August 4, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC--The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and LexisNexis are pleased to announce the launch of the HotDocs® Software Donation Program for legal aid programs that help the nation's poor. Under the program, LexisNexis will provide free HotDocs® software to eligible organizations.
HotDocs® is a software program that saves time by creating templates for documents that law offices use every day, such as court forms, real estate and lease agreements, contracts, proposals, correspondence, compliance reports and other material. Once templates are automated, they can be used to produce customized documents in a fraction of the time it takes to create a document from scratch. Each template has an interview that prompts users for the information needed to complete the document, fills in the documents so they are ready to use, then stores the answers so they may be used again without having to reenter the information.
"This is very generous of LexisNexis, and the Legal Services Corporation applauds this decision to provide free software that will contribute to the efficiency of LSC-funded programs and enhance the legal assistance provided to low-income Americans," said Helaine M. Barnett, president of the Legal Services Corporation.
"LexisNexis believes that giving is both an opportunity to play a positive role in our local and global communities, and our responsibility as a good corporate citizen," says Alison Manchester, vice president of Content Management at LexisNexis. "The HotDocs Software Donation Program provides beneficial resources to organizations that assist those in need, thereby maximizing the impact of our outreach efforts. LexisNexis is pleased to make the software available to programs that facilitate access to justice."
Legal aid programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation and organizations that receive funds through their state Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts programs are eligible to participate in the HotDocs® Software Donation Program.
The new donation program will strengthen the important national online document assembly project that LexisNexis, LSC and the State Justice Institute have nurtured to provide access to justice for low-income Americans. LSC initiated that program, known as National Public Automated Documents Online (NPADO), in 2001 with a grant to the Ohio State Legal Services Association that developed a system in which legal aid programs use HotDocs® Professional Edition to create easy-to-use guided document assembly interviews from existing forms. Interviews are then uploaded to a national server, allowing users to assemble professional-looking legal documents. This program has focused on creating forms so that low-income users can help themselves with their legal issues. This new donation by LexisNexis will be targeted to legal aid advocates, giving them better tools with which to assist their clients.
Under the leadership of Pro Bono Net, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer participation, the NPADO program has been expanded to include court-based access to justice programs. Pro Bono Net works to foster court and legal aid collaborations around document assembly and to promote the use of NPADO to support pro bono attorneys. In the first six months of 2008, more than 53,000 documents were assembled under the national program.
"The online document assembly system increases opportunities for people to resolve their legal problems and improves efficiency for legal aid, pro bono and courts-based access to justice programs," said Mark O'Brien, Executive Director of Pro Bono Net. "We are thrilled that LexisNexis is expanding its support of this program, which is a powerful example of how technology can serve human needs."
LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading global provider of business information solutions to a wide range of professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting and academic markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE: ENL; NYSE: RUK] (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100 countries with 13,000 employees worldwide.
The Legal Services Corporation (www.lsc.gov) is a federally funded, independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting equal access to justice in our nation and to providing high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons. LSC currently funds 137 civil legal aid programs with more than 920 offices serving low-income Americans across the country.
About Pro Bono Net
Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. Founded in 1998 with support from the Open Society Institute, Pro Bono Net has created a broad and powerful network of nonprofit legal aid providers, courts and bar associations across the United States and Canada. This network uses two innovative web-based platforms--www.probono.net and www.lawhelp.org--to recruit and manage volunteers and provide direct information and tools for low-income communities and the organizations that serve them.
Legal Services Corporation
Pro Bono Net
(212) 760-2554 x 485