Replicable TIG Projects - Document Assembly

There are many HotDocs and A2J document assembly projects that have been funded by TIG that have replication potential. Listed below is a brief synopsis of a couple of those projects.

TIG 14009 – Montana Legal Services Association – Family Law Forms 

The Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) used TIG funding to revamp their document assembly process. This project was a partnership between MLSA and the Self-Represented Litigants Committee of the Montana Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. MLSA used Hotdocs and A2J Author to create guided interviews tha yields the appropriate family law forms, allowing pro se litigants to produce accurate legal pleadings. These pleadings may then be filed in the Montana district courts. In addition, they performed outreach and publicity to increase availability and use of these forms. After the implementation of the new automated forms, MLSA experienced a 21% conversation rate. The new forms generated use by pro se litigants, Self-Help Law Center staff, and pro bono advocates.

Final Report:

TIG 12023 - Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i -  Automated Forms

The Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i (LASH) partnered with the Hawaii Judiciary and the Hawaii State Bar Association to create nine guided interviews and nine interactive legal documents/court forms for use by self-represented litigants in four circuits statewide. The project team developed interactive document assembly interviews using technology platforms and applications developed through the TIG program -- specifically LawHelp Interactive and A2J Author -- and generous software donations from the HotDocs Corporation. These interactive interviews guide users through otherwise complex legal documents. The project created a Virtual Self-Help Center available through LASH's LawHelp website.

Final Report:

TIG 11017 - Legal Services of South Central Michigan -  Automated Forms

Legal Services of South Central Michigan developed information and resources for self-represented litigants throughout the state. The project team developed interactive document assembly interviews using technology platforms and applications developed through the TIG program -- specifically LawHelp Interactive and A2J Author -- and generous software donations from the HotDocs Corporation. These interactive interviews guide users through otherwise complex legal documents. In total, seven automated interviews were created that help users complete 17 different forms or documents in the areas of housing law, public benefits law,family law, and consumer law. As of June 2014, website users accessed these interviews to compile 2700 sets of organized legal documents that clearly presented their legal arguments and enhanced their likelihood of meeting their legal need. 

Final Report:

TIG 10047 - Legal Aid of Nebraska -  Automated Forms

Legal Aid of Nebraska partnered with the Nebraska Supreme Court Pro Se Implementation Committee to increase access to justice through the creation of innovative, effective and efficient automated legal pleadings. The primary goal of this project was to create guided interviews and court form templates to improve low-income Nebraskans' access to the court system. To accomplish this goal, the objective was to take existing “court-authorized” form pleadings and automate them using the HotDocs software. Then, the project team would apply the Access to Justice Author (A2J Author) interface and guided interviews to ensure that the forms completion process was interactive and easy for the user. Finally, the forms would be stored on the Law Help Interactive (LHI) server and links to the forms would appear on the Virtual Self Help Center section of the Nebraska statewide website.

Leveraging a modest TIG investment ($29,100), the project team produced a very impressive list of forms for low-income Nebraskans.

Final Report:

Issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) helps ensure that contracts are awarded competitively and that grantees obtain best value for the services and/or equipment they require. A Sample Document Assembly RFP can be utilized by programs seeking vendors for document assembly initiatives. Sections of this document may also apply to a broader range of technology projects.