Outcomes are among the most important aspects of legal cases. That’s why the LegalServer team pays special attention to the Outcomes module, augmenting it over the years to support a wide variety of uses and satisfy the needs of funders.
Agencies can leverage Outcomes to create categories (such as primary, secondary, and tertiary), track financial outcomes (like amounts and frequency of monetary recovery), and group multiple outcomes for the same case. The City Bar Justice Center in New York City uses these tools to help meet the ever-changing requirements of its funders.
Schwartz also notes that LegalServer’s versatility has been integral when it comes to grant funding. “We’re never quite sure what new funding sources are going to become available, and grant reporting always presents us with a moving target,” he says. “We can easily customize and adapt our forms to prioritize whatever new information we’ll need without adding additional layers of complexity where they aren’t needed.”
Accurate data collection leads to better reports, which can be grouped by Outcome categories and in summation - by counting the number of outcomes recorded in a specific period of time, for example. Outcomes may also be grouped by financial benefit type, with subtotals and grand totals, and filtered down by legal problem code.
The LegalServer community deserves a lot of credit for helping steer the development of the Outcomes module over the years. Legal aid agencies like City Bar Justice Center have provided invaluable feedback and insight to make Outcomes more useful - which all agencies can benefit from in a dynamic legal aid landscape.
Special thanks to Legal Services Corporation (LSC) for featuring the Outcomes module in a recent write-up.
When low-income New Yorkers need help with a consumer issue, they often don’t know where to turn. To make accessing legal aid easier and more efficient, a consortium of New York-based agencies recently created the NYC Consumer Help Finder.
This online intake and triage system - accessible 24/7 via any web browser - acts like a decision tree to help determine a client’s needs and eligibility, then connects them with self help information from sources like LawHelpNY or the right legal aid firm. The project is the brainchild of five organizations: the City Bar Justice Center, CAMBA Legal Services, Mobilization for Justice, the Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham Law School, and the Urban Justice Center.
The NYC Consumer Help Finder was made possible via a grant from The New York Community Trust, while LegalServer donated the underlying technology.
Applicants access a secure web portal where they enter information about themselves and their legal needs. Based on the input, the application will ask a custom series of questions. Behind the scenes, the Automated Routing Tool (ART) processes the answers and refers the client to the appropriate legal organization based on factors like the applicant’s spoken language, where they live, the type of consumer issue they’re facing, and the availability of partner agencies.
The system also provides applicants with legal information on their particular issues, which in some cases is sufficient to satisfy their needs. Those requiring additional assistance are referred to a live legal services provider that can provide direct legal representation, and those cases are automatically entered into the agencies’ case management systems.
This technology saves immense time and effort for both the applicants and the attorneys. Consumers in need can tap legal help faster and easier than ever before, while legal aid agencies are provided with cases tailored to their specialized abilities.
The civil legal aid process requires a lot of data entry. Even inputting basic information from prospective Clients takes a lot of time and effort that could be better spent elsewhere.
That’s where LegalServer’s Online Intake module comes in. This feature lets legal aid agencies offer an online application to the public with a separate cloud-based app, where Clients can apply for legal aid services whenever is convenient for them - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Agencies can then review these Intakes and schedule Services, or even transfer Clients to different organizations based on specific criteria, if desired.
Here are some legal aid agencies that plan on putting LegalServer’s Online Intake to use in real-world scenarios.
Texas Legal Services Center (TLSC) uses their full team of attorneys, paralegals and support staff to team up with pro bono volunteers and organization partners to deliver a variety of civil legal services to its community. TLSC’s Clients include survivors of sexual assault, veterans, families in need, and medicare beneficiaries. Along with legal services, the center offers integrated assistance for safety planning, consumer advocacy, foreclosure prevention, and medical-legal partnership work.
TLSC’s Online Intake site allows applicants to reach out for help when it’s convenient for them. Additionally, the electronic case transfer options in LegalServer allows TLSC to review those Intakes, and transfer cases directly to any other LegalServer agency for further assistance.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA (AAAJ) is on a mission to advance civil and human rights for all Asian Americans, and to empower communities through education, litigation, and public policy advocacy. Their advocates work hard to ensure that the fast-growing Asian-American community can benefit equally from, and contribute to, the American dream by ensuring access to voting rights, and assisting newly-arrived immigrants to the United States.
AAAJ works with the Community Partners Network, a national network of organizations serving Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. AAAJ’s use of the Online Intake process and electronic case transfer module allows for quick and effective communication among these groups. Additionally, the SMS features in LegalServer enable AAAJ to keep the lines of communication open with Clients as their Cases update.
Central California Legal Services (CCLS) provides free civil legal assistance in a variety of areas including health, housing employment, utilities, and family law, to individuals, families, and organizations in more than six counties in California.
CCLS took the opportunity with their recent Go-Live to improve the way their staff records time with LegalServer’s dynamic timekeeping modules. They are also working towards bringing their Online Intake process live, to reach more Clients in their service area and eliminate duplicative effort.
To learn more about LegalServer, and how it can transform your agency’s Intake process, contact us today.
Keeping track of hundreds of attorneys, their legal specialties, and locations they operate in - not to mention assigning them relevant cases - requires sophisticated software. LegalServer’s Pro Bono Tools were developed hand-in-hand with legal aid experts to simplify and streamline these tasks.
The Pro Bono Tools module allows users to find the right attorney, match them up with the correct client, and ultimately manage their cases more effectively. The following clients recently went live with their own custom LegalServer implementations, and are enjoying the time-saving benefits of having Pro Bono Tools.
MetroWest Legal Services’ mission is to “provide legal advocacy to protect and advance the rights of the poor, elderly, disabled and other disenfranchised people in our service area and to assist them in obtaining legal, social and economic justice.” The agency provides a variety of services to 45 towns in Massachusetts.
With LegalServer, MetroWest’s staff gains the flexibility to customize Intake forms to capture relevant information and oversee client Services. Pro Bono Tools help track their pro bono attorneys’ work, making case management and Reporting easier for all involved.
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) assists clients in 21 counties in Eastern Missouri by advancing justice through legal representation, education, and a variety of supportive services. LSEM provides a wide variety of assistance on cases such as Housing, Domestic Violence, Special Education, Public Benefits, Consumer Issues, Senior Cases, Immigration and low-income business and non-profit representation.
With so many services under one roof, and so many clients to serve, LSEM leverages LegalServer’s Pro Bono Tools reach out to qualified advocates that specialize in the types of legal aid required in specific geographic areas. The result is more effective legal help for Clients that need it most.
Step Up to Justice (SU2J) is on a mission to build connections between clients, attorneys, and community partners in Pima County Arizona, through careful financial stewardship and technology designed to bring civil legal services to clients where and when they need them. SU2J is positioned to fill a gap and expand on existing resources in pro bono legal services, using Pro Bono Tools within LegalServer to advance efforts to secure equal access to justice for all.
Want to learn how Pro Bono Tools can benefit your organization? Reach out to us.
Immigration attorneys are all too familiar with the complexities of immigration paperwork. With a multitude of immigration related forms from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Justice (DOJ), managing these forms and their relation to a client’s case file can be daunting.
LegalServer’s Immigration Forms Module was developed with the input of immigration attorney experts to solve this difficult problem. The Immigration Forms Module is designed to pull in basic client information (name, date of birth, contact information), as well as limited immigration-specific information such as immigration entries, work history, and marital histories that an advocate has collected at intake or through auxiliary forms and processes.
Once the form is created, users can edit pre-filled information and/or add additional information that could not be directly mapped from LegalServer. The system receives alerts from USCIS when a form is modified, and makes updates to the forms on LegalServer before the current form expires. Plus, having all immigration forms stored in one place for easy retrieval saves time, and allows advocates to focus on more of the work necessary for helping the client.
Here are three examples of LegalServer clients putting this module to good use every day in their case management implementations.
The Proyecto de Acción de los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO), or West Suburban Action Project, is dedicated to issues impacting the Latino and other communities of color in Chicago’s west suburbs. PASO’s grassroots approach to justice combines empowerment tools, support, education, and immigration legal services by working in close collaboration with partner organizations in the community.
Along with immigration forms, PASO uses the outreach module in LegalServer to track the community outreach and empowerment that is crucial to their mission.
NMILC is a social justice organization that seeks to address a wide range of legal issues affecting low-income immigrants. NMILC partners with other community organization groups in order to ensure programs are responsive to the emerging needs of the community.
NMILC uses several dedicated intake processes to collect data for full intake clients, as well as those helped through legal fairs and immigration detention centers outreach. The flexible and customizable intake processes lend themselves well to detailed reporting for various funders.
TIP provides immigration assistance to applicants across Central and Southern Illinois. TIP strives to keep families united, build strong communities, and protect victims of crime.
By analyzing their current data structure and wishlist configuration items, LegalServer was able to provide a more robust, customizable way to collect and report on the various data points necessary for TIP’s work, with the ability to improve and fine-tune those systems in the future.
To learn more about how LegalServer can streamline your immigration forms, contact us.
The LegalServer community will descend upon the Windy City this fall for a national training event on October 11th and October 12th, 2018. This collaborative experience will be a focused, skill-building, two-day training program.
LegalServer site administrators, online intake builders, report wizards, future report wizards, and leadership are all invited to take part in the two-day event, which will be hosted by LAF Chicago.
An initial draft of the event agenda is now available. At this special event, you’ll meet fellow LegalServer site administrators, grant managers, and reporters, and receive focused training on new and existing features. You’ll also have access to breakout groups to focus on specific features like grants management, and to provide both advanced and basic training topics.
LegalServer developers, including lead developer Jon Snell, will be in attendance as well, collaborating with users to explain existing features and brainstorm on new ones. Here are some sample topics we’ll cover during the training:
Attendees are responsible for booking their own lodging. There are several hotels in the Chicago Loop neighborhood within walking distance of LAF, and we suggest booking early for the best prices and options:
Attendees can also book a hotel located near an “L” train stop (Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple, Blue) for public transportation access to LAF Chicago, which is located at:
120 S LaSalle St #900
Chicago, IL 60603
For the past fifty years, the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA) has been serving aging New Yorkers, helping them remain in their communities throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens “with dignity and autonomy.” In 2017 alone, the organization helped over 43,000 seniors, 6,000 of which received counseling and case management, and 2,000 of which received legal assistance.
By combining multiple data sources into one database, and setting up dedicated funder-specific auxiliary forms within their site, JASA administrators have simplified data entry for their staff, and eliminated duplicative data entry. And speaking of their staff, JASA’s workers were instrumental in getting their customized LegalServer implementation up and running, ensuring the software was tailored precisely to meet their unique needs.
Also in the Empire State, the Worker Justice Center of New York (WJCNY) pursues justice for low-wage and agricultural workers who have been denied their human rights. With legal representation, community empowerment, and strong advocacy for institutional change, WJCNY is committed to improving the lives and working conditions of some of New York State’s most vulnerable workers.
WJCNY tracks not only individuals they assist through their detailed intake forms and questionnaires, they also use the Outreaches module in LegalServer to track legal advocacy, site visits, and other non-client matters as well. With LegalServer, WJCNY also anticipates a major cutback in redundancies in their data collection and storage - saving unnecessary effort and allowing the organization to spend more time helping those in need.
Cornell Law School is consistently ranked as one of America’s very best law schools. The Ivy League institution has been training future attorneys for over 130 years, offering students the opportunity to work directly with clients facing a variety of legal issues under the supervision of an experienced and decorated faculty.
When Cornell Law School needed a new case management system, they turned to LegalServer. By pulling Cornell Law’s various clinical programs into one well-organized database, LegalServer is helping the programs better track clients’ and students’ work across clinics and semesters.
Community support was another key factor in Cornell Law’s decision-making process. LegalServer’s leading position in the indigent justice world made it a natural fit, while the software’s ability to follow students throughout their journey from education to practicing law proved an important distinction.
LegalServer is proud to have Cornell Law School as a client, as the institution leverages smarter software to help train the next generation of socially-minded attorneys. Learn how LegalServer can help your law school by setting up a demo today.
Public defenders across the country face nearly unlimited demand for their services. That means they need specialized tools to save time, streamline their case workflow, and serve their clients more effectively.
Just as importantly, these benefits need to be wrapped up in a package they can actually afford.
With that in mind, the Craighead County Public Defender, which serves individuals facing criminal charges in Craighead, Arkansas, chose LegalServer to help manage their cases. Through the use of LegalServer’s public defender-specific tools that track charges, sentencing, and arrest information - along with standard case-based and reporting tools - Craighead is better able to maintain its court calendar.
The office can easily record and track the clients assigned to them by the courts, while LegalServer’s high accessibility keeps Craighead’s attorneys connected no matter where they are. The ability to tap case data on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone is an important consideration for attorneys that are always on the go.
Along with efficiency and accessibility, tight budgets are another common issue for public defenders. LegalServer’s pricing structure is tailored specifically to accommodate the unique needs of the indigent justice community, and played a big role in Craighead County’s choice of case management software.
Efficiency, accessibility, and affordability: these are three pillars of LegalServer’s public defender software. They’re also what led the Craighead County Public Defender to join LegalServer’s growing lineup of public defender clients.
Learn more about how LegalServer works for Public Defenders.
There’s a humanitarian crisis unfolding at the U.S.-Mexican border. Some progress has been made to halt the practice of separating children from their parents, but there’s so much more work to be done.
Immigrants seeking asylum are still being detained for long periods, families remain separated, and in many cases, there’s no timetable for returning children to their parents.
This problem is nothing new. People have been trying to escape from horrifying conditions in Central America for years, with nearly 70,000 unaccompanied minors and almost 70,000 parents with children arriving at the U.S. southern border to claim asylum in 2014 alone.
Over 300,000 asylum cases are still waiting to be heard, and these people - especially children - require legal representation if they’re going to have any chance at permanent residency.
Several LegalServer clients are stepping up to help, including the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR). For the past 15 years, the ProBAR Children’s project has fought for the rights of detained, unaccompanied children at shelters in South Texas.
Many of these kids are eligible for protection under U.S. law, but they cannot tap resources like the special Immigrant Juvenile visa, U-visa, T-visa, or asylum on their own. A combination of language barriers, the complexities of the U.S. immigration system, and their sheer youth puts them at risk for long detention times, separation from their families, and ultimately, deportation back to the high-risk areas they’re attempting to flee.
Each day, the ProBAR Children’s project fights for the safety, protection, family reunification, and economic opportunity of over 1,000 children at the border. We’re incredibly proud to have them as a LegalServer client, and invite you to make a donation or volunteer your services to this legal aid organization, during this critical period that they need help the most.
Since 2001, LegalServer has been helping the legal aid community do more with less by leveraging the most comprehensive web-based case management system for non-profit civil legal aid.
LegalServer is a leader working within the indigent legal justice community and therefore understands an optimal case management system for public defenders.
LegalServer case management software enhances performance for non-profit legal aid agencies, university law schools, public defenders and city law departments. Through a cloud-based hosted platform we are improving legal case handling and providing insights to legal staff and management for making more informed decisions faster.
Designed to improve the effectiveness of data collection and action by enhancing the process by which data is collected, stored, and used, LegalServer will facilitate better communication, collaboration and reporting.
Many in the LegalServer team are attorneys who have hands on experience taking a powerful case management system and optimally configuring it to you.
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LegalServer clients are making a difference