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Websites: Innovations in Meeting Client and Pro Bono Needs March 22, 2007 Equal Justice Conference Denver, Colorado.

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Presentation on theme: "Websites: Innovations in Meeting Client and Pro Bono Needs March 22, 2007 Equal Justice Conference Denver, Colorado."— Presentation transcript:

1 Websites: Innovations in Meeting Client and Pro Bono Needs March 22, 2007 Equal Justice Conference Denver, Colorado

2 Presenters: Liz Keith, Circuit Rider Pro Bono Net Becky Levine, Program Manager Legal Services Natl. Technology Assistance Project (NTAP) Alison Sclater, New York Program Coordinator, Pro Bono Net Marlene Halpern, Supervising Attorney for Pro Bono, The Legal Aid Society (New York City)

3 Introduction to Statewide Websites

4 Project history LSC Technology Initiative Grant program (TIG) established to encourage use of tech to strengthen delivery systems of state justice communities Statewide websites were one funding category Envisioned as the backbone of state justice communities technological capacities and essential to expanding access to and quality of legal services. TIG has funded development of two templates – LawHelp (PBN) and OST (Kaivo) TIG has also supported adaptation and implementation by states

5 Statewide website goals One tech platform supports all programs in each state Statewide collaboration by all major access-to-justice players in each state Create pathway that millions of low-income people can use to find help with legal problems Support networks of legal aid advocates Expand use of private attorneys – full representation Aggregate and share content statewide Platform for rolling out future innovations

6 Client sites Credible, reliable information Free – no membership or subscription Designed for easy use and navigation Easy to read Part of national network What do we mean by a statewide website?

7 Other examples


9 Advocate sites Support for attorneys through knowledge- sharing and networking

10 Other examples

11 Where are we today? LSC TIG funding has supported 53 states and territories in developing statewide websites from Maine to Micronesia, from Florida to Alaska. 52 live sites for the public 6 live public sites in non- English languages 28 live sites for advocates 17 live sites with content for pro bono attorneys Views – and uses -- of technology by clients, staff and pro bono are changing

12 Trends in technology use Who is online? Internet penetration has reached 73% for all American adults (Pew Internet and American Life Project, April 2006) 36% of households with incomes less than $25,000 have access to the Internet (Pew Internet and American Life Project, May 2005) 40% of adults with less than a high school education use the Internet (Pew Internet and American Life Project, April 2006) Low income people tend to use Internet for self-betterment (jobs, school) and expanding networks and information (The Childrens Partnership, Online Content for Low Income and Underserved Americans) States with highest Internet penetration?

13 Trends in technology use Implications for pro bono programs: 84% of Internet users belong to an online community Nearly 50 million people joined a group after becoming aware of it through browsing online (including groups that predate the Internet)

14 Trends in technology use for pro bono I would use an internet-based system to search for work (52%) I would use an internet training and online resource systems (46%) I would register for an internet-based system that matched me with clients (42%) -- The Future of Pro Bono in New York, New York State Unified Courts, January 2004

15 Key Growth State in SWEB USage In 2006: LawHelp public sites received over 2.7 million visits, a 32% increase over 2005 Pro Bono Net advocate sites received 1.6 million visits, a 216% increase over 2005 Advocate sites support more than 30,000 legal aid staff and pro bono attorneys around the country

16 New Developments in Statewide Websites The last 2-3 years there has been an evolution of online content. Web 2.0 and increased ability for people to add their own content Multimedia Interactivity

17 Developments on Statewide websites Multimedia Webcasting Video Flash animation Audio Interactive guides and form completion Online intake systems RSS News Feeds

18 Webcasting What is webcasting? Webcasting allows statewide website administrators to capture and stream live or archived audiovisual content over the internet. Using a Flash-based tool created by Illinois Legal Aid Online, a user can webcast content using only a webcam and a laptop with a broadband internet connection. Potential uses of this tool include producing online trainings for legal services advocates and pro bono attorneys, as well as developing pro se content for clients.

19 Webcasting Uses Webcast live attorney trainings for people in other locations. Archive trainings for later review. Many programs offer CLE credits Webcast public education trainings for posting on the public website. Be sure to review whether the live training works as a video for later viewing (how long is it, can you hear the speaker, is the speaker within view, etc.)

20 More Webcasting examples Illinois: Georgia and New York advocate websites have also launched webcasting.

21 Video…

22 More video examples: Illinois going to court video – Produced video (script, actors, video shoots (permissions, edited with video editing and sound software.) Illinois going to court video – Watch and learn web videos

23 Animation Explain complex issues Dynamic Attracts attention Flash most common on websites. Allows a cheaper and easier to format option (rather than video).

24 Animation Example – How to Use this Site – Flash Animation

25 Interactive Animation Allows a person to respond and interact.

26 A2J What is A2J? Developed by the Center for Access to Justice and Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law Software to develop custom user-friendly interfaces for document assembly Leads users through an interview with visual and audio cues Compatible with Hotdocs and coming soon – case management software

27 A2J in use: some examples Iowa Remote Intake

28 RSS News Feeds RSS – Really simple syndication News feeds that can be brought into your website that include a headline but link to original source for the the content of the news item.

29 How does it work RSS News feeds generated by organizations are posted in the RSS news aggregator on lstech: These news feeds can appear on your statewide website. The story headline appears and then links off to the site that generated the news story.

30 What national content feeds are available? News feeds 15 substantive law specific feeds from CLASP NLADA – Equal Justice News Brennan Center News LSC announcements, updates and Equal Justice Magazine Lstech News


32 Want to learn more? Visit: - More information is available Statewide Websites RSS XML and Tech Standards Wikis and Internet Tools Visit the Pro Bono Net SWEB Library (requires membership) - Watch and Learn: Nuts and Bolts of Multimedia Content – Online Training from February

33 Building a collaborative website The New York Pro Bono Center Experience

34 NYC Pro Bono Center Online pro bono resource center developed by the City Bar Justice Center, The Legal Aid Society and Pro Bono Net Goal: To increase pro bono participation in NYC How: Provide pro bono information and resources in organized, easy-to-access format

35 Site Features: Calendar Calendar of trainings and other events

36 Site Features: News News about pro bono and activities in NYC Volunteer recognition articles Monthly e-newsletter sent to all site members

37 Site Features: Library Library of training and other background or sample materials, including webcasts

38 Site Features: Cases Listing of cases in need of pro bono counsel

39 Site Features: Listservs listservs for information-sharing and mentoring

40 Value of site for pro bono programs in NYC Recruitment of new attorneys (and those new to pro bono) Efficient means to distribute training materials and post cases Centralized roster of attorneys interested in pro bono Enhanced communication Mailings to site members Listserv for pro bono staff at public interest organizations to post questions and share information Publicity tool for pro bono victories and accomplishment

41 How we built it Incorporated existing News and Calendar pages from Building the library Recruited law firm to convert hard copy materials to electronic format Uploaded initial slate of library materials as entire collection, rather than one by one Recruiting members Created auto-memberships for current volunteers with the City Bar and Legal Aid Promoted through donated online ads Demonstrations for law firms

42 …and the challenges along the way Creating internal structure at host organizations programs to take on new responsibility Working collaboratively Recruiting a law firm to assist with the library Varied structure and format of training materials

43 Successes since October launch Membership has grown from 1,100 at launch to more than 1,700 Continuing to create memberships for training participants and law firm associate classes Additional pro bono programs are participating Posting materials Webcasting trainings 5,000 site visits 300 webcast views

44 Ongoing challenges Staffing of maintenance tasks Keeping content fresh through regular updates Working collaboratively with non-host organizations Placing cases

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