This is a feature that can be added to websites to provide real time assistance for website users, be they clients, advocates, or pro bono attorneys. It was piloted by programs in Montana and Iowa and is now used by several other states. Much has been learned by the community about how best to implement the project. Frequently asked questions and answers are available for editing in other states. For more information, visit LSNTap's LiveHelp Overview and the LiveHelp Project Manager’s Toolkit.
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This feature was first developed by LawHelp.org/NY and then replicated by PALawHelp.org. Many low income people must deal with complicated and intimidating court proceedings without counsel. By adding court material, these projects created a “one‐stop shopping” location for low income individuals with legal troubles, a single site where an individual with a legal need can go to find an attorney, learn about their rights, and get vital information about the court system, all in one place. The programs work closely with court staff to be sure the information is accurate and up to date.
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Utah Legal Services took a 1600 page Domestic Law Manual created in WordPerfect and moved it online to a Wiki. They found many advantages to this, including saving time with editing and being sure that everyone always had access the latest information. This wiki is used for staff and pro bono advocates.
Colorado Legal Services developed web‐based video content and technologies for use through the LawHelp.org (public) template to increase and enhance client services, and by replicating use of webcasting technologies previously available through the Colorado advocate website to create new content and resources for legal aid advocates. This webcasting tool for the LawHelp.org site is now available to legal aid programs nationwide who are using the LawHelp.org template. Programs now have the option to broadcast trainings live and/or to post trainings in video format onto their LawHelp.org (public) sites.
Legal Aid Society of Kentucky (LAS) produced twelve online educational videos for the Legal Aid Network of Kentucky website. Nine videos were targeted for pro se litigants in Kentucky, on the topics ranging from criminal record expungement, foreclosure, small claims, security deposits, eviction, and landlord-tenant law. Three videos included content useful to clients across the country that could be used on other state websites: Earned Income Tax Credit, bankruptcy law, and veterans’ benefits. LAS used law students to research and draft video scripts, and worked with staff and volunteer attorneys within their areas of expertise to review and edit the scripts. They replaced the traditional ‘talking head’ video format with Flash animated videos that are more instructional and effective in educating users. They have found that the new video resources are attracting an increased number of users to the website, and the users are then accessing other resources.
Kentucky Legal Aid built a “Tech Bridge” between Kemps Prime Case Management and Kentucky’s installation of the OST template so that Kentucky advocates have secure, one‐click, no password access to legal practice documents stored in the advocate library at the Legal Aid: Network of Kentucky Home Page. In surveys conducted after initial training sessions about how to use the new Tech Bridge, 67 percent of advocates said the new linkage helps them be more effective in their practice; 67 percent also said the Tech Bridge helped them be more efficient in completing their work.
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