Introductions• Laura Quinn, Idealware• Elizabeth Pope, Idealware• Tony Lu, Pro Bono Net• Ed Higgins, Montana Legal Services Association
We Often Cover Large Geographic AreasMany legal aid organizationshave large service areas, andonly a few actual offices.
What Works to Provide Long-Distance Services?
Research Methodology We spoke to twelve organizations to find out • Four legal aid consultants or experts • Another three legal aid organizations • Five other organizations in the human sector realm We gathered case studies, advice, and lessons learned
We Found Three Core Possibilities Taking Services On the Road Helping People From Afar Providing Compelling On-Demand Resources
Taking Services On the Road
Technology Offers Interesting Options
MLSA Kiosks for Free Legal HelpMontana LegalServices Associationprovides kiosks incourtrooms withaccess to free onlinelegal help and formsfor those who chooseto self-represent
Kiosks for Free Legal Help• Kiosks located in three points in Montana• In addition to online resources, litigants can also use the computer to link to a “live chat” with a staff member of Montana Legal Services Association
Kiosks for Free Legal Help Entry page
Barriers and Key Success Factors Barriers: • Courthouses are not open all the time • Building relationships with partners like libraries and town offices Keys to Success: • Inexpensive to roll-out more • They don’t require a lot of upkeep
NYLAG’s Mobile Legal Help Center• 41-foot custom vehicle donated by the David Berg Foundation• Video link with NYC court system for emergency hearings• 4 separate private consultation areas for clients to meet with attorneys and law student volunteers• Travels to the 5 boroughs and Long Island
NYLAG’s Mobile Legal Help Center• A designated attorney and driver travels on the bus• Other staff and volunteers rotate
Barriers and Key Success Factors Barriers: • Physically navigating vehicle around the city • Finding areas of need and setting up appointments • Unreliable data signals Keys to Success: • Traveling familiar routes • Connecting with representatives and community centers to schedule visits • Internet technologies are improving
Maine Sea Coast MissionFounded in 1905 toprovide religiousservices to remoteMaine islands.In 2002, startedproviding IslandHealth Services viaa boat-based clinic.
Maine Sea Coast Mission Telemed Unit
Maine Sea Coast Mission Telemed UnitGoogle Calendarshows boat schedule
Barriers and Key Success Factors Barriers: • Availability of health providers • Reluctance of population to seek health care • Intrusiveness of technology Keys to Success: • Choosing providers with ties to the area • Publicizing schedule • Repeat exposure to technological assistance • Integration into the community
Providing Live Help At a Distance
Many of the Core Technologies Aren’t New
Video Conferencing Is Becoming Easier But is it available to your community?
Our Kids: Video ConferencingPrivate foster care andadoption agency partneredwith ATT&T to providebroadband internet servicesto foster care families – anduses it for informal check-inswith children.Video conferencing does notfill official visitationrequirements, but they use itto check-in in between visits.
Video Conferencing in the Legal Aid SectorProBonoNet is experimenting withvarious models:• Video chat replacing phone calls• Allowing people to click a “Video Chat” button after filling out an A2J form to get a consultation• Setting up pro-bono attorneys with video conferencing from courthouses – as they’re there already
Help Via SMS Text Messaging is Unproven• TXT4LIFE - Suicide Prevention through text messages• How is it working? We can’t find out.
MobileCred MobileCred’s Loan View• SMS Text-to-loan microfinance program that allows borrowers to be approved by a remote loan officer• A “proof of concept” developed by HiDef, not yet in the field
Providing Compelling On-Demand Online Resources
The Sector is Already Doing a Lot in This Area
But Can We Boost Usability and Appeal?How can we provide information inway that’s compelling and usable todiverse audiences?
We Own the Dream / Únete al SueñoJoint Venture of ImmigrationAdvocates Network (IAN) and ProBono Net to provide a screeningtool and information for theDeferred Action for ChildhoodArrivals (DACA)
We Own the Dream / Únete al Sueño Eligibility Screening Tool• Walks through a DACA screening interview• Provides a printable pdf• Soon will link to e-file• More than 13,000 individuals have already accessed the tool.• Tool is currently in English only
We Own the Dream / Únete al Sueño Mobile Text Alerts
Barriers and Key Success Factors Barriers: • Tenuous situation of the DACA law • A2J is limited on Apple phones; better on Android or other phones Keys to Success: • Strong publicity campaign and pre-existing lists • Leveraging mobile platform to outreach to younger generation
Illinois Legal Aid Videos
Idealware eLearning • On-demand trainings that bring together powerpoint, screencasts, au dio, video, and interactive elements, likes polls and quizzes. • Requires, at a minimum, multimedia software (like Camtasia or Adobe Premier). Interactive elements require eLearning software, like Articulate or Adobe Captivate.
CitizenshipWorks.org Mobile App• The app provides information, calculators, and checklists about the naturalization process.• Q&A to test user’s familiarity with civics questions• Not just flashcards; incorporating audio for the reading and writing sections• Closer approximation to actual test• English and Spanish versions
iCivics (http://www.icivics.org/)• Founded in 2009 by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor “to educate young people about civic rights and responsibilities and understand how the government works.”• 7 million game plays and over an estimated 1 million kids reached.
iCivics • Originally planned to reach young people directly by releasing the game for free online. • Under this distribution model, kids were not finding and playing the game. • Now, iCivics targets its games to teachers, in order to reach kids through school. • Currently have 17 games. Each cost an estimated low six-figures
Barriers and Key Success Factors Barriers: • Creating a game that kids will want to play. • Does the gameplay make sense for your message? Keys to Success: • Striking the balance between mission and fun. • Delivery – seeing far greater success distributing the game through schools than targeting the kids directly.
Mindblown Life• Combating financial illiteracy by creating an iPhone game that teaches personal finance.• “Players create an avatar, choose a career, and live their own virtual lives…”• Geared around a “Sims” like experience that kids will really want to play, with content that matches the game play• Budget in the low six figures.
What Have We Learned?
Some Key Themes Emerged Through all of our interviews, some recurring themes became apparent
Remote Options Aren’t CheapIt generally costs more tosupport people outside theoffice… at least in terms ofstart-up costs.But remote options cansometimes scale betterthan office visits.
Outreach is a Key Step It’s not enough to just show up in a new community with services. You need to figure out how you’ll spread the word and build trust. Consider partnering with those who already have the relationship
Scheduling Is Still An IssueAny live interaction willrequire scheduling, andbring with it schedulingwoes. These can beworse when it’s hard tojust reschedule (i.e. theJustice Bus is moving on).
Weigh Quality vs. Reach It’s harder to ensure remote services are always top quality and exactly what’s needed. When is quality paramount? When is some help better than no help?
Define Your Technology Plan BIf you’re going to rely on technology, you always need a Plan B, in case things don’t work as you thought they were going to.