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Innovations in Technology-Enabled Pro Bono webinar


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Innovations in Technology-Enabled Pro Bono webinar

  1. 1. Welcome to LSNTAP’s Innovations in Technology-Enabled Pro Bono Webinar!If you joined the training via telephone, pleaseselect Telephone and enter your audio pin if youhaven’t already.If you joined with a microphone and headset orspeakers (VoIP), please select Mic & Speakers.We will start promptly at the hour.
  2. 2. A few logistics before we start…Maximize/minimize control panel with the orangearrow.VOIP users select Mic & Speakers.Telephone users select Telephone, and then enterthe audio pin.Ask a question or tell us something in the Questionsbox.Raise your hand by clicking on the Hand at thebottom of the tool bar if you want to talk. (We willstop after presenters.)
  3. 3. LSNTAP is recording this training and will post it to their SlideShare account for the LSNTAP and SWEB websites.Registered attendees will receive an email with a link to this information once it has been posted.
  4. 4. Innovations inTechnology-Enabled Pro Bono October 24, 2012
  5. 5. What We Will Cover Today• Why technology?• Models for providing remote pro bono services• Using interactive forms to support volunteer work• Mobile initiatives to market cases and engage volunteers Moderator: Liz Keith Law Help Program Manager, Pro Bono Net Join the conversation via Twitter hashtag #lsntap
  6. 6. Our Panel TodayAdam FriedlPro Bono Coordinator, Pro Bono NetErik ColeExecutive Director, Tennessee Alliance for Legal ServicesClaudia JohnsonLawHelp Interactive Program Manager, Pro Bono NetMichael SollerDirector of Communications, Public Counsel
  7. 7. LSC Pro Bono Task Force ReportKey themes:• Provide a range of opportunities to engage all segments of the bar• Include mechanisms for engaging non-lawyers• Develop a strong pro bono culture• Develop pro bono mechanisms for assisting and empowering pro se litigants• Enlist community collaborators• Improve evaluation and data collection on pro bono• Use technology to support pro bono Released October 2012:
  8. 8. Technology benefits volunteers• Enables new pathways to pro bono participation• Supports involvement by non-traditional and non-attorney volunteers• Supports work tailored to interest, skill level and time commitment• Increases access to supportive resources and expertise
  9. 9. Technology benefits pro bono programs• Encourages greater participation by offering flexible, meaningful volunteer work• Allows for rapid and personalized communication with volunteers• Connects volunteers and clients based on interests and needs• Provides opportunities for new partnerships• Creates a program “presence” in hard-to-reach areas
  10. 10. Technology benefits clients• Bridges physical, geographic, language and other barriers in reaching underserved clients and communities• Greater efficiencies and support for pro bono which can lead to an increase in both the quantity and quality of pro bono services delivered• Increasingly, clients are expecting or turning to web-based tools for help
  11. 11. New York Family Court Volunteer Attorney Program Remote Service Project Adam Friedl Pro Bono Coordinator Pro Bono Net
  12. 12. About Family Court in New York Case Types • Abused or Neglected Children • Adoption • Custody and Visitation • Domestic Violence (Family Offenses) • Foster Care Approval and Review • Guardianship • Juvenile Delinquency • Paternity • Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) • Child and/or Spousal Support
  13. 13. Family Court in New York – the numbers Number of dispositions per judge, 2005: – Family Court: 2,120 – Supreme Court, Civil: 525 – Supreme/County Courts, Criminal: 222 – Court of Claims: 63 Another way to think of it: In 2006, 127 Family Court judges were responsible for 680,791 new filings. Percentage of litigants proceeding pro se: >80%
  14. 14. Family Court Volunteer Attorney Project • The Family Court Volunteer Attorney Project (VAP) provides free, discrete, unbundled legal advice by volunteer attorneys to un- represented litigants. • Currently operates in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Credit:
  15. 15. Current Limits on ResourcesStaten Island (Richmond County) has not been covered inthe past by VAP due to geography and limited resources. – Geography • The vast majority of volunteer attorneys participating in VAP are based in Manhattan, where access to Staten Island is relatively inconvenient and time-consuming. – Resources • No dedicated space for VAP. • No personnel to screen litigants in Richmond County.
  16. 16. Remote Service Project The idea: use technology to make VAP services available in Richmond County – Use web-based communications technology to allow experienced volunteer attorneys in established VAP sites in Kings and New York Counties to assist pro se litigants in other counties. – Use scanners and remote IP printing to deliver documents from litigants to volunteers, and vice versa. – Use a VAP court attorney to aid the Richmond County Family Court in screening litigants and briefing volunteers.
  17. 17. Project Requirements• Computer stations in New York, Kings, and Richmond Counties equipped with video conferencing software, cameras, microphones, speakers, printers, and scanners.• Secure, stable lines of communication.• Court attorney to triage litigants, brief volunteers, and access UCMS to view case history.
  18. 18. Pilot Program: New York to Richmond Counties• Court attorney familiar with VAP travels once weekly to Richmond County to conduct litigant intake.• Volunteers in Manhattan are connected to Staten Island using Polycom Telepresence (a proprietary video chat system in use in the court system)
  19. 19. The Process• Court attorney conducts intake with litigant in Richmond intake room.• Litigant goes to waiting room. Court attorney briefs volunteer in Manhattan via video call. – Prints any documents volunteer needs to IP printer in Manhattan.• Court attorney escorts litigant to consultation room. Volunteer in Manhattan counsels litigant via video call.• If volunteer has a question, mutes video call and telephones Court attorney.• Volunteer returns to video call, finishes consultation.• Volunteer prints any documents litigant needs to IP printer in Richmond.
  20. 20. Some Advantages• Kings and New York County Family Courts are centrally located.• Kings and New York Counties currently have an existing infrastructure for coordination and supervision of volunteers.• Both counties have dedicated tech personnel to set up video conferencing and IP printing.• Court attorney responsible for VAP is enthusiastic about the project.
  21. 21. Some Disadvantages• VAP-trained court attorney must travel to Richmond County, at least initially.• Scaling challenges beyond Richmond County to rest of state. – Technology infrastructure does not exist in many courthouses and remains limited in Richmond County.• Litigant unfamiliarity with technology.
  22. 22. Future Goals• Expand service locations beyond New York County. – Eventually make it possible for volunteer attorneys to participate in VAP from their desks – to brief with court attorneys and to advise clients anywhere, securely.• Use reduced barriers to entry to attract more attorneys to pro bono work in the Family Courts• Involve legal services attorneys to take on “mentoring role” in areas where court attorneys not available to participate
  23. 23. Thank you for your time!For questions or comments, please feel free to contact: Adam Friedl Pro Bono Coordinator
  24. 24. OnlineTNJustice.orgFree Legal Advice and Counsel Erik ColeTennessee Alliance for Legal Services 24
  25. 25. Other remote services trends to watch • Brief advice clinics connecting urban volunteer lawyers with rural clients via Skype • Remote document review – Completed forms emailed to remote volunteer – Use of GoToMeeting or other screen-sharing tools • Real time (LiveHelp) and asynchronous chat systems (information, referrals and advice) • Virtual law office platforms • You tell us!
  26. 26. Interactive Forms andyour Pro Bono Projects Claudia Johnson LawHelp Interactive Pro Bono Net 26
  27. 27. What is LawHelp Interactive? For the court and legal aid community• A training center—we teach people how to create these interviews• A tech support center—we provide technical support• A replication/best practices engine-we share best practices, a community of sharing 27
  28. 28. What is LawHelp Interactive? For the end user: Advocates or self- A personalized represented document is created litigants from the answers. answer questions The during an answers Supports use of HotDocs™ can be interview. and/or A2J Author™ interviews saved and reused. 28
  29. 29. How are volunteers using LawHelp Interactive forms? Direct Representation: •Pro Bono Lawyers taking the case and using the forms in an area outside their expertize (Minnesota and Ontario) •Save our Seniors Project (Illinois) •Wills for Heroes (various states) Limited Scope/Unbundled Legal Services •Remote review of pleadings by pro bono lawyer/not having to go downtown to do pro bono (Los Angeles, Georgia) • In person review by Pro Bono Lawyer at self help center (Ontario)—triage for full rep •Weekend clinics to generate wills, guardianships, power of attorney, en mass Information/referral/Screening Helping victims in shelters do their forms ( social workers/victims advocates/Idaho •Emeritus attorneys staffing self help centers in libraries and courts (Illinois) •Emeritus attorneys staffing foreclosure hotline (Georgia) •Screening for N-400s (CitizenWorks) • Law students/Americorps staffing self help centers, leading workshops, and college students staffing drop in centers (Los Angeles, Kentucky, Bet Tzedek) 29
  30. 30. Top states by assembly have pro bono projects using forms CA - 43,057 (in self help centers and one on one) NY – 81,153 (in self help centers and one on one court based pro bono projects) Idaho –11,729 (in DV shelters lay volunteers) Illinois –37,397 (in libraries, Save our Seniors, one on one, large group clinics) Arkansas –11,882 (pro bono clinics on weekends) As of 6/30/2011 Source ProBono Net, LHI Quarterly Statistics 30
  31. 31. Workshop Model, Los Angeles 31
  32. 32. LA Superior Court 32
  33. 33. San Bernardino Self Help 33
  34. 34. What are the benefits of LawHelpInteractive Forms in a Pro Bono Context? Standardized content Electronic remote sharing Information Reusable Less training required ◦Checks and balances, references, calculations ◦Resources can be put into the interview ◦Sample pleadings can be reduced to one interview, one url—no need to send out multiple documents in one big binder 34
  35. 35. LawHelp Interactive can print instructions/documents in translatedversion and English 35
  36. 36. Language Options 36
  37. 37. Partnership at work 37
  38. 38. The Domestic Abuse Self-Help Project [DASH]• DASH created in 2006• DASH: Partnership between NLS & L.A. Superior Court• Self-Help – Individual assistance – Attorney review of all forms 38
  39. 39. DASH by the Numbers• 4 clinics• 1 Supervising Attorney that oversees all the self help centers• Across 100 miles of L.A.• Over 5,500 litigants annually.• Staffed by Volunteers• Family Law Attorneys assist in back-up of DASH 39
  40. 40. DASH-The Old Days…1. Fill out each form using Essential Forms2. Print forms3. Litigant reviews forms4. Fax forms to off-site attorney5. Attorney reviews forms (40+ pages each)6. Attorney calls volunteer7. for changes8. Volunteer makes changes9. (Forms re-faxed for more review)10. Litigant signs forms 40
  41. 41. DASH Program has Come a Long Way• LHI-Hot Docs Program: – Consistent, Accurate Forms – Faster forms preparations – More time to prepare the declaration – Improved the quality of declarations 41
  42. 42. DASH Program has Come a Long Way –Faster/Easier back-up –On the go back up– not chained to a fax machine 42
  43. 43. DASH Program has Come a Long Way–Attorney can edit declaration–Allows for back-up attorneys to issue spot and refer to outside services or in-house referrals 43
  44. 44. DASH Program has Expanded in Los Angeles County 44
  45. 45. DASH Program has Expanded• Recruited Pro bono attorneys for in- office review of forms• Working with shelter advocates for off-site forms preparation 45
  46. 46. DASH Program has Expanded• Partnerships with Shelters• Recruited Baldwin Park Police Department 46
  47. 47. DASH Program and Family Justice Center• Example: Maria Is brought to FJC by LAPD• Interviewed by NLSLA• TRO using DASH Program• Attorney is at Court, Reviews forms & Files• Obtain Police Report from Detectives• Other Party is Served in Jail 47
  48. 48. Idaho-non attorney advocates• In Idaho, victims advocates support persons help victims prepare restraining orders and divorce petitions• Support them during the hearing• Help available also at the court’s self help site in some counties (Ada)• Large rural state 48
  49. 49. Pro Bono Expungements Full Rep• Minnesota created a very good module for pro bono lawyers using LHI and their advocate page• Expungement is a complicated procedure• Initial investment was small ($2500)• Received Law and Technology News Award in 2012• Up to June 2012 it has been used 629 times and the document has been created over 300 times• In the first year (2009) trained over 134 volunteers• In the last training they trained over 200 volunteer lawyers• Full representation model 49
  50. 50. Pro Bono Innovation Award 50
  51. 51. All supporting materials are online 51
  52. 52. Guidance is provided step by step 52
  53. 53. 53
  54. 54. 54
  55. 55. PBLO has many pro bono projects using forms• Some are around a self help center• Others are around specific projects, like the charity incorporation project• Created a Charity tool box in 2010• From Jan to September2012, the interview was used 180 times (19 times per month)• It allows for incorporation and charity forms request under Canada Law 55
  56. 56. Pro Bono Website supports the online tool box 56
  57. 57. How can my pro bono project get LHI forms?• Contact Claudia Johnson or Mirenda Watkins• They will connect you to the groups using online forms in your state already• Or help you set up a project if none exist• They will help you explore different options/ideas and help you with funding requests and evaluation• Think outside the box! 57
  58. 58. Ontario Charity Tool Box 58
  59. 59. For Additional Information• Domestic Violence Petition Clinic, NLS and Orange County Superior Court•• Maribel Jimenez for DASH/NLS• Lawhelp Interactive - or contact Claudia Johnson or Mirenda Watkins• Ontario Charity Tool Box (example only)• 28.6119892021&set_language=en• Georgia Screening Tool for Foreclosure Cases, Emeritus Attorneys in the hotline Atlanta_Legal_ServicesForeclosure_Online_Screening_Tool (needs password) 59
  60. 60. Public Counsel’sForce for Good App and Mobile Strategies Michael Soller Public Counsel 60
  61. 61. Other mobile initiatives to watch• app• Arkansas Legal Services Partnership iPhone app• Coming in 2013- “Pro Bono to Go” – Mobile-optimized client interview guides, settlement checklists on mobile optimized via• You tell us!
  62. 62. Still have questions?Adam FriedlPro Bono Coordinator, Pro Bono Netafriedl@probono.netErik ColeExecutive Director, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Servicesecole@tals.orgClaudia JohnsonLawHelp Interactive Program Manager, Pro Bono Netcjohnson@probono.netMichael SollerDirector of Communications, Public
  63. 63. THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING TODAY! Register for the next LSNTAP webinar: Providing Legal Services Remotely November 7, 2012 at 1 pm ET More information at
  64. 64. Contact InformationBrian Rowe ( or via chat on Don’t forget to take our feedback survey!