Replicable TIG Projects - Other Website Enhancements

TIG 14035 - Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut - Educational Game Project

This TIG funded the development of RePresent, the first online educational game specifically designed to provide self-represented persons (SRPs) with an understanding of how to self-advocate in court. Many good resources exist to help SRPs create, complete, and file the necessary documents to get their day in court. Once that day comes, however, most SRPs lack experience advocating for themselves in a formal setting, and they find themselves carrying out these tasks for the very first time in a real-life hearing environment with a lot at stake. This project incorporated user-centered design principles to develop and implement an interactive online game to provide SRPs with a basic, retainable understanding of how to prepare for and self-advocate in court. Since its launch in late-2015, Connecticut residents have used the game regularly, and the project team has also begun expanding the game to new jurisdictions and legal issues.  

Final Report:

TIG 14051 - LAF Chicago - Illinois Legal Aid Online Enhancements

This project set out to advance the quality and responsiveness of Illinois’ statewide website, Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), by implementing improvements discovered through a business process analysis of the site’s content management procedures. Prior to the TIG project’s launch, staff from LAF Chicago and ILAO participated in a business process analysis (BPA) of how website content is created, updated and evaluated. The BPA resulted in a set of recommendations that were then largely implemented as part of this TIG-funded initiative, with focus on improvements that made it easier for volunteer editors to contribute to the website. Thanks to this work, ILAO could show a 43% reduction in time it takes volunteer editors to review and update legal information on IllinoisLegalAid.org and nearly a 600% increase in the number of volunteer assignments completed over the course of this project.

Final Report:

TIG 11065 - Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York - LawHelp.org/Espanol

Under Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York's 2011 TIG, the project team successfully developed and launched LawHelp.org/espanol, a national Spanish-language gateway to the LSC-funded statewide website network that had more than 10,000 visits, 5,000 unique visitors and 16,000 page views in its first 18 months after launching in January 2013. LawHelp.org/espanol features a series of plain language legal education guides on common legal issues and questions. The guides were accessed more than 5,500 times during this period, and Spanish language video versions of two guides were viewed 240 times. As a result of this project and additional in-kind resources secured by project partners, the legal education guides are available in English, Spanish, simplified Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese for any program to use and adapt for their own website. Visit the Pro Bono Net Translation Bank to access them.  

The project partners also developed and launched a Spanish-language LiveHelp service for LawHelp.org/espanol and expanded Spanish-language LiveHelp assistance available to LawHelpNY.org users. Six Spanish-speaking volunteer navigators were recruited and trained to participate in the program, which had served 155 users as of June 2014.

Final Report:

TIG 12044 - Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut - Online Classroom Module

The Connecticut Online Classroom Module builds on the emerging trend of robust online learning environments by developing a Drupal module that allows legal services websites to host web courses for self-represented parties and pro bono attorneys. These online classes package the program’s expertise on several key legal issues impacting low-income people, including requesting special education services, filing wage complaints, and appealing an unemployment decision, and make them accessible through an interactive set of online tools. Many of the courses are available in both English and Spanish. Connecticut is also using the classroom module to provide in-depth online training experiences to pro bono attorneys across the state. The project team developed a consumer law training course designed for pro bono attorneys, and through an additional TIG, Connecticut is launching seven more upcoming pro bono training courses. Since the first courses launched in June 2013, the online classrooms have been viewed over 5,000 times.

Final Report:

TIG 12057 - Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut - Online Client Videos in Fotonovela Format

Connecticut's LSC-funded organization partnered with New Haven Legal Assistance Association to create fotonovela-style videos that present useful, easy-to-understand legal information that can be adapted to accommodate other jurisdictions and made available in other languages. The fotonovela video format, which has its roots in Latino culture and has been adopted in health education, utilizes still photos with conversation bubbles that can easily be modified for different languages and legal topics. Many of the videos cover federal issues, making replication in other states and jurisdictions even easier. Several other state sites have embedded the videos to date, including: Washington, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Illinois. The videos have also been made into PDFs, which are available in English, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Chinese and can be downloaded from CTLawHelp.org. Over the past year, Connecticut's fotonovela videos have been viewed over 4,000 times with an estimated total of over 11,000 minutes watched. The most popular videos cover FMLA, special education students, and Social Security Disability. The photos and other materials needed to adapt these videos are available on the TIG-funded ShareLawVideo.org

Final Report:

TIG 09359 - Legal Aid Society of Louisiville - Self-Help Videos for Pro Se Litigants

Legal Aid Society of Louisiville (LAS) produced twelve online educational videos for the Legal Aid Network of Kentucky website. Nine videos were targeted for pro se litigants in Kentucky, on the topics ranging from criminal record expungement, foreclosure, small claims, security deposits, eviction, and landlord-tenant law. Three videos included content useful to clients across the country that could be used on other state websites: Earned Income Tax Credit, bankruptcy law, and veterans’ benefits. LAS used law students to research and draft video scripts, and worked with staff and volunteer attorneys within their areas of expertise to review and edit the scripts. They replaced the traditional ‘talking head’ video format with animated videos that are more instructional and effective in educating users. They have found that the new video resources are attracting an increased number of users to the website, and the users are then accessing other resources.

Final Report: