The 2015 Technology Inititative Grants Conference was held January 14-16, 2015 in San Antonio, TX. Conference materials are posted below. Some of the most popular TIG Conference sessions were recorded and videos are available.
See the full 2015 TIG program and agenda.
LawHelp Network Session: What's New and What's Next for 2015
This session highlighted LawHelp / probono.net / LiveHelp network activities and developments. PBN staff discussed new and upcoming developments for the LawHelp.org and probono.net platforms, including mobile initiatives, new approaches to delivering content and online forms, and how statewide websites are advancing other innovations in the field. In addition, project coordinators from two states discussed content and outreach initiatives, and how they can be replicated. While aspects of this session were platform-specific, all were welcome, and the concepts and examples are relevant to anyone interested in using online tools to increase client services and boost pro bono.
Expert Systems: Leverage Your Lawyers to Serve Your Clients
This session explored the use of expert systems as force multipliers for legal services in areas such as intake, navigation and triage, immigration, Medicaid appeals, consumer debt and landlord-tenant, veterans' medical care, and unemployment benefits. It included an explanation and demonstration of the software principles of expert systems and their relationship to tools for document automation, surveys, interviews, and forms.
Views You Can Use - Making Data Visualization Accessible With Tools Available Now
See easy ways to understand and utilize your organization’s data and discover free, existing visualizations that describe your client population. This session is the tale of three data visualization projects. Presenters shared the trials, tribulations and triumphs of using maps, graphs and charts to make data both useful and accessible. Presenters also discussed the use of free and low cost data visualization tools to promote legal aid’s mission in the community, the use of data visualization as a management tool, and data visualization to promote legal advocacy.
Fast and Forward - Looking at Project Management
There are as many project management schools of thought as there are project managers, and each person has their own approach to moving a project from start to finish. This session took a thoughtful look at what tasks we perform, and how we perform them. From running short and effective meetings, to juggling multiple deliverables and outcomes, to reporting back to funders, this session took a step back to examine what we do, and the mechanics of how we do it. Regardless of the platform, tool, approach or project you’re engaged with, this session focused on the theoretical and practical underpinnings of managing a project, whether you’re working on the same project from start to finish or stepping in to a project midstream.
Demonstrating Accomplishments, Improving Services and Fostering Replication
Grantees must submit final evaluation reports to receive grant payments. The reports are designed to help grantees better assess and demonstrate their projects’ achievements, improve program operations, and foster appropriate replication. But to what extent are TIG final reports actually useful to grantees? In this session, panelists discussed their experiences developing and using final reports and engaged the audience in a discussion about how these reports can be most useful.
A lot of law-related choices - by clients, self-helpers, and legal professionals - don't lend themselves to support by technologies like document assembly and expert systems, which rely upon coded rules and procedures. Choices typically require individualized balancing of considerations, tradeoffs, and reconciliation of competing evaluative perspectives. This session reviewed existing and forthcoming technologies that help in these aspects of decision making. It covered both the choice of technology and the technology of choice.
Trust the Process and Oh The Places You’ll Go!
The road map for making a video is basically the same. You’ll travel a slightly different road depending on the style you choose and your budget. This session started with the basic road map for making a video and explored the side-roads of each style of video: actors, animation, foto novella and more. The panel shared video scripts and tips on how to make this fun and helpful.
Engaging Pro Bono Attorneys in Virtual Law Practice
This session included a report on the results of the New Mexico Legal Aid Project to engage pro bono lawyers in virtual law practice through a virtual law firm platform. It also included a presentation of how a virtual law firm platform can increase efficiency and productivity in a pro bono program by enabling 24x7 communications, reducing the friction between lawyer and client, and creating a framework for collaboration between Legal Aid Manager, Pro Bono Attorney, Law Students, and Clients. Use of embedded document automation solutions and how a virtual platform can support the delivery of "unbundled" legal services, off-line and on-line, were also discussed.
Are You Agile?
Agile can make projects more visible, more focused on delivering value, and more responsive to ever-changing needs. This session covered what Agile is and how Illinois Legal Aid Online and Legal Services Corporation are using two of the most popular Agile frameworks to better manage teams and projects, improve quality, and deliver solutions that meet user needs. They also demoed free and low-cost Agile tools for managing Agile projects.
Shop Smart: How a Formal Procurement Process can Safeguard Your Investment
Buying a major system, such as phones or CMS, or hiring a consultant to help deploy technology can be a hit or miss experience. We all want to avoid the fiascos. This session covered the best ways to identify and evaluate vendors and discussed some key strategies for ensuring that major system implementations return the results that you’re looking for. Topics included Requests for Information and Proposals; what to look for in a demo or interview; negotiating contracts and engaging your co-workers in the project.
Gender and Cultural Competency with Legal Technology
As legal services technology tools evolve, it’s important to take a step back to think about how they reflect the diverse populations they are meant to serve. This workshop explored considerations and best practices in designing and upgrading legal technology with sensitivity to issues like gender identity and expression, racial and ethnic diversity, disability and 508 compliance and more.
Managing Your Grant Effectively
In this session, TIG staff reviewed reporting requirements and grant assurances. They also discussed best practices for managing technology grants and previewed of the upcoming 2015 TIG Cycle.
Traditional approaches to computer security are getting archaic pretty quickly. How important are firewalls if half your staff carries your sensitive data on their smartphones? What does cloud storage mean for attorney/client privilege? What is a safe password in a world where software can guess every possible combo of words and letters? The session discussed many of the current trends in mobile, web and company technology security.