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Creative Uses of Technology in Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project

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Presentation on theme: "Creative Uses of Technology in Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project"— Presentation transcript:

1 Creative Uses of Technology in Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project

2 Overview of Session & Panel Iowas Remote Intake Project: Eve Ricaurte Ohios Integration of HotDocs with Case Management and Word: Cynthia Vaughn Illinois Smart Websites: Gwen Daniels Illinois Video and Webcast: Gwen Daniels

3 What Well Learn What each project is Why it was created…what problem it was intended to solve? Lessons learned and comments Technology or delivery system implications

4 Quick Poll: How Many Have…. Use the Quick Poll feature to indicate … 1.Heard about Iowas Remote Intake Project? 2.Know what A2J is? 3. Begun discussion or planning for your own remote intake project?

5 Iowas Remote Intake Project Eve Ricaurte Pro Se Coordinator, Iowa Legal Aid

6 Iowa Legal Aids Remote Intake Project A pilot project funded by an LSC Technology (TIG) grant The Remote Intake project started as part of major technology upgrade including addition of the LawHelp website and formation of a unified intake system. The idea was to help ease the load of the intake hotline.

7 Goals of the Project To direct people to Iowa Legal Aids online resources for answers to questions where only information is needed To divert those with problems not handled by Iowa Legal Aid to other sources of help To allow potential clients to complete an application online from remote sites

8 Iowa Legal Aid Self Help Center Help Center This is a password protected program page on Iowas LawHelp website First a video shows users how to navigate the website to find information The design encourages the user to first look at information on the LawHelp site The second video explains the online intake process and at the end of that video the user arrives at the intake interview




12 A2J Interview A2J Interview A new use for A2J, no documents involved Questions take the user through types of cases and eligibility issues that would not result in intake if at a legal aid office on the phone Those who cannot be served are directed to other agency websites Help with the interview is offered through the LiveHelp chat feature

13 Income eligibility is determined before personal information is gathered If the person does not have a the type of case Iowa Legal Aid can accept, or does not financially qualify, none of the information is saved If the applicant completes the application it is sent to the case management system, Pika It will reside in a separate database until conflicts are cleared



16 Issues & Lessons Learned The biggest hurdle has been the programming of the A2J variables to work with the Pika case management system A2J output is designed for HotDocs and is not in LS-XML format Once all issues are resolved, the interview will be available for other programs LiveHelp is available now

17 Questions? Eve Ricaurte Pro Se Coordinator Iowa Legal Aid Liz Keith Pro Bono Net Pat McClintock Deputy Director Iowa Legal Aid Kate Bladow Pro Bono Net

18 Next: HotDocs Integration Quick Poll: How many… Have heard of HotDocs? …of NPADO? Are developing HotDocs forms using NPADO? How many of you are considering integrating HotDocs into your Case Management Systems and Word Processing Systems?

19 Tools for Volunteers & Assisted Pro Se Advocates Using Document Assembly Cynthia Vaughn, Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation

20 In this section.. Quickly review HotDocs and NPADO A Look at Integration of HotDocs in Ohio: –Word Processing for Advocates –Pika Case Management System Lessons Learned

21 What is Document Assembly? Automated production of standard documents by filling in variable information into fields Uses bridging logic to create dialog flow One answer can fill in multiple fields saving time and keystrokes Allows you to save answers to use again for current and future documents

22 Used By Advocates, Volunteers & Assisted Pro Se Clients LSCs Technology Initiative Grant program was funded by Congress to concentrate on pro se assistance and improve access to justice HotDocs grants so far have been to do pro se forms and in some cases (Ohio), for use by advocates

23 National Legal Services Document Assembly Server (HotDocs) Donation of HotDocs Online Server and software by LexisNexis (a.k.a. NPADO) Project of Ohio State Legal Services Association which was funded by TIG Free for use by any non-profit legal service program

24 NPADO Projects HotDocs Document Assembly Templates Create Word (or WordPerfect) Documents

25 NPADO Projects (continued) Pro Se Templates in Use: Montanas Dissolution & Parenting Plan

26 The Access to Justice (A2J) Author is a software tool that allows non- technical authors from the courts, clerks offices, legal service programs and website editors to build customer friendly interfaces to HotDocs document assembly templates. A2J Interface NPADO Projects (continued)

27 A Look at Integration in Ohio: Microsoft Word and CMS

28 Fast and Easy HotDocs HotDocs launches from the tool bar in any Word document by clicking on the BIG RED D…

29 The library of available templates (by county) are opened for the user. The user can select the template they want to complete by highlighting it and clicking assemble (or by double-clicking on the template). Fast and Easy HotDocs (continued)

30 The user then creates an answer file for each client. The answer file saves answers to each respective question of the dialog, going page-by-page until the template is complete. The answer file is saved using a standardized format such as lastname_firstname_Case Number Note: Each document template is modifiable to conform to local court rules. Fast and Easy HotDocs (continued)

31 Variable info is entered in user-friendly dialog boxes… Fast and Easy HotDocs (continued)

32 Staff attorney info is automatically stored Fast and Easy HotDocs (continued)

33 One click sends the completed document to Microsoft Word… Fast and Easy HotDocs (continued)

34 The finished document can be edited and printed as with any Word document! Fast and Easy HotDocs (continued)

35 Results of Using HotDocs! Average staff time to produce family law documents dropped by 36% two months after installation Number of separate drafting sessions per case to produce family law documents dropped from as many as 5 down to 1 per case

36 But Wait…Theres More!

37 Integration of Case Management with HotDocs We have developed the capability for advocates to seamlessly initiate the use of HotDocs from within Pika Case Management Software

38 Integration of Case Management with HotDocs (continued) This simple process saves time and keystrokes for the advocate…

39 Step 1: User initiates a case or matter in Pika. Step 2: User clicks on the Open Ohio DR Templates button from the Document Assembly page in Pika. Integration of Case Management with HotDocs (continued)

40 Step 3: Pika opens HotDocs on the users computer and downloads the Pika- created answer file to the users computer. Integration of Case Management with HotDocs (continued)

41 Step 4: Welcome Template opens in HotDocs (desktop version only at this time, with plans to integrate NPADO in the future). Integration of Case Management with HotDocs (continued)

42 Step 5: User chooses to run the Ohio DR Client Interview template, or, go to the HotDocs library. Integration of Case Management with HotDocs (continued)

43 Step 6A: User selects the Ohio DR Client Interview template. If the user selected the Ohio DR Client Interview template, when the user clicks Finish, the Client Interview will open in HotDocs and the Pika created answer file, with the data from Pika saved in it, will be loaded with the template. Integration of Case Management with HotDocs (continued) NOTE: After completing the Client Interview, users will be prompted to save the open answer file. You need to either select "Save" or "Save As" to ensure that the Pika data and any new data entered in the Client Interview is saved.

44 Step 6B: User selects Go To HotDocs Library. If the user selected Go To HotDocs Library, when the user clicks Finish, the user is returned to the open HotDocs library. Before continuing, the user will be prompted to save the answer file to ensure that the Pika data is saved for future use. Integration of Case Management with HotDocs (continued)

45 The user selects the Pika created answer file from the drop-down menu. The answer files should be listed in order from when created – most recent on top.

46 Integration of Case Management with HotDocs (continued) After selecting the appropriate answer file, the use will click "Ok" and the selected template(s) will open. The Pika data will display in interview screen fields.

47 Integration of Case Management with HotDocs (continued) Step 7: Continue use of HotDocs – opening/assembling templates, opening/saving answer files, and generating and reviewing Word processing documents. And thats really all there is to it

48 Lessons Learned from Ohio

49 Human Nature Resistance to change is a bigger problem than the technology. Fear creates resistance even when a new change can make life easier –Examples:

50 A Less Than Effective Approach HotDocs is what were using now and you have to start using it in your work. The hit them over the head approach doesnt work due to normal resistance to change.

51 HotDocs Training and Lessons Learned About Change People who have been trained to use HotDocs and Ohio DR Templates have stated that barriers to using the tool include, having to learn something new in the middle of an already stressful day and changing the way they have always done it. There is already a process in place that works for them and has for twenty years. If forms are NOT EXACTLY like what theyve done, they use it as an excuse not to use the software.

52 HotDocs as a Disruption Though HotDocs users understand that document assembly software can make life easier, some have resisted using it because it takes them out of their comfort zone. So the use of an analogy can help…the infomercial pitch approach.

53 Our Pitch What if I told you that HotDocs can help you create your legal documentation, …in less time, …when YOU want to, …with LESS stress?

54 The Tipping Point for Change and Acceptance Acknowledge that the introduction of HotDocs means users are stepping out of their comfort zone in the midst of chaotic workdays. Acknowledging that there is a cost to taking on this initiative, but using a practical and personal approach (e.g., doing documentation on your time) outweighs the cost in the long run.

55 Start Small Ex. When first starting out, use just one simple HotDocs form (Motion for Service) and see how that goes, but dont try using all of the forms right away because thats too much to bite off in the beginning.

56 Plan for Support to Expect Success Follow up with users after training and on an ongoing basis (calls to individual users, emails of support, additional training events, and promotion of new templates) Support with continued group contact and communication (monthly or bi-monthly Webex conference calls) Solicit ideas for more templates Develop new templates in various areas because users want templates that apply to what they work on not just what has been developed Expect resistance and go with it!

57 Questions? Together, we do the community justice. Thank you!

58 Next: Smart Websites Quick Poll: How many… Have used smart websites like Amazon.Com that recommend books or music based on your prior clicks? Are considering a smart website for advocates?

59 Smart Websites Illinois Legal Aid Online Gwen Daniels, Technology Director ILAO

60 Smart Websites Smart websites are those that take user data and automatically deliver relevant information back to the user to create a user-centric web page Very common in commercial websites like, Netflix, Google News Multiple ways to gather user data: automatically through clicks, through user profiles, or through user tags.

61 Redesign of IllinoisLegalAdvocate.Org Set out to create a new website that was more relevant to the individual advocate users and more resembled a commercial web portal Had three pieces of user data already: – Who they worked for – What practice areas they specialized in – What pieces of legal content they had visited on the advocate web sites since the original launch in 2002

62 Home Page Personalized features: –Recommended content looks at pieces of contents the user has looked at and recommends similar content based on what other users looked at and on the national index problem codes –My Program Space returns news, events, jobs, and volunteer opportunities tied to the user's organization username:; password is

63 –Recommended news returns news based on the user's selected practice areas or history from within the website's news library or from external RSS feeds and any general website news –Alerts highlights calendar events based on the user's practice area and history Home Page

64 Site Calendar Highlights Recommended Events

65 IllinoisProBono.Org Uses Volunteer Profile to Recommend Opportunities

66 How It Works All legal content, news, and calendar items are tagged to a national index problem code Uses relational database to track what pieces of content a user visits Uses relational database and registration form to track what topics a user is interested in With a small amount of programming, we were able to build relationships between content and user data to return personalized results As users use the site, the recommendations improve

67 Next: Video, Wink, Webcast Quick Poll… Know the difference between video, webcasting, and animation (wink)? Have produced video, wink, or webcasting to deliver information to advocates or clients? (Write in the chat what kind of content youve produced?)

68 Using Video To Deliver Information Video has become a mainstream technology for delivering content on the web. YouTube market reach in the last 15 months has gone from less than 1% to almost 10%

69 Advantages Of Video Can be a better format for individuals with low literacy Can demonstrate concepts that are hard to convey through text, such as how to do something Some users will learn better through video content than through text-only content

70 Disadvantages of Video Can be expensive and labor intensive to produce high quality scripted video Changes in information require re- shooting or editing out stale information Bandwidth costs and disk space needs are higher

71 Uses of Video In Legal Services Webcasting Produced Video Animated Video

72 Webcasting

73 What is Webcasting? Live webcasts allow a recorder to record a video stream using an inexpensive webcam and a web browser. Viewers can watch the live webcast through the same web page Video stream is saved on a server and available through another web page to be watched later An administrative tool allows us to add transcription and chapter video into multiple segments

74 Archived Webcast

75 Archive Builder

76 Benefits of Webcasting Easy to use. The webcast recorder only needs to schedule the event on the statewide website calendar, plug in a webcam and hit a record button. Inexpensive to use. The recorder only needs a web browser with the Flash player installed and a webcam (which costs about $80). Viewers only need a web browser with the Flash player. Requires no expensive video editing software. All editing is done through the Archive Builder

77 Where Can I Get It? The code has been made given to both Pro Bono Net and Kaivo. Contact them about when it will be available on your statewide website.

78 Produced Video Labor intensive and can be expensive to do well Requires video editing software to edit Higher quality video than the webcast system Good for procedural-type videos where the content is not as likely to become outdated

79 Illinois' Going To Court Videos

80 Animated Tutorials (Winks) Not really video Combines animation and audio to highlight information on web pages or to demonstrate how to do something in a web application or computer application Examples: how to use this site videos, features of this website videos, how to use a specific feature video, tutorials for how to use computer applications such as Office or your case management system. Can be created for free using Wink (

81 Sample tutorial

82 Questions? Gwen Daniels, Technology Director

83 Where is this information? Direct link: Click View Module

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