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Ten Tips for Vermonts Advocates Ten Tips for Vermonts Advocates September 11, 2007 www.lsntap.org.

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Presentation on theme: "Ten Tips for Vermonts Advocates Ten Tips for Vermonts Advocates September 11, 2007 www.lsntap.org."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ten Tips for Vermonts Advocates Ten Tips for Vermonts Advocates September 11, 2007

2 Ten Tips for Legal Aid Advocates Efficiency is intelligent laziness." - Anonymous

3 Overview of 10 Tips Tip 1: Statewide Website for Referrals & Brief Service Tip 2: Statewide Website for Advocates Tip 3: Statewide Website for Pro Bono Tip 4: Statewide Website – Make it Work Tip 5: Wikis -- Instant Websites for Collaboration

4 Overview of 10 Tips Tip 6: RSS to Manage Information Tip 7: LegalMeetings Web Conferencing Tip 8: Online Meeting Schedulers Tip 9: Poverty Law Survey Tool Tip 10: YouSendIt

5 Tips 1 – 3: Develop Your Statewide Website to Be Strong Tools How many of you use it now…Daily? Weekly? Monthly? How many of you use it now…Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Review SWEB Speak: Review SWEB Speak: Client or Public website Client or Public website Advocate or Private website Advocate or Private website Pro bono website (often ties into the advocate website) Pro bono website (often ties into the advocate website)

6 Statewide websites are simply tools to help us achieve the goals of our programs.

7 Your Delivery Systems Hotline Hotline Intake System (Centralized, state-wide, program specific) Intake System (Centralized, state-wide, program specific) Brief Services Brief Services Client and Public Education Client and Public Education Direct Representation by Staff Attorneys Direct Representation by Staff Attorneys Direct Representation by Pro Bono Attorneys Direct Representation by Pro Bono Attorneys Where can the website improve your existing tools?

8 Client Sites: Statewide Websites

9 Tip 1: Client Sites for Hotlines & Intake Use online content to: Use online content to: Help some clients prepare for intake, interviews and answer questions. Help some clients prepare for intake, interviews and answer questions. - How to Call - What documents to bring Provide better explanations of the services you do and do not provide. Provide better explanations of the services you do and do not provide.

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12 Example: Website in Practice Georgia: Lucille Wright has been with Georgia Legal Services Program for 25 years. She welcomes the website and the information it it provides to callers the GLSP cannot serve. In the Augusta office Lucille uses the website everyday during client intake.

13 Next Steps Partner with hotline/intake staff to determine whether clients have Internet access, new legal issues for content and feedback about how people found the website. Partner with hotline/intake staff to determine whether clients have Internet access, new legal issues for content and feedback about how people found the website. Add detailed information to help people understand when and how to call. Add detailed information to help people understand when and how to call. Make sure referral organizations and your own organizations share website address with the public. Make sure referral organizations and your own organizations share website address with the public.

14 Use Website for Brief Service Website provides clients (and advocates) forms to download and complete when doing assisted pro se/brief service. Website provides clients (and advocates) forms to download and complete when doing assisted pro se/brief service. Use the website at clinics to print forms and packets as needed clinics. Use the website at clinics to print forms and packets as needed clinics. Refer clients to the website for further research/understanding on issues. Refer clients to the website for further research/understanding on issues.

15 Statewide Website in Practice Washington We download forms from the site and type onto them when doing brief service for clients. Access the website while at legal clinics and print packets or forms which are given to the clients and explain to them.

16 Tip 2: Use Advocate Website From This to This…

17 The Advocate Web

18 Advocate Site in Practice Minnesota: Larry McDonough from Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance is the statewide expert of eviction defense. He has collected hundreds unreported eviction defenses cases as well as authored the statewide Eviction Defense manual. Before the launch of attorneys from around the state called Larry to request fax copies of these cases as well as hard copies of his manual. Now legal services staff from all across the state search and download the cases and manual without needing to contact Larry directly, and Larry can make updates instantly available through the site.

19 Examples of Online Tools On Statewide Advocate Web Library (training manuals, sample briefs, motions letters) Library (training manuals, sample briefs, motions letters) Calendar (trainings, events) Calendar (trainings, events) News (substantive news feeds, statewide or program news ) News (substantive news feeds, statewide or program news ) Statewide legal services attorney directory or roster Statewide legal services attorney directory or roster Lists Lists Various components to support work of taskforces Various components to support work of taskforces

20 The Advocate Library Access to the knowledge of other attorneys Access to the knowledge of other attorneys Research Research Sample pleadings, motions, etc. Sample pleadings, motions, etc. Manuals Manuals Trainings materials Trainings materials Organized into a updateable, searchable system (saved for all time) Organized into a updateable, searchable system (saved for all time) Removes inefficiency of a paper-based system Removes inefficiency of a paper-based system

21 Calendar, Directories Provides central locations for key information. Provides central locations for key information. Content management system provides mechanism for continual updates and increased efficiency. Content management system provides mechanism for continual updates and increased efficiency. Helps to build community and collaboration between separate offices and programs. Helps to build community and collaboration between separate offices and programs.

22 Advocate Site in Practice Wisconsin: Attorneys, law students and volunteers were frustrated by the complicated system they were using to set-up appointments with clients at a law school clinic. To solve the issue they developed a calendar and security system on the advocate website to schedule and share appointment information. With web-based access to the calendar, law students, pro bono attorneys and supervising attorneys can all see when are where appointments are scheduled and access certain information to prepare for meeting with clients. The response to this system has been very positive and many advocates became invested in other aspects of the advocate website because of this helpful feature.

23 Tip 3: Pro Bono Website

24 Benefits of Pro Bono Website Allows for rapid communication with pro bono volunteers. Allows for rapid communication with pro bono volunteers. Allows attorneys to search for cases they are interested in Allows attorneys to search for cases they are interested in Connects volunteers and clients based on interests and needs. Connects volunteers and clients based on interests and needs. Builds a community of volunteers Builds a community of volunteers Helps to track program activities and outcomes. Helps to track program activities and outcomes.

25 Pro Bono Case Listings List case summaries by substantive area or location List case summaries by substantive area or location Provides organization and contact information Provides organization and contact information

26 Pro Bono Site in Action California (San Francisco): San Francisco Bar Associations Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP) recruits 35% of their new volunteers through the Internet, including their probono.net/sf site. The VLSP Business Law pro bono program sends 5-12 case placement s a month to volunteers through the probono.net Mailings tool, and reports a success rate of 95% - 99%. They now place almost all of their programs cases through probono.net/sf/nonprofit. Only occasionally does it take more than one to place a case. probono.net/sf/nonprofit

27 More Tips on Envisioning Your Site: Webcasts Tool to provide technical support to pro bono advocates, particularly when they are supplemented by other training materials. Tool to provide technical support to pro bono advocates, particularly when they are supplemented by other training materials. A window to new areas of practice to increase volunteer interest A window to new areas of practice to increase volunteer interest Dont require advocates to travel to trainings Dont require advocates to travel to trainings Can be watched at any time or multiple times Can be watched at any time or multiple times

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29 /E-Newsletters Build a sense of community among your pro bono advocates Build a sense of community among your pro bono advocates Include volunteer profiles to encourage participation Include volunteer profiles to encourage participation Update advocates about upcoming trainings and new resources Update advocates about upcoming trainings and new resources

30 SWEB in Practice New York:http://www.law.com/jsp/nylj/probono.jsp For the past 5 years, probono.net/ny has sent a monthly training e-calendar to over 7500 registered members. Now, through syndication of relevant advocate website content, pro bono organizations in New York City are reaching private bar attorneys that might otherwise have reached their doors. This partnership with American Lawyer Media resulted in the creation of a new Pro Bono area on a popular legal website for New York lawyers that incorporates the probono.net/ny training calendar (http://www.probono.net/ny/nylj_calendar.cfm) and Pro Bono Opportunities Guide (http://www.probono.net/ny/nylj_oppsguide.cfm)

31 A Look to Whats Possible Illniois Legal Aid Online): Illinois pro bono site is smart. Like Amazon, it starts to recommend cases to the pro bono lawyer based on their clicks and noted interests.

32 Tip 4: Make it Work for You Example: Website integration with case management – website content and case management content available through 1 entry point. Example: Website integration with case management – website content and case management content available through 1 entry point. Try new ways to gather content: Try new ways to gather content: Example: Wikis Example: Wikis

33 Tip 5: Wikis for Collaboration A wiki is a web site that is created and edited collaboratively. A wiki is a web site that is created and edited collaboratively. (Wiki means quick in Hawaiian!) (Wiki means quick in Hawaiian!)

34 What is a wiki? A website that you (or anyone) can add content to very easily. A website that you (or anyone) can add content to very easily. Although it is web-based, no coding or technical knowledge is required. Although it is web-based, no coding or technical knowledge is required.

35 Arkansas Legal Services The Problem The pro bono organizations mailed to every pro bono attorney a huge binder of a printed version of the poverty law manual ( a manual w/ 10 sections pretty much following the major categories we deal with nationally such as Landlord/Tenant and Family law....) The pro bono organizations mailed to every pro bono attorney a huge binder of a printed version of the poverty law manual ( a manual w/ 10 sections pretty much following the major categories we deal with nationally such as Landlord/Tenant and Family law....) Cost for mailing and printing was enormous, plus it got out of date pretty quickly since it was focused on the advocate providing a lot of case law. Cost for mailing and printing was enormous, plus it got out of date pretty quickly since it was focused on the advocate providing a lot of case law.

36 Interim Solution The manual was then converted to PDF and put on the website. But PDF is bulky and takes a while to load... The manual was then converted to PDF and put on the website. But PDF is bulky and takes a while to load... Additionally, the website coordinator could not continue to keep it updated – just too much in addition to my other jobs.. Additionally, the website coordinator could not continue to keep it updated – just too much in addition to my other jobs..

37 The Solution A wiki that will be limited to the pro bono and legal services community with the hopes that the community will edit and update. A wiki that will be limited to the pro bono and legal services community with the hopes that the community will edit and update. https://povertylawmanual.wikispaces.com/

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39 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The Problem Telephone Intake manual and Staff manual required constant changes to a printed manual. Telephone Intake manual and Staff manual required constant changes to a printed manual. Staff manual -- everyone throughout the program had different versions, depending on which updates they had actually kept. Staff manual -- everyone throughout the program had different versions, depending on which updates they had actually kept.

40 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The Solution I checked out the NTAP info on wikis, and was drawn by the claim that creating a wiki could be as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich. I figured Id see if that was true, and it was.I checked out the NTAP info on wikis, and was drawn by the claim that creating a wiki could be as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich. I figured Id see if that was true, and it was.

41 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania Now, a wiki with: Organizational information Organizational information Help Line Manual Help Line Manual Staff Directory Staff Directory Substantive Law resources Substantive Law resources Other Resources Other Resources

42 Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The Problem A printed manual that needed updating and additional information, cost of printing and mailing. A printed manual that needed updating and additional information, cost of printing and mailing. Do you see a theme….?

43 Michigan Reentry Law Wiki Michigan Reentry Law Wiki

44 Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The Result Extensive content, links to other websites, documents uploaded. Extensive content, links to other websites, documents uploaded. 20 editors, an editor training…3 contributors. 20 editors, an editor training…3 contributors.

45 Wiki Ideas for You Co-authored manuals Co-authored manuals Statewide planning or task force coordination and minutes-tracking Statewide planning or task force coordination and minutes-tracking Dynamic content that is not finalized for the website Dynamic content that is not finalized for the website

46 Wiki Resources… | Click on Wikis! What is a Wiki & Why Do I Care? What is a Wiki & Why Do I Care? Selecting Wiki Hosting Selecting Wiki Hosting Wikis for Poverty Law Wikis for Poverty Law Getting Started with Your Wiki -- Tips Getting Started with Your Wiki -- Tips

47 Tip 6: RSS Managing Information Overload

48 How Do You Get Online? MOZILLA FIREFOX MOZILLA FIREFOX INTERNET EXPLORER

49 It takes 2 minutes to download.

50 Easy to use and improves your efficiency. Tabbed browsing Easy creation of folders for bookmarks LiveFeeds: A folder the stores your RSS Why Mozilla?… Internet at your Fingers

51 Power of RSS What if the Web Came to You?! RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is simply a technology that allows you to – with a couple clicks -- subscribe to online information, news, blogs, and content. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is simply a technology that allows you to – with a couple clicks -- subscribe to online information, news, blogs, and content. Have you seen its logo? = content you can subscribe to. Have you seen its logo? = content you can subscribe to. Vocabulary: A Feed is content that is fed to you. (It is a piece of code that will deliver that content to you.) Vocabulary: A Feed is content that is fed to you. (It is a piece of code that will deliver that content to you.)

52 What Can Be RSSd? News News Blogs Blogs Video Video Online Tools (Del.icio.us) Online Tools (Del.icio.us) MOST ANYTHING ON THE WEB MOST ANYTHING ON THE WEB

53 Where Can You Have RSS Delivered? RSS can be received in your browser. RSS can be received in your browser. RSS can be received in your inbox. RSS can be received in your inbox. RSS can be received on a webpage. RSS can be received on a webpage.

54 Finding Feeds 1. Easy: Look for the RSS logo: 1. Easy: Look for the RSS logo: 2. Both Google Reader & MyYahoo have built-in feed searches 2. Both Google Reader & MyYahoo have built-in feed searches 3. If you know the javascript (code that tells the web to bring it to you), you can cut and paste it into your browser (or website). 3. If you know the javascript (code that tells the web to bring it to you), you can cut and paste it into your browser (or website).

55 Anything can be RSSd (or subscribed to). Even my GMAIL Account. See the Orange RSS symbol in the address bar? Click it. A popup window appears asking where you want it to go. Click OK Mine goes in a folder called LiveFeeds in my Bookmark Toolbar.

56 Feeds for Advocates Feeds for Advocates Feeds for Advocates Center on Budget & Policy Priorities Center on Budget & Policy PrioritiesCenter on Budget & Policy PrioritiesCenter on Budget & Policy Priorities CLASP Feeds (several feeds on various topics) CLASP Feeds (several feeds on various topics)CLASP Feeds CLASP Feeds National Health Law Program National Health Law ProgramNational Health Law ProgramNational Health Law Program US Government Feed Library US Government Feed LibraryUS Government Feed LibraryUS Government Feed Library Legal Services of Northern California Advocate Feed Legal Services of Northern California Advocate FeedLegal Services of Northern California Advocate FeedLegal Services of Northern California Advocate Feed Recent US Supreme Court Opinions Recent US Supreme Court OpinionsRecent US Supreme Court OpinionsRecent US Supreme Court Opinions NLADAs Equal Justice News NLADAs Equal Justice NewsNLADAs Equal Justice NewsNLADAs Equal Justice News CNN Law Feed CNN Law FeedCNN Law FeedCNN Law Feed Law.com Newswire Law.com NewswireLaw.com NewswireLaw.com Newswire

57 Tip 6.5: RSS Aggregators What if you only went to ONE site for ALL news feeds you wanted?

58 An Example of Aggregator: Google Directory Provides a directory of resources by topic for you to pick from. Google Directory is a directory of all news readers -- in other words, all news that can be subscribed to, you can search and pick what you want.

59 -- You can SEARCH for news. -- You can have the news come to you via RSS What if you dont care about the source as much as the specific news content type? SEARCH on GOOGLE NEWS for the content type you want and ALL news anywhere will be brought to you via RSS. For example, Vermont Legal Aid Opposing Counsel Name

60 Feed Aggregators MyYahoo.com: ability to control number of items per feed, move up/move down. MyYahoo.com: ability to control number of items per feed, move up/move down. Google Reader: folders, personalized home page, feeds integrated Google Reader: folders, personalized home page, feeds integrated NetVibes.com: create your own custom newspaper NetVibes.com: create your own custom newspaper MyFeedz.com: combines RSS feeds with social bookmarking MyFeedz.com: combines RSS feeds with social bookmarking

61 Your Own Personal Newspaper Netvibes or iGoogle

62 Netvibes.Com Take all the feeds and create your own online newspaper -- takes 2 min!

63 Poverty Law Newspaper You can have tabs to your paper. We created a Poverty Law Newspaper.

64 Additional Resources | Click RSS! RSS for Advocates: Everything You Need to Know RSS for Advocates: Everything You Need to Know RSS section of the LSNTAP Tech Library RSS section of the LSNTAP Tech Library Great Resources for Poverty Law Related RSS Great Resources for Poverty Law Related RSS

65 Tip 7: LegalMeetings GoToMeeting Web Conferencing… GoToMeeting Web Conferencing… LegalMeetings uses web conferencing to allow people to share documents, train, meet, collaborate, and receive support -- remotely. LegalMeetings uses web conferencing to allow people to share documents, train, meet, collaborate, and receive support -- remotely.

66 Lets Learn from Georgia In 2006, the Georgia Legal Services Program conducted 157 online meetings using LegalMeetings, 47 of which were to train their staff on new case management software, Legal Server. In 2006, the Georgia Legal Services Program conducted 157 online meetings using LegalMeetings, 47 of which were to train their staff on new case management software, Legal Server. NTAP analyzed the cost savings to GLSP for those 47 trainings only and found that GLSP had a cost savings estimated at $23, of staff time alone by using LegalMeetings Web Conferencing. NTAP analyzed the cost savings to GLSP for those 47 trainings only and found that GLSP had a cost savings estimated at $23, of staff time alone by using LegalMeetings Web Conferencing. If every one of the 157 meetings conducted by Georgia Legal Services Program assumed the same staff and travel time as the Legal Server trainings, Georgia would have saved $78,186.00! If every one of the 157 meetings conducted by Georgia Legal Services Program assumed the same staff and travel time as the Legal Server trainings, Georgia would have saved $78,186.00!

67 LegalMeetings… No more…what page number? No more…what page number? No more…where on our site is it? No more…where on our site is it? No more…which are you referring to? I dont have that attachment. Can you it to me again? No more…which are you referring to? I dont have that attachment. Can you it to me again? No more…did you get that in taking notes? No more…did you get that in taking notes?

68 LegalMeetings in Poverty Law Legal Aid Western Ohio: train 10 AmeriCorps attorneys across the state on consumer law once a week & review briefs. Legal Aid Western Ohio: train 10 AmeriCorps attorneys across the state on consumer law once a week & review briefs. North Penn Legal Services: technical support on call by advocates. North Penn Legal Services: technical support on call by advocates. Community Legal Services Mid Florida: hotline attorney trainings Community Legal Services Mid Florida: hotline attorney trainings California Rural Legal Assistance: advocate meetings across offices California Rural Legal Assistance: advocate meetings across offices National Health Law Program: national trainings / webinars National Health Law Program: national trainings / webinars

69 LegalMeetings Resources Getting Started & How Tos Getting Started & How Tos Signing Up for the Service Signing Up for the Service Trainings & Tutorials Trainings & Tutorials

70 Tip 8: Poverty Law Surveys

71 Power of Surveys Tool to return to Community Lawyering Tool to return to Community Lawyering Instant feedback for management, organizational development, fundraising, technology evaluation, services evaluation, and priority setting Instant feedback for management, organizational development, fundraising, technology evaluation, services evaluation, and priority setting More accurate than web tracking forms More accurate than web tracking forms

72 Power of Online Surveys Cheap, Relatively Easy, Fast Cheap, Relatively Easy, Fast Lots of features -- Create surveys where: Lots of features -- Create surveys where: anyone can respond as many times as they like; anyone can respond as many times as they like; only invited persons can respond; only invited persons can respond; a person can only respond only once; a person can only respond only once; in other languages; in other languages; anonymous surveys are sent in; anonymous surveys are sent in; participants go to a URL or respond to an ; participants go to a URL or respond to an ; prior surveys can be reused and edited; prior surveys can be reused and edited; data is analyzed instantly online or downloaded to a spreadsheet or graph. data is analyzed instantly online or downloaded to a spreadsheet or graph.

73 Examples of Surveys for Poverty Law Technology Evaluation Technology Evaluation Community Based Priority Setting Community Based Priority Setting Outcome Assessment & Satisfaction of Services (Clinics, Hotline, Representation) Outcome Assessment & Satisfaction of Services (Clinics, Hotline, Representation) Fundraising Fundraising Volunteer Recruitment Volunteer Recruitment Staff Input (Retreats, Conferences, Training) Staff Input (Retreats, Conferences, Training) Task Force or Committee Planning Task Force or Committee Planning

74 Poverty Law Surveys

75 Poverty Law Surveys Sign Up: Sign Up: More info: More info: New Development -- will be upgraded by October 2007! Easier to Use. New Development -- will be upgraded by October 2007! Easier to Use.

76 Tip 9: Meetings and Phones Meet-o-Matic (www.meet-o-matic.com) Meet-o-Matic (www.meet-o-matic.com)www.meet-o-matic.com MeetingWizard (www.meetingwizard.com) MeetingWizard (www.meetingwizard.com)www.meetingwizard.com Free Conference.Com (www.freeconference.com) Free Conference.Com (www.freeconference.com)www.freeconference.com GotVoice (www.gotvoice.com) GotVoice (www.gotvoice.com)www.gotvoice.com Voic transferred to your Voic transferred to your

77 A Look at MeetingWizard More Resources:

78 Tip 10: YouSendIt Send Large Files Easily

79 YouSendIt: Send Large Files Free (limited features) Can send a large file to another person without inbox limitations.

80 Questions?


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