Southern Legal Counsel Taps LegalServer for Case Management

May 08, 2019

Southern Legal Counsel (SLC) is a statewide not-for-profit public interest law firm located in Gainesville, Florida. SLC’s mission is to assist individuals and groups with public interest issues who otherwise would not have access to the justice system - and whose cases may bring about systemic reform.

Southern Legal Council logo

The organization uses a range of strategies to achieve its goals, including litigation, policy advocacy, and training and technical assistance to lawyers, lay persons, and organizations. SLC’s legal services are aimed at:

  • Ending homelessness,
  • Improving children’s services,
  • Accessing healthcare,
  • Promoting LGBTQ equality,
  • Challenging discrimination, and
  • Protecting civil rights.

To handle its growing workload, SLC recently turned to LegalServer as its case management system. Several modules were customized to the organization’s needs, staff were trained up, and SLC went live with their new implementation in March 2019.

SLC uses LegalServer to manage individual and impact cases leveraging LegalServer’s Master and Subordinate case feature to work towards systemic impact in their area. SLC will also take advantage of the Referral Hub integration in LegalServer to partner with other Florida agencies to promote meaningful access to justice for all people, regardless of their economic or social condition.

master and subordinate cases

Welcome to the LegalServer community, SLC!


Houston.AI Featured in National Law Journal’s Emerging Technologies List

Mar 04, 2019

In 2015, LegalServer created Houston.AI, a web-based platform to help non-profit legal aid agencies more effectively serve indigent clients. At its core, Houston.AI is a series of microservices that leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning, and expert systems to perform many of the routine tasks that take up so much of attorneys’ time - allowing them to focus on the legal needs of those who cannot afford a lawyer.

Houston.AI logo

The platform was recently featured in the National Law Journal’s 2019 Emerging Technologies list, which is the publication’s inaugural look at the “leading technology companies that are changing the ways that law firms and legal departments operate.”

nationallawjournal logo

The National Law Journal (NLJ) is a monthly magazine founded in 1978 to report legal information of national importance to attorneys. The publication reaches tens of thousands of attorneys each month via its print publication and its website at Law.com.

IV Ashton headshot
It’s an honor for Houston.AI to be recognized among the top legal technologies in the country by NLJ. We’ve worked hard over the past few years to make the platform accessible and useful for attorneys doing important work that affects so many people.
IV Ashton
CEO & Founder

For more information about how Houston.AI is helping provide meaningful access to justice, head over to its website.


LegalServer Online Training Opportunities for 2019

Feb 11, 2019

Along with our annual in-person national training event, which returns to beautiful Puerto Rico this spring, LegalServer offers several online training opportunities and ways to get questions answered for users and administrators each month - typically on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.

For your reference, we’ve compiled a handy Training Schedule to keep track of these sessions. If you’re unfamiliar with what these trainings entail, here’s a breakdown of the timing and typical topics.

LegalServer Monday Office Hours

Every Monday (holidays excepted) at 12:00pm Eastern.

Topics

A wide-ranging discussion and demonstration of LegalServer tools and potential configurations. This call is a way for site administrators to ask questions or review new ideas live with our staff via web conference.

Please note that program-specific concerns, including feedback, data migration issues, or support tickets should be conducted through email, not during Office Hours.

LegalServer Tuesday Trainings

Every Tuesday at 3:00pm Eastern.

Topics

Topics vary, but each monthly schedule is posted prior to the first Tuesday of the month. February 2019 topics include an Introduction to Running Reports, Intake Functionality, Document and Email Templates, and Admin/Report Building.

LegalServer Friday Trainings

Every Friday at 12:00pm Eastern (additional topics at 1:00pm and 2:00pm on third Friday of each month).

Topics

First Friday: Onboarding Kickoff Call - Getting started for new clients.

Second Friday: Lifecycle of a Case - Creating a Matter with a prescreen, creating a Case with an Intake, viewing information in a Case Profile, recording Actions on a Case using auxiliary forms, timeslips and case notes, and closing or rejecting a case.

This is a required training for all new onboarding groups.

Third Friday: LegalServer Essentials (3 sessions)

  • 12:00pm - Users, Contacts, Organizations & Outreach Records
  • 1:00pm - Calendar, Grants Management
  • 2:00pm - Document Templates & Pro Bono Tools

Fourth Friday: New Admin Training- Basic site-admin functionality to help you create and maintain customizations on your LegalServer site.

These are required training for all newly onboarding groups.

Recorded Trainings

In addition to live trainings, we have a number of recorded sessions available. You can check these videos out any time on the LegalServer YouTube channel, or browse some sample playlists below.

We hope to see you online for a training soon! If you have any questions about these sessions, or anything else about LegalServer, please let us know.


LegalServer Training Returns to Puerto Rico This Spring

Jan 29, 2019

Following in the footsteps of last year’s successful event, the LegalServer community will return to Puerto Rico for two days of hands-on training and collaboration. Both beginner and advanced administrators and users will receive instruction from LegalServer experts, and have a chance to network with the legal aid community.

jeff tutoring

The event is limited to 50 participants, so please register today!

When & Where

Dates

Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, 2019

Location

The Bar Association of Puerto Rico (Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico) 808 Avenida Ponce de Leon, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Lodging - Reserve Now

Attendees are responsible for their own lodging. There are many hotels within walking distance of the venue in the Miramar section of San Juan. For the most economical options, travelers may stay anywhere within rideshare distance of The Bar Association of Puerto Rico - including out by the airport.

Here is an example hotel search on Google or on Expedia. We suggest arriving on Wednesday, April 3 and departing on Saturday, April 6.

Flights are Reasonably Priced

Puerto Rico is a great destination, but not an expensive flight.

For many, flights to San Juan are very comparable to or cheaper than flying elsewhere in the United States. If you receive pushback over the perceived “extra” cost, you may want to present a comparison of the fees to fly Puerto Rico vs. other U.S. destinations.

Training Agenda

We plan to run multiple rooms simultaneously, similar to the fall 2018 Chicago training, so this event is appropriate for both new and experienced LegalServer administrators.

A draft agenda will be circulated February 18, 2019. We will describe new and released tools, and have hands-on training and problem solving sessions. The following topics (and more) are likely:

  • Introduction to Reporting
  • Advanced Reporting Workshop
  • Pro Bono Tools
  • Online Intake and Multi-Program Online Intake
  • Branch Logic Workshop
  • New and Upcoming Features
  • Using APIs Workshop

We hope to see you there!

Reserve Your Ticket


Disability Rights Case Management with a Statewide Protection & Advocacy (P&A) Agency

Jan 21, 2019

Established in 1977, Disability Rights Florida (DRF) is the statewide Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agency for individuals with disabilities in the State of Florida. The non-profit’s mission is “to advance the quality of life, dignity, equality, self-determination, and freedom of choice of persons with disabilities through collaboration, education, advocacy, as well as legal and legislative strategies.”

disabilityrightsflorida logo

With multiple funders regularly requesting new data be collected, DRF was in need of a new case management system that would allow for real time editing of forms and fields without relying on the software provider or needing a software developer. With extensive use already throughout the state of Florida, LegalServer was chosen as the case management solution for DRF. Leveraging many existing LegalServer capabilities, DRF’s dedicated site admins worked closely with LegalServer staff during onboarding to create customized tools that meet the unique needs of the Florida P&A.

DRF site administrators now have full control over their case management system, and can configure funder-specific forms and fields to guide intake users through a streamlined process based on the data collection needs of each of eight federally-funded programs (PADD, CAP, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT, PABSS, PATBI, PAVA). LegalServer’s robust reporting tools further allow admins to create funder-based reports, as well as their own agency-specific administrative reports to track user time, see overall case statistics, and provide crucial agency data about the day-to-day operations of its advocates.

More P&A-specific tools and features that DRF helped spearhead include:

Filtered Dropdown Block

The filtered dropdown block allows site administrators to determine which field values should display for front-end users based on the selected funder. Users will therefore only see permitted choices for fields such as an individual’s disability, living arrangement, legal issue, etc., based on that chosen funding code.

filtered dropdown admin filtered dropdown

Priorities and Objectives Block

This newly-developed tool lets users select agency-specific Priorities and Objectives, filtered by funding source, allowing a P&A agency to better track their annual Goals, Priorities, & Objectives.

Enhanced Functionality for Outreaches and Projects

LegalServer worked with DRF to increase the functionality of the Outreaches module to better meet the needs of the various Projects that a P&A agency works on. It’s now possible to assign teams to outreaches, assign a primary assignment to a given Outreach, and to adjust timekeeping permissions for these records as well.

A special thank-you goes out to the hardworking and dedicated administrators at Disability Rights Florida! With their help, dedication, and expertise, the LegalServer team has been able to create and improve many aspects of our platform to better meet the needs of a statewide Protection & Advocacy agency to better facilitate the crucial work that they do.

If you’d like to contribute to helping Florida’s disabled achieve their goals, consider a donation to DRF.


Funders Delighted by Better Outcome Tracking

Dec 05, 2018

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.

Jeff Hogue headshot
LegalServer radically improved the flexibility of outcomes measurement five years ago, in a way that makes it a cinch for programs to report case outcomes in great detail. It works well for reporting to funders who employ the Virginia model or virtually any other reporting scheme. Admins can optionally show users only specific outcome sets to pick from, and can arbitrarily group outcomes for a major funder with a different idea of how outcomes should be aggregated.
Jeff Hogue
Director of Operations and Community Relations

outcome module screenshot

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.

Christopher Schwartz, Esq. headshot
One of the most valuable features with LegalServer Outcomes is being able to keep track of multiple financial outcomes for a single case, and then have everything available for funders in one quick and easy report.
Christopher Schwartz, Esq.
Deputy Director, Legal Hotline

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.

Christopher Schwartz, Esq. headshot
We find LegalServer so powerful from its ability to grow and change with us.
Christopher Schwartz, Esq.
Deputy Director, Legal Hotline

Special thanks to Legal Services Corporation (LSC) for featuring the Outcomes module in a recent write-up.


The Easiest Way to Find Consumer Legal Help In New York City

Nov 30, 2018

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.

consumer help finder screenshot.

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.

citybarjusticecenter logo
camba logo
mobilizationforjustice logo
feerick-center-for-social-justice logo
urbanjustice logo

The NYC Consumer Help Finder was made possible via a grant from The New York Community Trust, while LegalServer donated the underlying technology.

Jeff Hogue headshot
The technology to link together agencies using different systems exists now, and the Consumer Legal Access Partners of New York did the hard work of defining their services and coordinating on a plan for distributing referrals. The New York Community Trust provided essential early support for their work on this endeavor.
Jeff Hogue
Director of Operations and Community Relations

How the NYC Consumer Help Finder Works

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.

Christopher Schwartz, Esq. headshot
We are finding online intake that uses logic systems like the Automated Routing Tool (ART) is an efficient way to free up attorney time, which is an incredibly valuable and limited resource. By automating some of the tasks that don’t require live decision making, we’re able to spend more time actively working with our clients.
Christopher Schwartz, Esq.
Deputy Director, Legal Hotline

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.

Jeff Hogue headshot
A single point of entry for people who need help with consumer law issues in New York City, the Consumer Help Finder uses existing technology and thoughtful coordination to reduce barriers to access to justice. LegalServer is proud to donate our time tools to this effort by New York City consumer legal advocates to more seamlessly help low income people with consumer law challenges.
Jeff Hogue
Director of Operations and Community Relations

Online Intake Is a Game Changer for Legal Aid Agencies

Nov 01, 2018

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.

online intake financial information online intake opposing parties information

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 logo

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

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.

advancingjustice-la logo

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.

Anthony Roh headshot
In-language, online intake would allow us to expand our access gateway for monolingual and limited English proficient Asian Americans in need of legal services; helping to reduce barriers to resources created by limited financial flexibility, limited English proficiency, and/or geographic limitations.
Anthony Roh
Senior Attorney, Services Strategy Director

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.

centralcallegal logo

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.


Streamlining Pro Bono Case Management with LegalServer

Oct 26, 2018

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.

pro bono screenshot

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.

mwlegal logo

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.

lsem logo

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

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.

stepuptojustice logo

More About LegalServer Pro Bono Tools

Want to learn how Pro Bono Tools can benefit your organization? Reach out to us.


How Legal Aid Organizations Simplify Immigration Case Management

Aug 23, 2018

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.

Christy Sobolik headshot
The Immigration Forms feature saves our staff time by allowing them to auto-populate fields rather than manually filling each one out. It is also a helpful tool for working with pro bono attorneys, so we can maximize the time they contribute towards more substantive casework, rather than filling out routine forms.
Christy Sobolik
Engagement Coordinator

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.

immigration form screenshot

Here are three examples of LegalServer clients putting this module to good use every day in their case management implementations.

Proyecto de Acción de los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO)

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.

pasoaction logo

Along with immigration forms, PASO uses the outreach module in LegalServer to track the community outreach and empowerment that is crucial to their mission.

New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC)

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 logo

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.

Christy Sobolik headshot
LegalServer's configurability allows us to track a wide variety of information needed for different funders, as well as for internal goal-setting and evaluation.
Christy Sobolik
Engagement Coordinator

The Immigration Project (TIP)

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.

immigrationproject logo

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.


Who do we serve

Why LegalServer

LegalServer case management software enhances performance for non-profit legal aid agencies, university law schools, public defenders and city & county law departments. Our cloud-based platform improves legal case handling, provides insights to legal staff and management, and helps you make more informed decisions faster.

  • Simplify user interaction with friendly & intuitive functionality
  • Attorneys spend more time on critical thinking to help people
  • Real time graphical and easily editable reporting
  • Easily modify or enhance case management application without needing technical skills
  • Proven methodology for conversion and data migration

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.

Some of our clients

cvls logo
vlsh logo
dcbar logo
nhbar logo
denbar logo
mvlslaw logo
phillyvip logo
volsprobono logo
brooklynvlp logo
legalaidocba logo
vlpbirmingham logo
citybarjusticecenter logo

LegalServer clients are making a difference

  • Christopher M. Jones headshot
    LegalServer is easy to administer and customize in-house to meet our specific needs. We easily onboard new users without heavy investments in training.
    Christopher M. Jones
    Executive Director
  • Alice Morey headshot
    LegalServer was relatively easy to learn when we started. Our transition was pretty seamless and the staff has been very happy with LegalServer’s user friendliness and ease of adding fields to case reports when new data is required.
    Alice Morey
    Managing Attorney
  • M. Brian Miles headshot
    We’re getting great value for what we paid for LegalServer. They provided very attractive pricing that met our budgetary constraints.
    M. Brian Miles
    Managing Public Defender
  • Christy Sobolik headshot
    LegalServer's configurability allows us to track a wide variety of information needed for different funders, as well as for internal goal-setting and evaluation.
    Christy Sobolik
    Engagement Coordinator
  • Rebekah Kopec-Farrell, J.D. headshot
    The LegalServer Onboarding and Support staff is very knowledgeable, accessible, and responsive. During Onboarding they clearly understood the dynamics of what we do and worked with us to configure LegalServer in a way that meets our needs.
    Rebekah Kopec-Farrell, J.D.
    Director of Legal Services

Request a demo today to see how LegalServer can help you.


Try it now