Document Assembly: How To Get Started Kate Bladow, Pro Bono Net Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net Rachel Medina, A2J Author
Agenda <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Building a Program </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Software </li></ul><ul><li>...
Document Assembly Is . . . <ul><li>Document assembly software helps users answer questions and uses those answers to fill ...
What is Document Assembly? Advocates or self-represented litigants answer questions during an interview. A personalized do...
Document Assembly Examples
Example - EZLegalFile http://www.ezlegalfile.com/go.jsp?act=actShowHome
Example - NPADO http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/ smallclaims/secdepletter.htm https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/ index...
Example – I-CAN! http://www.icandocs.org/ca
Example – OCAP http://www.utcourts.gov/ocap/
Document Assembly’s Impact
Impact on Access <ul><li>Document assembly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>makes filling out forms easier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
Impact on Effectiveness <ul><li>Document assembly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>generates forms that are correct, complete, and fo...
Impact on Efficiency <ul><li>Document assembly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>reduces the amount of time needed to draft documents ...
Agenda <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Building a Program </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Software </li></ul><ul><li>...
Building a Project - Process Launch Assess Develop Plan
Building a Program – Essentials <ul><li>Forms </li></ul><ul><li>Support and Buy-In </li></ul><ul><li>Project Manager </li>...
Partnerships: Why? <ul><li>Successful document assembly projects are done in partnership with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>court...
Partners Can Help You With <ul><li>Getting everyone to agree on the form, use the form, and accept the form </li></ul><ul>...
Partnering <ul><li>Communicate often—keep your partners appraised of development, including obstacles </li></ul><ul><li>Ga...
First steps <ul><li>Identify the area of law and the form </li></ul><ul><li>Bring in template developer  </li></ul><ul><ul...
Time Considerations <ul><li>Be ready to change your time frame—allow room for the unexpected  </li></ul><ul><li>Be open to...
How Do You Get Started? <ul><li>“ Just do it” </li></ul><ul><li>After you have identified the person who will develop the ...
Evaluating the Program <ul><li>Draft an evaluation plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Design and test data collection instruments. </...
Sustaining the Program <ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Minimized Maintenance </li></ul...
Agenda <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Building a Program </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Software </li></ul><ul><li>...
<ul><li>Automate documents using HotDocs®   & A2J Author ®   </li></ul><ul><li>Together they provide a solution for both a...
<ul><li>Edit document template in Word </li></ul><ul><li>Add automation instructions (i.e., variable names, etc.) using th...
 
 
 
 
 
Petition  for a Protection Order
<ul><li>HotDocs®  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the authoring interface is slightly more complicated than A2J Author® </li></ul></...
HotDocs Templates  (document or form) + A2J Guided Interview  (interview or data collection tool) National Public Automate...
<ul><li>Steps to creating a template: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review the document for which you want to create a template </...
<ul><li>Create a HotDocs template or at least review the document for which you want to create an interview </li></ul><ul>...
Child name TE Child DOB DA Child address TE Child county TE
Child name TE Child DOB DA Child address TE Child county TE A2J Author Answer File (.anx)
John Doe 01/22/2006 123 My Street OurCounty .anx (answer file) + document template = completed document A2J Author Answer ...
Agenda <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Building a Program </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Software </li></ul><ul><li>...
Tools and Resources <ul><li>Pro Bono Net DA Support Site </li></ul><ul><li>LSNTAP LSTech Resource Library </li></ul><ul><l...
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Document Assembly: How To Get Started

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Document Assembly: How to Get Started, Kate Bladow and Claudia Johnson (Pro Bono Net), and Rachel Medina (for Center for ATJ and Technology)

[presented at the Legal Services Corporation'sTechnology Initiative Grants (TIG) conference in 2009]

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  • Document Assembly: How To Get Started

    1. 1. Document Assembly: How To Get Started Kate Bladow, Pro Bono Net Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net Rachel Medina, A2J Author
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Building a Program </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Software </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>
    3. 3. Document Assembly Is . . . <ul><li>Document assembly software helps users answer questions and uses those answers to fill out forms, which can be printed or filed electronically. </li></ul><ul><li>The advantages of document assembly include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>providing additional informational support to people who complete the forms, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eliminating the repeated entry of information, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>focusing a user on the information that they need to fill out the form. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The process of filling out the forms also educates the litigants and advocates on what is relevant to the claim and what should therefore be presented in court. </li></ul>
    4. 4. 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.
    5. 5. Document Assembly Examples
    6. 6. Example - EZLegalFile http://www.ezlegalfile.com/go.jsp?act=actShowHome
    7. 7. Example - NPADO http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/ smallclaims/secdepletter.htm https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/ index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp _content&contentID=6002
    8. 8. Example – I-CAN! http://www.icandocs.org/ca
    9. 9. Example – OCAP http://www.utcourts.gov/ocap/
    10. 10. Document Assembly’s Impact
    11. 11. Impact on Access <ul><li>Document assembly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>makes filling out forms easier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gives meaningful guidance and information at convenient times and locations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>frees resources for who in need of more help </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Impact on Effectiveness <ul><li>Document assembly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>generates forms that are correct, complete, and formatted according to court requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>improves the quality of staff and volunteer work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>boosts staff morale </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Impact on Efficiency <ul><li>Document assembly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>reduces the amount of time needed to draft documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>decreases processing time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>allows judges to handle more cases </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Agenda <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Building a Program </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Software </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>
    15. 15. Building a Project - Process Launch Assess Develop Plan
    16. 16. Building a Program – Essentials <ul><li>Forms </li></ul><ul><li>Support and Buy-In </li></ul><ul><li>Project Manager </li></ul>
    17. 17. Partnerships: Why? <ul><li>Successful document assembly projects are done in partnership with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>courts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>private bar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>client groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>legal aid staff </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Partners Can Help You With <ul><li>Getting everyone to agree on the form, use the form, and accept the form </li></ul><ul><li>Testing the templates </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Resource identification and sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking filed forms and outcomes </li></ul>
    19. 19. Partnering <ul><li>Communicate often—keep your partners appraised of development, including obstacles </li></ul><ul><li>Gather feedback from partners at the beginning of project (baseline), during, and after the project is implemented </li></ul><ul><li>When you create an outreach strategy, include your partners </li></ul>
    20. 20. First steps <ul><li>Identify the area of law and the form </li></ul><ul><li>Bring in template developer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in house </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>outside contractor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test the template </li></ul><ul><li>Post the template on website </li></ul><ul><li>Test some more </li></ul><ul><li>Post for the public/outreach </li></ul>
    21. 21. Time Considerations <ul><li>Be ready to change your time frame—allow room for the unexpected </li></ul><ul><li>Be open to modify your outreach after implementation </li></ul><ul><li>If you are incorporating court kiosks, start discussion of staffing and maintenance w/the courts early—before templates are posted </li></ul>
    22. 22. How Do You Get Started? <ul><li>“ Just do it” </li></ul><ul><li>After you have identified the person who will develop the template, carve out time for that person to work in HotDocs and A2J Author. Give them room to learn if beginners, or to create templates if advanced. Don’t delay after training </li></ul>
    23. 23. Evaluating the Program <ul><li>Draft an evaluation plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Design and test data collection instruments. </li></ul><ul><li>Collect baseline data. </li></ul><ul><li>Collect additional data. </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze data and report findings. </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat steps 4 and 5. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Sustaining the Program <ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Minimized Maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Thinking </li></ul>
    25. 25. Agenda <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Building a Program </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Software </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><li>Automate documents using HotDocs® & A2J Author ® </li></ul><ul><li>Together they provide a solution for both advocate-assisted and self-help document production </li></ul><ul><li>Each presents its own set of benefits and limitations </li></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>Edit document template in Word </li></ul><ul><li>Add automation instructions (i.e., variable names, etc.) using the HotDocs toolbar </li></ul>
    28. 33. Petition for a Protection Order
    29. 34. <ul><li>HotDocs® </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the authoring interface is slightly more complicated than A2J Author® </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the end-user interface is somewhat form-like and less pro se-friendly than A2J Author® </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>it generates documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>it provides an efficient interface for advocates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A2J Author® </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it does not create documents; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the end-user interface is typically inefficient for advocates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gathers and provides information in a friendly, intuitive way suitable for self represented litigants; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>has a simple authoring interface </li></ul></ul>
    30. 35. HotDocs Templates (document or form) + A2J Guided Interview (interview or data collection tool) National Public Automated Documents Online (NPADO) “ National Server” CREATE STORE SERVE
    31. 36. <ul><li>Steps to creating a template: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review the document for which you want to create a template </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create the permanent text of the document </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add variable names for each missing piece of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make the document template intelligent by adding conditional logic, repeat dialogs, etc. </li></ul></ul>
    32. 37. <ul><li>Create a HotDocs template or at least review the document for which you want to create an interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create various variable names for each piece of data that should be collected </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Add questions to the interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add fields to each question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For each field define the appropriate variable name </li></ul></ul></ul>
    33. 38. Child name TE Child DOB DA Child address TE Child county TE
    34. 39. Child name TE Child DOB DA Child address TE Child county TE A2J Author Answer File (.anx)
    35. 40. John Doe 01/22/2006 123 My Street OurCounty .anx (answer file) + document template = completed document A2J Author Answer File (.anx) National Public Automated Documents Online (NPADO) “ National Server”
    36. 41. Agenda <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Building a Program </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Software </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>
    37. 42. Tools and Resources <ul><li>Pro Bono Net DA Support Site </li></ul><ul><li>LSNTAP LSTech Resource Library </li></ul><ul><li>A2J Author Site </li></ul><ul><li>SelfHelpSupport.org </li></ul>
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