LSC’s TIG conference is the only national event focused exclusively on the use of technology in the legal aid community. The conference provides a unique opportunity to learn about effective uses of technology in legal aid, network with a national community of colleagues and cultivate project ideas that could lead to successful TIG applications.
Anyone using social media knows how popular, addicting and engaging mobile video games can be. Can games be used to teach? Can games create better engagement to connect the public to legal services? This session highlighted two projects to develop games that empower lower-income people with civil legal knowledge on estate planning and mortgage foreclosure. These games go beyond the typical web-based examples of the past that have focused on courtroom simulations, civil procedure, or text-based games. These are cross-platform, mobile video games built to balance fun with legal education to create more effective engagement.
California developed a whole series of HotDocs programs designed for use by attorneys in self-help programs. It is gradually shifting those programs to be web-based resources for use by litigants on their own or with phone or livechat support. This workshop explored lessons learned in that process.
Participants learned how NJP has worked for the past 1.5 years on setting up an information management system to allow staff program wide to share important resources. The panel explored NJP’s organization of information within SharePoint, internal marketing and lessons learned. They also explored how LAF in Chicago is replicating NJP’s TIG and planning their upcoming implementation.
The Cloud is fundamentally changing the way legal services are delivered. This session demystified what cloud services are and explained exactly how they are being used by the legal profession to accelerate case management, automate processes and easily integrate client participation in their matters, all while lowering IT spend. The session also covered how security and compliance are managed in a cloud environment and reviewed the Florida Bar’s Opinion on Cloud Services.
How can e-learning support pro bono attorneys, legal aid advocates, law students and self-represented parties? This session focused on how an online course teaches law students about justice and technology, while instructing the students on how to build useful web resources to improve access to justice. It also covered how webcams and a Google [Sites] classroom brought together legal aid advocates from around the county for an interactive Plain Language seminar. A newly-built “online classroom” for Drupal hosts on-demand training for pro bono attorneys, and guides SRPs through complex legal processes, step-by-step.
As Legal Aid system administrators, office support staff, and attorneys, you know that your office deals with a lot of sensitive information, and that more and more of it lives online. You are working as hard as you can to protect your organization’s systems. But no matter what we do, our biggest security weaknesses lie with our end users. Communicating about digital security is often confusing and overwhelming. Lindsay Beck, of the National Democratic Institute, and Jessie Posilkin, of the Legal Services Corporation, presented this digital security train the trainer session.
This session focused on the Drupal-based DLAW website template and other Drupal innovations in legal services. It included updates on new enhancements, newly launched Drupal sites, and changes to existing sites across the legal aid community. Presenters included members of the community and Drupal developers.
This session highlighted LawHelp / probono.net network activities and developments. PBN staff will discuss new and upcoming developments for the LawHelp.org and probono.net platforms, including new localized content portals, mobile enhancements, and pro bono engagement tools.
Get connected to a nationwide network of 400+ other legal services & nonprofits techies available to help. This session highlighted the work of the National Technology Assistance Project (NTAP), located on the web at LSNTAP.org, and ways you can get free help from NTAP and the community of legal aid techies that surrounds NTAP. Presenters covered the live help desk, email lists, the blog, the tech library and the CMS rating site and the YouTube Channel. There will be time for Q&A and open discussion. NTAP is always looking for new ways to help the community.
With growing numbers of pro se litigants, community partnerships are more important than ever. This workshop highlighted collaborations between legal aid, courts, bar associations and public libraries to increase access to legal information and services.
Regions have different legal requirements and court processes, but the emotional experience of divorce and separation are much the same for parents and children. This workshop demonstrated how California was able to capitalize on British Columbia's existing web resources to produce new family resources specific to California law.
Many legal aid programs face the challenge of serving a large geographic area with a small number of advocates. This session presented case studies and demonstrations of ways in which programs are addressing this challenge by using technology to provide remote service delivery. Technologies discussed included using SMS text messaging to provide legal information and pro bono recruitment, a simple mobile app for farmworkers in Georgia, a ‘virtual law office’ in Idaho, and ways Montana is integrating the use of smartphones and telelaw into their practice.
“Remember: no matter where you go... there you are.” – Buckaroo Bonzai
Some people argue that technology planning is impossible because “everything changes so fast.” While it’s fair to say that a five year plan that includes “upgrade to Office 2013” in the fourth year is best not followed to the letter, it is always better to work toward objectives than it is to just meander along. In this session, LSC CIO Peter Campbell talked about what a strategic technology plan can do for an organization, what one consists of, how to write it and, most importantly, how to make sure that it accomplishes key objectives while remaining appropriately opportunistic. A good plan is much more than just a calendar full of installation dates. It will express the philosophy of the IT staff; outline the objectives and challenges; realistically lay out timelines in light of available resources; and let everyone know how the tech projects support the mission of equal justice.
Thank you to all 2014 TIG Conference presenters who shared their session materials with LSC