2012 TIG Project Descriptions

To improve access to civil legal assistance for low-income Americans, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) awarded 46 Technology Initiative Grants (TIGs) to increase access to web-based resources, enhance pro bono, expand websites for veterans and disaster recovery, and improve data collection and analysis. These 2012 grants totaled more than $3.5 million and fund LSC grantee programs in 27 states and the territory of Guam. Please contact TIG staff for more information about particular projects, the 2012 grant cycle, or LSC's TIG Program.

ST

TIG Number

Recipient Name

Recipient Contact(s)

General Category

Grant Amount

Staff Grant Description

AK

12097

Alaska Legal Services Corporation

Nikole Nelson, Alaska Legal Services Corporation

Videos

$46,500

This project will produce, in conjunction with the Alaska Court System’s Family Law Self-Help Center, approximately thirty family law vignettes designed to help low-income persons to complete their own cases. These will be available on-line by accessing the Alaska Legal Services Corporation website, the FLSHC website, and the Alaska LawHelp website.

AR

12060

Center for Arkansas Legal Services

Vince Morris and Kim Marshall; Center for Arkansas Legal Services

Document Assembly

$63,000

The initiative will continue the development and maintenance of document assembly forms that utilize HotDocs, A2J Author, and the national LawHelp Interactive infrastructure. Through modest investments, Arkansas has developed one of the most widely-used interactive forms collections in the country. Funding will focus on upgrading the automated document catalog and ensuring compatibility with the newest document assembly technologies.

AZ

12085

Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc.

Anthony Young, Southern Arizona Legal Aid; Doris Lee Butler, Southern Arizona Legal Aid

Online Intake

$32,625

This project will develop an online intake system for the three LSC-funded programs in Arizona: Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Community Legal Services, and DNA-Peoples Legal Services. The system will expand services to clients throughout the state. Online intake allows prospective clients to apply for services at any time through the web, either at home or at a library or community center. The online intake system will also be integrated into the programs' case management systems; however, Arizona will offer one unified intake portal to simplify the process for clients.

CA

12099

Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.

Dennis Holz, Legal Aid Society of San Diego

Other

$56,500

This initiative will develop a legal services pleading bank accessible through California's statewide advocate website. The pleadings bank will cover several substantive areas to expand the capacity of legal services programs to pursue litigation when needed. It will also be made available to all eleven LSC-funded organizations throughout the state. The brief bank enhancements will be part of the national Pro Bono Net system and can be replicated by other providers across the country.

CA

12004

Inland Counties Legal Services, Inc.

Irene Morales, Inland Counties Legal Services

Online Intake

$52,252

This project will allow Inland Counties Legal Services (ICLS) to develop an online intake system for clients in its service area. Online intake allows prospective clients to apply for services at any time through the web, either at home or at a library or community center. The online intake system will also be integrated into ICLS's  case management system, which saves significant time and reduces mistakes by allowing intake staff to simply verify user-submitted information instead of inputting it themselves.

CO

12074

Colorado Legal Services

Molly French, Colorado Legal Services

Mobile to provide increased access

$43,920

Funding will support Colorado Legal Services' efforts to develop a mobile app that furthers pro bono recruitment and assistance. The app will allow attorneys to sign up for volunteer work, provide a checklist of items for them to understand prior to performing pro bono work, and present them with guidance to follow while assisting low-income clients. This project fits squarely within TIG's commitment to supporting pro bono engagement and the recommendations of LSC's LSC's Pro Bono Task Force.

CT

12044

Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, Inc.

Kathy Daniels, Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut

Website Grants for Programs

$45,500

This project will develop an Online Classroom Template (OCT) that legal aid programs can use to create self-paced online courses for self-represented parties. The OCT will also allow for creation of substantive online courses for legal aid clients and pro bono attorneys. Organizations wishing to replicate the OCT will be able to utilize a special demonstration guide developed through this initiative. The OCT is being developed using open source technology.

CT

12057

Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, Inc.

Kathy Daniels, Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut

CE Videos

$43,500

This project will create engaging Spanish and English legal information web videos covering federal topics relevant to low income individuals. The videos will be produced using the fotonovela style, which has its roots in Latino culture and has been widely used in health education.

FL

12021

Legal Services of North Florida, Inc.

Javan Ferguson, Legal Services of North Florida

Infrastructure Focused Grants

$92,059

North Florida will leverage Microsoft SharePoint to  build a comprehensive knowledge management solution. This system will: utilize a taxonomy based on LSC’s problem codes to aid in categorizing documents and resources; develop an interface with the LegalServer case management system to allow advocates to  securely search for documents in client files; and consolidate data from five servers into a single electronic warehouse. This project replicates the Northwest Justice Project's current knowledge management initiative (TIG 11076) as well as one beginning at Legal Services-New York City (12031).

GA

12056

Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc.

Kristin Verrill, Atlanta Legal Aid Society

National Projects

$40,933

The Atlanta Legal Aid Society’s Content Sharing Project will enhance and maintain two prior TIG funded projects: ShareLaw and ShareLawVideo.  ShareLawVideo is a private website that connects the national legal aid community to video and other multi-media content contributed by a national group of legal services programs.  ShareLaw is a project that provides the legal services community a central online location for exchanging text-based website content.

GA

12063

Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc.

Kristin Verrill, Atlanta Legal Aid Society

Use of data for analysis

$86,506

Atlanta will create a business intelligence dashboard within its LegalServer case management system. This new functionality will allow the program to easily create reports and graphical displays that measure program accomplishments in several areas. The project will improve outcome collection capacities and develop reports that better track and visualize advocate accomplishments and client feedback.

GA

12077

Georgia Legal Services Program

Phyllis Holmen and Rebecca Miller, Georgia Legal Services Program

Mobile to provide increased access

$50,754

This initiative will develop the "Just Pay Phone" mobile application to assist current farmworker clients in recording their hours worked and remotely transmitting information to their attorneys in order to improve the provision of legal services and increase compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. The mobile app will be designed for users with low literacy and it will be available in English and Spanish. Guided use of this app – including phones running the app -- will be provided only to clients in existing cases.

GA

12079

Georgia Legal Services Program

Phyllis Holmen and Rebecca Miller, Georgia Legal Services Program

Mobile to provide increased access

$163,750

Funding for this project will pilot the use of SMS text messaging campaigns in partnership with several legal services organizations across the country. Partners will utilize established text messaging technology to provide legal information to cell phone users. The project will also create an outreach tool kit -- including a generic set of marketing collateral for each state’s local campaigns -- and can be replicated by other organizations across the country. Studies have shown that a significant number of Americans send text messages. In addition, a program that provides free and low-cost cell phone plans to eligible low-income people now includes free text messaging.

GU

12084

Guam Legal Services Corporation

Phyllis Holmen and Michael Monahan, Georgia Legal Services Program

Document Assembly

$57,500

This project will enhance low-income individuals' access to justice by expanding on existing resources through the development of interactive A2J and HotDocs interviews, particularly a guided interview that completes the forms needed for Protective/Restraining Orders. The grantee will also develop an interview to address change of name issues.

HI

12023

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii

Nalani Fujimori Kaina, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii

Document Assembly

$41,500

This project will assist self-represented litigants facing civil legal issues through the development of self-help court forms using HotDocs and A2J document assembly software.  It  will concentrate on creating forms in family, landlord-tenant, and collection along with district court restraining order forms and other key court documents identified in coordination with administrators from the Hawai‘i Judiciary.

ID

12026

Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.

Steven Rapp, Idaho Legal Aid Services

Other - Virtual law office

$63,739

Funding will create a web-based virtual law office to augment Idaho Legal Aid Services’ brick and mortar practice. This project will leverage several innovative components -- including a robust practice management platform, e-signature software, video conferencing, and video court appearance capacities -- to create a virtual portal that helps legal aid attorneys more efficiently serve rural clients throughout the state.

ID

12043

Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.

Steven Rapp, Idaho Legal Aid Services

Website Grants with National Impact

$54,824

This project will develop and implement a responsive mobile theme for legal aid programs using Drupal. It was also optimize some Drupal statewide websites so that content is effectively displayed to persons using a variety of devices, including smart phones, tablets, and netbooks.

IL

12059

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.

Michael O'Connor, Prairie State Legal Services

Use of Data for Analysis

$118,475

This project will develop an enhanced data collection and analysis system for legal services providers in Illinois. The system will analyze data from cases, legal aid websites, and newly developed mobile apps to create easy-to-understand visual reports that organizations can use to better assess their service delivery.

LA

12035

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation

Lisa Stansky, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation

Mobile to provide increased access

$31,500

This grant will fund development of a mobile version of Louisiana's statewide website  to ensure that the growing pool of lower income people using smartphones can access the legal resources developed in the state. The mobile site will highlight key materials from the statewide website and include new content tailored to mobile users.

MA

12080

Massachusetts Justice Project, Inc.

Gordon Shaw, Massachusetts Justice Project

Online Intake

$51,500

This project will develop a web-based tool that connects users to legal resources addressing their specific legal issues. The tool allows a user to complete a short online form with a limited number of questions about their legal problem and household demographics. It will then search a database and return to the user information in plain language guidance that will help them meet their legal need.

ME

12009

Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc.

Nan Heald, Pine Tree Legal Assistance

Veterans

$41,500

This project will enhance StatesideLegal.org, a national website focused on helping veterans and military families with civil legal issues. Funding will support the continued development of StatesideLegal's extensive library of original content, including expansion of materials to assist veterans in understanding their legal rights as they rejoin the work force.

MI

12036

Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc.

Sharon Gant, Legal Aid and Defender Association

Online intake

$51,500

This project will develop an online intake system to expand services to clients in Detroit. Online intake allows prospective clients to apply for services at any time through the web, either at home or at a library or community center. The online intake system will also be integrated into Legal Aid and Defender Association's case management system, which saves significant time and reduces mistakes by allowing intake staff to simply verify user-submitted information instead of inputting it themselves.

MN

12071

Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota

David Lund, Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota

Mobile to provide increased access; Pro bono engagement

$90,460

This grant will improve the effectiveness of pro bono attorneys by creating a set of mobile-optimized resources, including settlement checklists and client interview guides. These on-demand resources will support pro bono attorneys in the field who are helping low-income clients with matters outside the attorneys' usual areas of expertise.

MT

12086

Montana Legal Services Association

Alison Paul, Montana Legal Services Association

Videoconferencing

$36,825

This project will leverage videoconferencing and mobile devices to deliver legal services based, in part, on telemedicine service delivery models. The project will allow attorneys to serve clients using tablet computers at remotely located partner organization sites; it will also utilize a videoconferencing service that accommodates secure and encrypted communications.

NM

12018

New Mexico Legal Aid

Ed Marks, New Mexico Legal Aid

Use of data for analysis

$54,500

New Mexico will create a statewide intake and case management network that will use continuous analysis of real time non-confidential data to more effectively identify legal issues, trends and targeted client communities. Partner agencies participating in the project will use this information to strategically focus resources on cases and community needs most likely to produce significant results.

NY

12022

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.

Jeff Hogue, Legal Assistance of Western New York

Online intake

$37,700

TIG funding will help develop the New York Online Referral and Prescreening Program (ORAP). The ORAP will create in several of the state's service areas an online entry point for low-income New Yorkers who are seeking legal services and information. The ORAP program will improve intake efficiency by referring applicants to other resources when their legal problems are not covered by the legal services agency.

NY

12031

Legal Services NYC

John Greiner, Legal Services NYC

Infrastructure Focused Grants

$94,500

This grant will fund development of a knowledge management system built on Microsoft SharePoint. This new system will create an accessible portal that allows advocates across the organization to easily collaborate on litigation and outreach efforts and efficiently locate the most appropriate practice resources and documents to meet the legal needs of low-income people. This project replicates the Northwest Justice Project's current knowledge management initiative (TIG 11076) as well as one beginning in North Florida (12021). 

NY

12037

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.

Jeff Hogue, Legal Assistance of Western New York

Videoconferencing

$74,220

This grant will fund the Remote Advocacy and Compliance project that will allow Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY) to use videoconferencing to conduct Social Security Administration's (SSA) video hearings through the Representative Video Project (RVP). The RVP is an initiative authorizing representatives to use their own equipment for video hearings if approved by SSA. LawNY will create RVP sites in its Bath, Olean, and Ithaca office and add video remote sites in all seven of its offices.

NY

12038

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.

Jeff Hogue, Legal Assistance of Western New York

Mobile to provide increased access

$71,000

The project team will optimize mobile content on New York's statewide website in both Spanish and English. The site's mobile user interface will be modified to accommodate Spanish-speaking users, and selected content will be converted for better utilization on mobile devices. Additionally, the project will live help chat support for mobile users.

OH

12052

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

Colleen Cotter , Legal Aid Society of Cleveland; Rachel Perry, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

Use of Data for Analysis

$159,761

This grant will fund the exploration and development of enhanced data analysis strategies for Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and the national legal aid community. Cleveland will collaborate with social scientists and other data-savvy legal aid organizations from around the country to make better use of existing data, implement better data collection and analysis software, incorporate important data from groups such as the Census Bureau, and improve outcome and impact measurements. These enhanced data strategies will allow legal services organizations to improve the processes through which they deliver legal services to low income people.

OH

12061

Ohio State Legal Services

Jim Daniels, Ohio State Legal Services

Website Grants with National Impact

$561,500

This project will continue the maintenance and support of LawHelp Interactive, a national resource that provides high-quality document assembly forms to both legal aid advocates and low-income people representing themselves. LawHelp Interactive delivers web-based interviews that present users with a series of questions about a document or form, allowing them to input the required information in a logical and organized manner. These answers are then used to assemble a document or court form. During 2012, LawHelp Interactive was used to complete more than 400,000 documents.

OH

12088

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

Kevin Mulder, Legal Aid of Western Ohio

LiveHelp

$48,735

This project will pilot use of a web-based live chat tool to provide legal services to low income individuals in twenty-five rural counties in Northwest and West Central Ohio. The live chat tool will allow volunteer attorneys to interact virtually with the growing number of rural clients who have internet access.

OK

12081

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

Michael Figgins, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma

Document Assembly

$58,350

This project will automate multiple sets of forms to be tested and implemented across three Oklahoma counties. Ultimately, the forms will be targeted for use statewide. The grantee will develop information and user instructions in plain language and will publicize the materials locally. The project will also leverage LiveChat to ensure that low-income users get the assistance necessary to complete the forms.

PA

12006

Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Amy Gendall and Liz Fritsch, Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania

VoIP Telephony

$81,500

This grant will fund the development of an innovative digital call center for low-income people in need of legal assistance in Southeast Pennsylvania. The system will be designed to reduce wait times for cell phone callers and offer automated call-backs for those individuals with capped cell phone minutes. It will also forge new ground by developing text messaging capacity as a unique method to convey brief advice in emergency situations and reinforce advice previously delivered through the call center.

PA

12030

Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center

Jonathan Pyle, Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center

CE Videos

$29,500

In partnership with the  University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia Legal Assistance will develop instructional web videos in multiple languages to assist self-represented people with family law, housing and other types of cases in Pennsylvania courts. 

SC

12098

South Carolina Legal Services, Inc.

Andrea Loney, South Carolina Legal Services

Online Intake

$41,923

This project will create an online intake application that is integrated with the program's LegalServer case management system, and to build a referral system of legal information for low-income clients.

TX

12087

Lone Star Legal Aid

Paul Furrh, Lone Star Legal Aid

Website Grants with National Impact

$131,820

This grant will enhance and expand the national DisasterLegalAid.org website by updating existing content, creating new resources, redesigning the site interface, and adding mobile technology accessibility. These upgrades will increase the site’s overall usefulness for low-income persons’ seeking access to legal services following a disaster and help members of the legal community better protect the rights of disaster survivors.

UT

12005

Utah Legal Services, Inc.

Craige Harrison, Utah Legal Services

LEP Resources

$28,000

Funding will support development of a Spanish version of Utah Legal Services’ current A2J Online Intake application and the A2J Automated Intake Script used by intake workers. Translating the A2J Online application will allow the Spanish-speaking population to apply for assistance over the Web using a template they can more easily understand while the Spanish A2J Automated Intake Script will make the phone intake process easier.

UT

12083

Utah Legal Services, Inc.

Craige Harrison, Utah Legal Services

Pro Bono

$32,500

Funding will support the design of a pro bono database to streamline the statewide placement of eligible pro bono clients with volunteer attorneys.  The system will utilize a lawyer tracking and case matching program to be shared by all legal non-profit providers in the state. These providers will be able to input cases into the system for local committee placement.

VA

12091

Blue Ridge Legal Services, Inc.

John Whitfield, Blue Ridge Legal Services

National Projects

$375,700

Blue Ridge Legal Services will work with Pro Bono Net (PBN) to re-architect the technical infrastructure of LawHelp Interactive (LHI). LHI is used extensively in the legal services community to deliver automated legal forms to legal aid advocates, pro bono attorneys, and low-income Americans representing themselves. The rebuild will lead to improvements in reliability and scalability, cut the costs of future enhancements, improve administrative capacity and allow the system to be more easily integrated with case management and e-filing systems in courts nationwide.

VA

12094

Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Inc.

Ronké Hughes, Legal Services of Northern Virginia

Online Intake

$33,083

This grant funds the development an online intake system to expand services to clients in Northern Virginia. Online intake allows prospective clients to apply for services at any time through the web, either at home or through a community center or library. The online intake system will be integrated into Legal Services of Northern Virginia’s case management system, which saves significant time and reduces intake mistakes by allowing staff to simply verify user-submitted information instead of inputting it themselves.

VA

12096

Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Inc.

Ronké Hughes, Legal Services of Northern Virginia

AoI – Mobile to provide increased access

$33,678

This grant will fund the development of an appointment reminder system that will utilize text messaging to notify Legal Services of Northern Virginia's applicants and clients of upcoming office appointments or court hearings. Northern Virginia's case management system will automatically send text messages to individuals who elect to use this service based on case information stored in the its internal database.

WA

12003

Northwest Justice Project

Brian Rowe and Sue Encherman, Northwest Justice Project

NTAP Funding

$21,500

This grant will continue the popular National Technology Assistance Project (NTAP) online webinar series for 2013. Funding will support ten national webinars focused on how technology can enhance services to clients and improve overall program effectiveness. These online trainings are especially useful as organizations reduce travel costs and work towards doing more with less.

WA

12019

Northwest Justice Project

Sue Encherman, Northwest Justice Project

Use of data for analysis

$34,500

This project will build a business intelligence dashboard into the case management system at Northwest Justice Project (NJP). The dashboard will allow staff to view real-time and historical information presented in graphical formats and see patterns and trends in client problems as they emerge, improving NJP's ability to conduct advocacy and effectively allocate resources.

WA

12020

Northwest Justice Project

Kristi Cruz and Sue Encherman, Northwest Justice Project

Resources for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind individuals

$65,300

This grant will expand access to civil legal aid services for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind individuals in Washington State through the use of videophone to videophone technology that allows for easy connection to an attorney fluent in American Sign Language. Funding will also be used to develop video resources and outreach materials targeted to these communities.