When Criminal Defense & Civil Legal Aid Intersect, LegalServer is There
Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo (LABB) is unique in their holistic approach to handling both criminal and civil cases for those who can’t afford legal representation in Western New York.
LABB’s comprehensive set of services help those who have been incarcerated or have criminal records get back on their feet by overcoming civil legal issues such as housing rights and family matters. To manage LABB’s varying degree of case types, they found only one platform on the market equipped to manage it all: LegalServer.
LABB recently launched a Holistic Representation Program within the Criminal Defense Unit, where social workers evaluate clients’ needs and make referrals to LABB’s Civil Legal Services unit - as well as other external civil legal aid agencies - using LegalServer’s automated processes to connect people with services like housing and employment assistance.
One Automated System Handles All Teams’ Workflows
LegalServer’s suite of tools and automations have streamlined their office’s complex workflows while creating a fuller, data-driven picture of each case, according to Sarah Ryan, Chief Attorney of LABB’s Criminal Defense Unit.
“When our office began using LegalServer, we were able to capture & store much more information, including but certainly not limited to expanded demographic information, generated documents, communications (emails), and case notes,” she says.
“The ability to track the discovery information in LegalServer has been a game changer in many ways, Ryan continues. “It allows us to not only record when discovery comes in but what the discovery actually contained, and then have a link to the material through an integration with our document management system.”
Online Intake Saves Months of Time
Nadine Patterson, Deputy Executive Director of LABB’s Civil Practice, says that LegalServer’s Online Intake is her favorite feature.
“In the last year, of the 4,055 Civil Unit applications, 924 were done by the applicant through our LegalServer online portal; the balance were paper applications,” Patterson notes. “The online applications were processed and transferred within 24 hours. The paper applications took up to 30 days to input and process.”
Easy Reports & Document Integrations
“With the built-in LegalServer reports, staff attorneys can easily manage their own caseloads, and management can easily supervise the staff attorneys and support staff and isolate areas that need attention,” Patterson says. “Being able to easily manipulate reports to match the data requirements of our funders has saved a tremendous amount of time.”
Simple tasks that used to take a lot of time are now reduced to seconds, Patterson concludes. “With the ease of finding information in LegalServer, if a client calls we are able to instantly see who has the file and what is going on.”
With a unified approach to case management, LABB provides better access to justice and due process to the most vulnerable individuals, children and families in their community. Book a demo of LegalServer today to see how we can help your agency.