Northwest Justice Project's TIG-Funded Knowledge Management System
In 2011, LSC awarded Northwest Justice Project (NJP) a Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) of $92,350 to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its client services through the development of a secure, enterprise-level knowledge management system. The result of this investment is NJP’s Information, Knowledge, Etcetera (IKE) system, a statewide information management portal built on Microsoft SharePoint technology.
IKE leverages SharePoint to allow advocates in NJP’s 17 offices to share work product and resources and have a designated collaborative workspace to coordinate on projects. Experts in different practice areas can work together regardless of their location in the state, allowing NJP to conduct more strategic advocacy, manage staff time more efficiently, and ultimately improve client representation. Additionally, the SharePoint system integrates with NJP’s case management system, Legal Server, to enhance advocates’ access to an extensive collection of legal resources such as briefs, memos, and forms.
The grant's final report highlights the multi-step development and refinement process that went into launching the system. It also highlights key partnerships with Microsoft and the University of Washington iSchool that helped NJP develop highly-usable, technologically-sophisticated knowledge tools.
A major goal of TIG-funded projects is to develop technology that can be replicated by other legal services providers across the country. As NJP notes in its final report, the IKE system “will be easily replicable by other LSC programs... IKE has been demonstrated to many programs already and has been the subject of numerous presentations at national conferences, including the 2014 TIG Conference. [NJP is] happy to spend time with any program wanting help or information.” Legal services programs that would like to speak to NJP about this project should contact Sue Encherman for more information.
The project final report is a great starting point for nonprofit law firms interested in building enterprise-level knowledge management systems. Please click below to view the report and several accompanying resources.
NJP TIG 11076 Resources: