the aspects of succesful enterprise document assembly projects and all the components needed to distribute, evaluate, maintain, support end users relying on online forms to create their legal documents.  This project planning and best practices call will be on 12/12 at 2 pm EST.

Course Overview
  • This beginner's training covers how to use HotDocs and A2J Author to create basic online forms powered by LawHelp Interactive including the DAT feature of A2J Author.  Participants will be asked to view pre-recorded video lessons before each meeting, be given exercises to complete, and then invited to come to a class to discuss the homework and share what has learned from the lesson and ask questions. You will learn the core skills you need to create a simple form. We will use a divorce form as the example and for homework.
  • This course will not teach you how to draft legal forms, how to plan projects, how to fund or evaluate projects. It is a technical training. It teaches you how to create forms with specific software to host in LawHelp Interactive. If you want to learn more about those topics, Join us on 12/12 at 2 pm EST and we will do a review of best practices when planning and managing a project. You also can visit the project planning folders in the LHI Resource Center Library. 
  • A sample training agenda from the beginner's 2018 online training series can be found here (requires password). 
  • You can watch the 2020 series if you want to see what to expect for the 2023 remote series. To complete the series on your own, you will need between 25-30 hours, with 4-6 hours on average per week including watching the training videos and doing the homework.  We recommend you join us for this session because it will be more updated than the 2021 or 2020 online series posted. The next training will be in 2023.
Who Can Attend the Training?

Courts and legal nonprofits and their partners can register for free and there are no limits on attendees. If your program wants to bring a team to do this as a cohort, we welcome you. Once groups complete the training they can explore subscribing to differet LHI Creator packages. Those interested should email Claudia Johnson at  We offer different packages and would love to hear your vision for your project and work with you in identifying the right scope of plan and support services. .


Please fill out the form below if you want to reserve your seat.

Registration and Logistics
  • Sign up using our registration form, [link here] Those who registered will be receiving a confirmation email within 3 days during working days.
  • The registration email will contain important instructions on what you need to complete before the first class, including how to install the software that you will need to follow the class. We expect everyone to install the software on their laptops before they start watching the videos. Do not leave getting the software to the last minute. It will take a few days to do, and it might set you behind if you don't start right away.
  • Registration will close 5  days before first technical call session. Getting the discounted software might take up to 7 or more days. So please start that process as soon as we register you, so you can install it and also do the homework before the class.  
Obtaining Forms Authoring Software to Participate

Once your registration is confirmed, you will need to do the following in this suggested order. The sooner you start the better.

  1. Obtain a deeply discounted licence of  HotDocs (HD) Developer from Claret. They licence for the HotDocs Developer Classic software (Version 11) and make sure you have it installed in the computer you will use to create your forms. To see if you qualify for a discount, please sign up here.  Please start this process as soon as you are registered in the training. It can 7 or more days to obtain the discounted licence.
  2. Register for A2J Author by signing up here. You will need this for the A2J Author lessons. You'll get an email with further instructions once you have been authenticated.
  3. Enroll as a 'Developer' in LawHelp Interactive here. Sign up, choose 'Developer' as your account type, be sure you pick your organization, developer group, and state. If your organization is not listed in LHI, please email us and we will add it. 
  4. Download a copy of the Montana Petition for Divorce from here. This is a document we will automate as a group during the training.
  5. Download a copy of New York Consumer Debt Answer Form from here. This is a second document we will automate during the training.
  6. Join the document assembly listservs and this LHI Resource Center to get connected with the LHI Developer community and additional resources. 

We appreciate your interest in our training! For questions about the training, please contact Claudia Johnson,


September 20, 2023

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