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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Join Us in Chicago This October for LegalServer National Training

Aug 06, 2018

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.

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Training Plan

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.

jon snell

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:

Day 1
  • New Tools & Enhancements
  • A Deep Dive Into Customized Profiles & Permissions
  • Introduction to Admin Tools
  • Advanced Problem Solving Breakout
  • Process Management
  • Forecasting & Dashboards
Day 2
  • Report Writing Basics
  • Basic Grants Management
  • Advanced Grants Management
  • Building Reports Workshop
  • Chicago Eviction Project
  • Introduction to APIs
  • API Workshop
  • Advanced Report Writing

Reserve Your Ticket

Lodging

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:

LAF Chicago
120 S LaSalle St #900
Chicago, IL 60603


New York’s Legal Aid Community Embraces LegalServer

Aug 01, 2018

Helping Seniors with JASA

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.

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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.

Working Hard for Worker Justice

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.

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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.

IV Ashton headshot
New York State continues to be a national leader in using technology to deliver legal services to its most vulnerable populations. With dozens of legal aid agencies and public defenders using LegalServer throughout New York, we are grateful to play such an important role in improving access to justice for so many people throughout the state.
IV Ashton
CEO & Founder


Cornell Law School's Legal Aid Clinics Rely on LegalServer's Case Management Software

Jul 12, 2018

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.

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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.

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We are delighted to work with LegalServer. Our eighteen clinical courses allow students to work directly with clients and community partners locally and around the globe, and LegalServer is proving to be a versatile and critical tool in tracking and managing our work.
Beth Lyon
Clinical Professor of Law

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.

Beth Lyon headshot
We chose LegalServer because we wanted to support a system that in turn supports so many of our legal services partners. LegalServer also helps many of our public interest students move more seamlessly between clinical courses, externships, and their careers with our legal services partners.
Beth Lyon
Clinical Professor of Law

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.


Why The Craighead County Public Defender Chose LegalServer

Jun 29, 2018

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.

craighead county courthouse

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.

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LegalServer has been a great asset to the Craighead County Public Defender’s Office. It has allowed us the freedom and flexibility to access client files and discovery from virtually anywhere.
M. Brian Miles
Managing Public Defender

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.

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We’re getting great value for what we paid for LegalServer. They provided very attractive pricing that met our budgetary constraints, and the upfront cost was very affordable.
M. Brian Miles
Managing Public Defender

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.


Stepping Up to Represent Children Affected by the Border Crisis

Jun 22, 2018

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.

IV Ashton headshot
I just want to say thank you to ProBAR’s staff for doing the great work that they do every day to help families at the border. I know that there are thousands of lawyers in our community working tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of their clients, but the work they are doing is especially important right now. Please do not stop fighting for those families!
IV Ashton
CEO & Founder
More LegalServer Clients Helping Immigrant Children


Children's Law Center of DC Goes Live with LegalServer

Jun 21, 2018

Entering the legal system can be a scary proposition for kids. Youngsters require specialized representation to ensure their rights are protected and they’re kept safe.

The Children’s Law Center of DC (CLCDC) has been helping Washington, DC’s children for the past 20 years. Their legal services include guardianship and foster care placements, fighting for access to educational services, and improving housing conditions for children and their families.

childrenslawcenter logo

When CLCDC’s team of dedicated problem solvers required a case management system tailored to handle their unique needs, they naturally turned to LegalServer. Having completed a comprehensive onboarding process, Children’s Law Center just went live with their LegalServer implementation, which it will use to help improve outcomes for over 5,000 children and their families each year.

LegalServer is a combined team of attorneys, technologists, developers, and project managers who provide a detailed approach through the transition to a better case management system. Leveraging a proven onboarding process, the LegalServer team spent significant time with CLCDC to understand their specific needs, taking a comprehensive set of case management features built specifically for the legal aid service delivery model, and configuring the system to function in a manner tailored to CLCDC’s workflow, making case handling more efficient and effective.

3 little boys

CLCDC’s team was instrumental in its collaborative efforts to customize the software, enabling hundreds of pro bono lawyers, pediatricians, and city leaders to spend less time on paperwork and more time on what they do best: providing help to kids and families that need it most. CLCDC will continue to work alongside LegalServer’s team to make tracking cases easier and more efficient, as well as collecting data that advocates and decision makers require to meet the needs of their clients.

Congratulations to the Children’s Law Center, and thank you for all your hard work!


Using LegalServer in a Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) Setting

May 31, 2018

Medical-Legal Partnerships across the country are using LegalServer to manage their cases. However, not all of these organizations are aware of all the features that apply to them.

To address this issue, LegalServer recently recorded a community call with several MLP clients to discuss the features that apply to Medical-Legal Partnerships, and to allow users to brainstorm new ideas for additional features. The session was very valuable for LegalServer administrators, MLP attorneys and paralegals, and anyone else who is involved in MLPs, including with grant writing and reporting. View the video call below.

Mallory Curran headshot
The MLP community has always been extremely open and collaborative, sharing ideas and teaming up to identify solutions to challenges. This tradition continues with our work optimizing LegalServer for MLPs. The MLP Community Call was a great opportunity for MLPs around the country to compare notes on some of the really creative approaches they have taken to customizing LegalServer to suit their purposes.
Mallory Curran
Principal

Key LegalServer functions that apply specifically to MLPs include:

  • Recording referrals from healthcare partners, using Prescreens and Callbacks
  • Using branch logic to ask MLP questions during intake
  • Adding and updating MLP information during a case
  • Viewing MLP info on special MLP tabs in a Case Profile View
  • Collecting MLP information on case closure
  • Tracking MLP Consults & Referrals
  • Running reports with MLP-specific information

More Resources for MLPs

You can download a full configuration guide for Medical-Legal Partnerships from the National Center for Medical Legal Partnership.

Want to learn more about how LegalServer impacts Medical-Legal Partnerships? Contact us to setup a demo.


Learning and Serving in Puerto Rico

May 23, 2018

On May 3rd and 4th, 2018, the LegalServer team convened with a group of new and experienced users for a live two-day training event in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Training for a Cause

The University of Puerto Rico and Servicios Legales de Puerto Rico (SLPR) provided a great space to conduct the training at the Puerto Rico Bar Association, even as the island continues to recover from the devastating effects of last year’s Hurricane Maria. LegalServer is contributing to the recovery efforts by donating its software to SLPR - a nonprofit civil legal aid organization - so they may better serve Puerto Ricans in need.

jeff tutoring

On day one of the training program, Xander Karsten and Jeff Hogue guided attendees through recently developed and emerging LegalServer tools, and then turned to focused training on existing features. The topics included:

  • The revolutionary new Guided Navigation tool that supports complex logic
  • Customized Profiles and Permissions for tailoring the user experience
  • Data capture and Custom Fields for Administrators, and
  • Process Management and Branch Logic

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Along with the standard training programs, advanced users enjoyed a breakout session with a deep dive into advanced problem solving. Topics included access restrictions, pro bono management, and other more complex tracking scenarios.

Leveraging Community Knowledge To Help New Users

On day two, experienced attendees volunteered to collaborate with local users and administrators of Servicios Legales de Puerto Rico, and shared strategies and best practices in managing reports and designing intake processes. All involved found this activity engaging and rewarding, as experienced users gladly shared their knowledge of the system with Puerto Rico’s civil legal aid community.

Chris Schwartz headshot
I really enjoyed sharing information with SLPR. It was great to hear about their work and grow that sense of community.
Chris Schwartz
Deputy Director

Much of the second afternoon was dedicated to Reports. Starting with the basics, users learned about topics such as:

  • Creating new Reports
  • Using Matters and Timekeeping modules, and
  • Setting Filters and Columns

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Later, advanced Reporting techniques were covered, including:

  • Scheduled Reports
  • Embedded Reports
  • Complex Filtering, and
  • Charts and Graphs

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dashboard

The final training topic of the two-day event involved LegalServer’s robust APIs. Users learned how to build a basic API of their own, along with various examples of APIs that are used in the real world by civil legal aid teams and public defenders.

The Journey is Only Beginning

As we reflect on our time in San Juan, we are reminded how important Puerto Rico is to our collective community, and while there remains much that we can do to help, we feel blessed to be a part of an effort to increase access to justice throughout the island. We are thankful for the great work these organizations do and for their incredibly generous hospitality in hosting our National Training!

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Thank you, Puerto Rico!


Help Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Recovery Efforts While You Learn More About LegalServer

Mar 20, 2018

This May, come help us make a difference in still-recovering Puerto Rico, and experience a focused, skill-building, two-day LegalServer training.

The training will be held in person on May 3rd and May 4th, 2018, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is designed to provide focused training time for new and experienced LegalServer administrators. Register now to reserve your spot.

Bar Association of Puerto Rico

Learn and Give at the Same Time

Attendees may optionally workshop specific LegalServer/recommended processes with our friends at Servicios Legales de Puerto Rico for a half day on the morning of Friday, May 4.

Register For The Event Now

Training Plan

We will circulate a final agenda on March 30th, 2018. We will also reach out to registrants for your feedback on our classes.

Current Training Opportunities in San Juan
  • New Tools and Enhancements
  • Deep Dive into Online Intake
  • Preview of the upcoming Guided Navigation Tool
  • Admin Tools
  • Workshop - Advanced Problem Solving Breakout
  • Process Management and Branch Logic
  • Reports
  • Help and Learn Workshop
  • Advanced Report Writing
  • Opportunities for APIs

There will be two breakout sessions to address the specific needs and desires of advanced users, and brand-new administrators are welcome.

Our partners at the University of Puerto Rico and Servicios Legales de Puerto Rico worked hard to help us with a training space, given the shuffling that has had to be done with classes and other events after the hurricane. We have a great space, and a backup space reserved!

Lodging

Attendees are responsible for booking their own lodging. We suggest staying in the Miramar section of San Juan, due to its close proximity to the training site.

There are lots of hotels near the Bar Association, and our friends in Puerto Rico say that many AirBnBs are available because of people temporarily leaving PR while hurricane recovery continues.

Example hotels in Miramar, San Juan:

They are all walking distance to Colegio de Abogados and accessible via public transportation.

Reserve Your Spot Now

Many thanks to Juan Ocasio Bemonte of SLPR and Maria Jimenez of the University of Puerto Rico!


Who do we serve

Why LegalServer

LegalServer case management software enhances performance for non-profit legal aid agencies, university law schools and public defenders. 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.

  • 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.

LegalServer key features

case management screenshot

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More LegalServer Features

Some of our clients

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dcbar logo
nhbar logo
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mvlslaw logo
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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 and see what LegalServer is all about.


Try it now