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2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation
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2008 NLADA Technology Planning For Automated Forms - Glenn Rawdon's Presentation

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Technology Planning 101: Developing Service-Based Plans for Programs and …

Technology Planning 101: Developing Service-Based Plans for Programs and
State Networks

This session will provide an overview of the technology planning process
for legal aid programs and state legal aid networks. It will include
information on conducting technology assessments, managing the planning
process, and harmonizing programmatic and statewide technology
activities. Kate Bladow, Pro Bono Net; Glenn Rawdon, Legal Services
Corporation; Kathleen Brockel, Legal Services National Technology
Assistance Project (NTAP); James Dill, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network

Published in: Technology, Education
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  • Document assembly helps both self-represented litigants and advocates with document drafting and form completion. Forms are a key component in opening the court to all; however, drafting forms so that they are easy for everyone to fill out is difficult. Document assembly can help make forms easier to complete because it helps self-represented litigants put their answers in the right blanks, integrates instructions into the content, and produces neat, type-written documents without requiring the self-represented litigant to have any specialized technical knowledge. When there are lawyers or advocates on the case, document assembly can lessen the amount of time spent drafting routine pleadings and paperwork. Additionally, documents drafted using document assembly are easier for supervisors to review and are more consistent and of higher quality. Like most technologies, document assembly works best when integrated with existing service delivery methods. For example, document assembly can be integrated with legal information websites to help self-represented litigants draft documents; self-help center workshops or clinics to lessen the amount of time spent on simple data entry; or legal advice clinics to help advocates draft documents more quickly. (Note: There has been some intimation in unusual cases that private sector document assembly can be unauthorized practice of law, or that when it that holds itself out as lawyering, it is inappropriate. While those situations are sui generis even within the private sector, they have no relevance to the rapidly spreading practice of courts assisting litigants with technology that makes it easier to fill in the court ’ s forms.)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Document Automation 101
      • Document assembly software helps users answer questions and uses those answers to fill out forms, which can be printed or filed electronically.
      • The advantages of document assembly include
        • providing additional informational support to people who complete the forms,
        • eliminating the repeated entry of information, and
        • focusing a user on the information that they need to fill out the form.
      • The process of filling out the forms also educates the litigant on what is relevant to their claim and what should therefore be presented in court. (It is a totally appropriate role for courts to provide this service.)
    • 2. What is Document Assembly? Advocates or self-represented litigants answer questions during an interview. A personalized document is created from the answers. The answers can be saved and reused.
    • 3. Building a Project - Process Plan Launch Assess Develop
    • 4. The Forms the Thing
      • Garbage in, garbage out (or good automated forms start with good paper forms)
      • Have the content reviewed by attorneys, judges, and potential litigants for legal problems as well as areas of potential confusion and improvement
    • 5. Best Practices Minimize how many questions users have to answer. Ask And Then Calculate A birthday The person’s age A child’s birthday If the child is a minor When a tenant moved out How long ago that was A person’s gender Personal pronouns (he/she, him/her, & so on)
    • 6. Standardize!
      • We are lucky if we have enough money to do all the forms once, much less 77 times!
    • 7. Forget Lawyer Speak
      • Easily understood forms and interviews are better for clients, advocates, and the courts.
    • 8. One Form, Two Masters
      • The same form can serve both pro se users and advocates by using different interviews, A2J Author for pro se, HotDocs for advocates
    • 9. Example of Two Interviews ©2008 National Center for State Courts Have different versions available for new and expert users. Expert User New User
    • 10. Think Small
      • You do not have to automate every form for every type of case
      • Prioritize – pick the forms that give you the most bang for the buck
      • Remember the 90% rule – a form doesn’t have to cover every possible variation, you can still edit.
    • 11. Evaluating the Program
      • Draft an evaluation plan.
      • Design and test data collection instruments.
      • Collect baseline data.
      • Collect additional data.
      • Analyze data and report findings.
      • Repeat steps 4 and 5.
      ©2008 National Center for State Courts
    • 12. Sustaining the Program
      • Evaluation
      • Partnerships
      • Minimized Maintenance
      • Creative Thinking
    • 13. Lessons Learned
      • Plan for sustainability from the beginning.
      • Use standard forms that every court must accept.
      • Learn from other jurisdictions’ projects.
      • Find a “champion.”
      • Build support for the project.
      • Do not be overly ambitious.
      • Integrate the project into existing service delivery channels.
      • Train staff to use the system.
      • Promote the project.
      • Evaluate.
      ©2008 National Center for State Courts
    • 14. Best Practices ©2008 National Center for State Courts Integrate the instructions with the questions.
    • 15. Best Practices ©2008 National Center for State Courts Provide instructions on how to file and serve the forms as well as information on how to resolve the legal issue.
    • 16. Best Practices ©2008 National Center for State Courts Direct litigants to additional online information.
    • 17. Best Practices ©2008 National Center for State Courts Integrate video or audio help.
    • 18. Best Practices ©2008 National Center for State Courts Integrate other support systems, such as phone and “LiveHelp.” Use the content in court and community environments where help is available from supportive and knowledgeable staff.

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