2013 TIG Conference Materials

2013 TIG Conference Materials

Over 170 people attended LSC's 13th annual TIG Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to the conference, over 50 participants strategized on implementing major technological innovations as part of phase two of LSC's Technology Summit. Additionally, the TIG Conference partnered with the MIE National Conference for Legal Services Administrators.


Wednesday, January 16th

Thursday, January 17th

Friday, January 18th

Wednesday, January 16th

Opening Plenary: Beth Kanter

In today’s complicated and networked world, legal services organizations need to adapt and improve their programs and fine tune their networks at a much faster pace than ever before. In order to scale outcomes, legal services need to embrace the process of collecting and making sense of data to improve programs and get results. It’s not enough to collect data, the real magic happens when applied to decision making so that nonprofits can become data-informed organizations. In this interactive keynote, Beth Kanter shared stories and frameworks from her book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, co-authored with KD Paine.

Session Materials: View Beth's presentation slides

Presenter's Blog: Beth Kanter's Blogback to top

How to Pull Your Case Management System out of the 80's in 3 Easy Steps

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your case management system was seamlessly integrated with your online intake, telephones, volunteer management and knowledge management systems? This session will focus on innovative ways that programs are currently integrating their case management system with other office systems. Presenters will discuss current projects to integrate their case management system with desk and mobile phones, call centers, SharePoint, and on-line intake. We will also brainstorm future integrations that would be beneficial to the legal services community.

Presenters: Alison Paul, Montana Legal Services Association; William Guyton, Legal Services Alabama; Sue Encherman, Northwest Justice Project; IV Ashton, PS Technologies, Inc.

Session Materials:

Best Practices in Accessable E-filing

This session reported on the E-filing Best Practices Document and Process and discussed implications for legal aid and court technology, including triage, document assembly, CMS and support technologies (LiveHelp, etc.), The session also discussed the opportunity that e-filing discussions at state level have to engage courts and ATJ Commissions.

Presenters: Richard Zorza, Self-Represented Litigation Network; Susan Ledray, Minnesota Fourth Judicial District; Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net

Capturing the Untapped Resource: Using Law Students to Create A2J Guided Interviews

The Center for Access to Justice & Technology and the A2J Author team are currently working on two coordinated TIGs. In the first TIG, they are exploring the untapped resource of law students to further reach self represented litigants via the internet. In a cyber clinic setting, law students learn the A2J Author® software and create A2J Guided Interviews® that can be used by legal aid societies for online intake, automated document creation, or informational interviews. The cyber clinic model partners technologically savvy law students with legal aid attorneys who have years of “in the trenches” legal knowledge to create powerful A2J Guided Interviews as resources for self-represented litigants. Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Justice and Technology Practicum is such a clinical course that in the past year has worked with Idaho Legal Services, Illinois Legal Aid Online, the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, the Minnesota Fourth Judicial District, Minnesota Legal Services Coalition, and North Penn Legal Services. Suffolk University Law School became a beta tester of this clinical model and CALI’s Classcaster® distance learning infrastructure with its Lawyering in an Age of Smart Machines course. Now, this cyber clinic model is now being exported to three pilot law school programs. This session discussed how the new project-matching database can help legal aid societies harness this growing pool of law student A2J Author developers. The session on focused on the progress being made on A2J Author 5.0 and the new features under design.

Presenters: Ronald Staudt, Chicago-Kent College of Law; John Mayer, Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI); Jessica Bolack, Center for Access to Justice & Tehcnology

Session Materials: Capturing the Untapped Resource: Using Law Students to Create A2J Guided Interviews

Financial Oversight and Internal Controls: (MIE-TIG Overlap Session)

Members of LSC’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement (OCE) presented “Financial Oversight of LSC Funds and Internal Controls.” The presentation included: a discussion of the types of questions asked by Fiscal Compliance Specialists during LSC onsite reviews; the general onsite review process, oversight of LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants (TIGs); some commonly applicable LSC requirements; and a list of compliance tools LSC grantees should use to help ensure their compliance with LSC requirements.

Presenters: Megan Smith, Legal Services Corporation; Mark Watts, Legal Services Corporation; Brenda Combs, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass

Session Materials: Financial Oversight of Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Funds and Internal Controls

Your Case Management System: A Tool for Better Supervision

Case management systems can be used to simplify, streamline and improve supervision and management. The presentation explained the concept, provided best practices, and showcased a system developed by one program that pulls data and delivers quarterly reports to staff and supervisors. Not sure how to get started? The “MIE Guide to Using Case Management Systems to Support High Quality Supervision” can help.

Presenters: Craige Harrison, Utah Legal Services; Alison Paul, Montana Legal Services Association; Eric Mittelstadt, Utah Legal Services

Session Materials: Your Case Management System: A Tool for Better Supervision

How Not to Write Content for Your SWWS: Legal Information Content in Minutes

This workshop walked participants through tips and methods to increase quality content on their statewide website as well as how to easily maintain that content. This “cooking show” format resulted in several “out of the oven” finalized pieces of content, including both static, multimedia, and automated document content.

Presenters: Kim Marshall, Arkansas Legal Services Partnership; Vince Morris, Arkansas Legal Services Partnership 

Session Materials:

Video to Reach Clients

Northwest Justice Project and Montana Legal Services Association teamed up to share best practices on creating video content. Takeaways included using YouTube to create interactive "choose your own adventures," the real cost of creating video content and different types of animation. MLSA has been using video for the last three years to reach clients while NJP has created more than twenty videos in the last eight months. 

Presenters: Daniel Ediger, Northwest Justice Project; Alison Paul, Montana Legal Services Association; Brian Rowe, Northwest Justice Project

YouTube Channels:

Session Materials:

Windows 8 and Office 2013

Windows 8 sold 40 million licenses within the first month after its launch. That puts it on a pace to exceed the sales of Windows 7 (which has now sold 670 million licenses worldwide). What does this mean for you? That it’s not going away so you had better learn to live with it (maybe even love it!). This session will explore the changes between Windows 7 and 8, examine how the new Metro UI will work across desktops, tablets, and phones, and explain what you’ll need to know about upgrades to existing hardware. And right on the heels of W8 is Office 2013. While we do not yet have an official launch date, rumors are it will be fairly early in 2013. Free previews are already available. In this session LSC's Glenn Rawdon looked at new features,what interface changes users will be facing, and how Office 2013 fits in with Office 365.

Presenter: Glenn Rawdon, Legal Services Corporation

Using Data to Improve Program Performance

Legal aid programs are increasingly recognizing that more effective use of a wide range of data can enable them to better identify the current and emerging needs of their client communities, develop advocacy and service delivery strategies that most effectively address those needs, and assess and enhance program performance in a variety of other ways. This session profiled three data analysis projects funded by TIG in 2011 and 2012. Presenters highlighted the specific ways and program areas in which they plan to improve program services, the types of data sets they expect to use, and the systems they plan to develop to collect,analyze and report on these data.

Presenters: Bristow Hardin, Legal Services Corporation; Michael O'Connor, Prairie State Legal Services; Rachel Perry, Cleveland Legal Aid Society; Jonathan Pyle, Philadelphia Legal Assistance

Session Materials:

Thursday, January 17th

Self-Help Systems and Unauthorized Practice

The emergence of interactive software and online services for self-help legal document preparation has triggered new efforts by the organized bar and state officials to suppress what is perceived as the unauthorized practice of law. While couched in terms of consumer protection, and at least partly motivated by such concerns, these efforts are regarded by some as blatant turf management by a profession anxious to avoid further erosion of its monopoly over legal advice and representation. Regulatory agencies around the country are wrestling with how best to define the practice of law so as to limit what is perceived as predatory behavior by commercially-driven non-lawyer actors, while not unduly restricting public-spirited initiatives by courts and nonprofits to expand access to justice through online tools that help self-represented litigants understand and assert their rights. One question is whether restricting the creation and distribution of software is within the legitimate scope of state action. No one would contend nowadays that the state could suppress books, pamphlets, or speeches on how the legal system works and what forms one needs to interact with it would pass constitutional muster. Is there a right of ‘programmatic expression’ under the First Amendment? This session reviewed the state of the debate, and practical strategies that programs should consider in light of its evolution.

Presenters: Richard Granat, DirectLaw, Inc.; Marc Lauritsen, Capstone Practice Systems

Session Materials:

Mix It Up: Case Management Data and Document Assembly

Want an efficient and happy staff? Streamline case documentation by automating forms that incorporate data from your case management system, and when appropriate, write back information to your CMS as well. Three programs shared their pursuit of the “tipping point”—when staff embraces document assembly technology and are happier for it. Management can also appreciate the advantage of having cases being documented timely and properly. Imagine a bank of templates for use by brief service units which automate advice letters and also contemporaneously complete administrative forms or enter data directly into the CMS. Imagine templates which partially complete pleadings with data from the CMS, and guide staff to input the additional information needed to finish up the pleadings quickly and accurately. Whether via desktop or online methods, integrating data in case management systems with document assembly creates a powerful, automated tool to improve program efficiency. Illinois Legal Aid Online and North Penn Legal Services shared their experiences with data integration into document assembly systems.

Presenters: Dina Nikitaides, Illinois Legal Aid Online; Sheila Fisher, North Penn Legal Services

Session Materials: Mix It Up Slide Deck

Building Responsive Websites

According to recent​ studies, 10-15% of web traffic is already occurring on mobile and tablet devices. Over the next several years, this share of mobile use of the web will continue to increase. Research also shows that users are increasingly using mobile devices as their sole or primary means of connecting to the web doing most of their online browsing on their smartphone, rather than a computer or other device. The percentage is even higher for the younger demographic indicating that this trend is expected to get more pronounced. Legal services websites need to be accessible to visitors using mobile devices. In this presentation, we will provide an introduction to designing “responsive” websites—websites that are device-agnostic and equally accessible on desktop computers as well as small touchscreen smartphones. This session explained a new design approach called “mobile-first” that focuses on mobile content delivery, and how to use “rapid prototyping” in the design & development process. It also showcased a case study where the panelists used these techniques to create the new legal information for Tennesseans website.

Presenters: Abhijeet Chavan, Urban Insight, Inc.; Erik Cole, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services

Session Materials: Legal Information for Tenneseans (LIFT) Slide Deck

Scalable Language Access

There is a high demand for language access services in legal aid organizations across the country. This occurs in the face of decreasing budgets and hiring freezes. Stakeholders in the justice community see an imperative and opportunity to build language access capacity system-wide with technology innovations. In this session, you will learn about two replicable and scalable projects. First, the efficient and cost effective Virtual Remote Interpreting system (VRI), developed by the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, provides on-demand certified interpretation services for courts using live video captured through courtroom security cameras and an audio platform with interpreters at remote locations securely interacting with the court through Web browsers from any computer linked to the court’s network. The Ninth Circuit is now working to extend the VRI program to other resource-strained circuits in Florida, with the goal of reaching 20 circuits by 2014. The second project features the TIG-funded work of the Northwest Justice Project and the Washington State Coalition for Language Access to create an interactive directory of interpreters and translators easily accessible to legal services and justice system partners, as well as medical and education advocates. The website is scheduled to go live in 2013.

Presenters: Mytrang Nguyen,Legal Services Corporation; Matt Benefiel, 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida; Kristi Cruz, Northwest Justice Project 

Rapid Fire Plenary

If you had six minutes to share an idea, best practice or show off a TIG project, what would you talk about? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 20 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together events to show their answers. This plenary session featured a series of short presentations highlighting innovative technology projects and ideas. It was fast-paced and informative!

Presenters: Sue Encherman, Northwest Justice Project; IV Ashton, LegalServer; Leah Margulies, LawHelpNY; William Guyton, Legal Services Alabama, Xander Karsten, Pro Bono Net; Anna Hineline, LawNY; Jeff Hogue, LawNY

Session Materials:

Systems Integrations - Bringing Together Powerful Tools to Enable higher Attorney/Staff Perfromance and Higher Quality Services

Legal aid groups their lawyers, volunteers and paralegals and admin staff, rely on various tools on a daily basis to do their work. Tech based tools such as case management systems, Basecamp, Sharepoint, advocate/pro bono statewide websites, online forms are becoming more adopted and this adoption brings the opportunity of integration. This session will explore how different programs are integrating different tech tools/systems, to reach well defined goals. We will explore the costs and benefits of doing this, the potential pitfalls and risks, and the necessary resources to integrate a variety of powerful tools into the daily practice of a legal non profit organization.

Presenters: Dina Nikitaides, Illinois Legal Aid Online; Mike Monahan, Georgia State Bar; Jim Wiegand, Pro Bono Net; Kristin Verrill, Atlanta Legal Aid Society; Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net 

LSNTAP Update: New Features and the Coming Year

The National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP.org) shared resources available to the community. New features from NTAP include videos on each of the case management systems, a sharable survey bank, a new YouTube channel and over 50 blogs post on topics including usability and accessibility. Panelists also reviewed staple resources including the LSTech listserve with over 400 members, the Google migration guide and mobile apps guide, and the live helpdesk. The technology library resources were highlighted along with the twenty special area email lists.

Presenters: Brian Rowe, NTAP Coordinator, Northwest Justice Project; Liz Lemon, AmeriCorps VISTA, NTAP; Sue Encherman, Director of Administration, Northwest Justice Project 

Innovations in Pro Bono

Last October LSC released the report of its Pro Bono Task Force, a body comprised of 60 distinguished leaders from the legal profession. Its charge was to identify and recommend innovative ways to enhance pro bono throughout the country. The report presents the findings and recommendations of the task force’s five working groups: Best Practices-Urban, Best Practices-Rural, Obstacles, Technology, and Big Ideas. This session explored the technologies recommended by the Task Force and looked at other innovative ways to expand pro bono recruitment and support in your program.

Presenters: Glenn Rawdon, Legal Services Corporation; Erik Cole, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services; Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net; Mike Monahan, State Bar of Georgia

Session Materials: Online Tennessee Justice 

Power of Lync Server 2010

Lync Server 2010 is a unified platform that brings together the different ways that modern workers communicate in a single client interface. It's deployed as a unified platform and administered through a single management infrastructure. This session explored the features and benefits of one of Microsoft's most popular new offerings for the enterprise.

Presenters: Michael Prince, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas; Joseph Mays, Georgia Legal Services Program 

LawHelp Network Session: What's New, What's Next

This session highlighted LawHelp network activities and developments. PBN staff discussed new and upcoming features for the LawHelp.org and probono.net templates, including content-syndication tools, localized content portals, and mobile enhancements. LawHelp coordinators from several states discussed recent content and outreach initiatives, and how they can be replicated.

Presenters: Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net; Jillian Theil, Pro Bono Net; Leah Margulies, LawHelp/NY; Sue Encherman, Northwest Justice Project 

OST/DLAW Community Session

This session focused on the Drupal-based DLAW website template. It included updates on additional mobile features, newly launched Drupal sites, and other enhancements available to the legal aid community. Presenters from Urban Insight and Idaho Legal Aid Services lead the discussion.

Presenters: Abhijeet Chavan, Urban Insight, Inc.; Steven Rapp, Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.; Mary Zimmerman, Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.

Friday, January 18th

Adoption of Online Forms by Legal Aid Staff and Pro Bono Attorneys

The national online document assembly system has found great resonance and success in serving self represented litigants. The legal aid programs that create the online forms have successfully tackled multiple difficulties to create and promote online forms for those who are without representation. On the practice side, however, the adoption of online forms by staff attorneys has not been as robust for the self represented. This workshop explored initiatives that have been successful in integrating online forms into well thought out projects that are finding success in getting attorney buy in and positive outcomes and results.

Presenters: Tony Lu, Pro Bono Net; Phillip Berthental, Bet Zedek; Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net; Mirenda Watkins, Pro Bono Net 

Wormhole to the Future : Unfettered Brainstorming about the Future of Legal Services Technology

Panelists dared to make outlandish predictions about the legal technology tools and the court system of the next century. Forget incremental change and the echo chamber of recurring technology-related aspirations in the legal aid community. This group asked what a radically-changed future legal system means for people who face barriers in accessing justice. They also made a few measurable predictions as well, just to keep them grounded.

Presenters: Molly French, Colorado Legal Services; John Mayer, CALI; Jeff Hogue, LawNY; Vince Morris, Arkansas Legal Services Technology Partnership; Gwen Daniels, Illinois Legal Aid Online; Peter Campbell, LSC; William Guyton, Legal Services of Alabama

Session Materials: Wormhole to the Future Interactive Slide Deck 

Managing Your TIG Effectively: Reporting, Requirements and Lessons Learned

LSC staff introduced 2012 TIG award recipients to the reporting requirements for documenting their grant activities, reviewed TIG grant assurances, and discussed best practices for managing technology grants effectively.

Presenters: David Bonebrake, Glenn Rawdon, Jane Ribadeneyra, Megan Smith, Legal Services Corporation

Session Materials: Managing Your TIG Effectively 2013