We continue our quest to raise the bar in LegalServer, with a new online intake feature to help save time for legal aid agencies. Instead of the traditional intake process, the online feature allows the applicant to enter data from the Internet instead of a staff member. If an applicant is not eligible for services, LegalServer can either transfer applicant data to another agency or create a customized list of referrals and documentation for assistance.
“The biggest constraint we all have on our ability to provide services is the hours available to complete intake,” said Breckie Hayes-Snow, Deputy Director of Legal Advice & Referral Center. “We are limited by the resources we have to pay staff, and every telephone call takes time. (The Online Intake Module) allows us to handle more applications for assistance. It really is that simple.”
The customizable Online Intake module creates various layers to accommodate survey responses. One major benefit is to screen clients instantly, especially if there is critical deadline, such as a threat of eviction in a housing case. Agencies are able to pre-screen applicants prior to interviewing them and be more familiar with clients prior to appointments. Scheduling appointments is another feature. Agencies using pro bono attorneys can effectively match applicants to attorneys by interest or availability. When applicant information is under review, information is isolated; applicants are not able to see conflicts or financial data. Online Intake forms are available in multiple languages based on the populations and demographics.
LegalServer uses multiple layers of selections for applicants in the survey, called branch logic. Applicants, depending on their responses, will dictate how the flow of questions appears. For example, an applicant inputs his zip code, and the area is outside the area of the program, a screen will appear with other resources available.
LegalServer is a secure system that encrypts all information. Should an agency’s network or phone system crash, the agency’s data are safely stored off site in its own database. Additionally, after surveys are completed a wall is exists to separate applicant data from client data, intake data and client data are not combined until approved.
“Our LegalServer (Online Intake Module) was implemented at the very end of March, 2013,” said Hayes-Snow. “Since the outset of our online intake adventure we have seen a fairly steady up-tick in our total intake numbers. We also currently run at just over 50% of all intake originating online – although last month was over 60%! That increase in overall intake has been consistent since our LegalServer (Online Intake) implementation.”
Our dedicated team works closely with clients to develop an integrated and customized case management system. Online Intake modules can create efficiencies so staff’s time is dedicated to giving advice and less on data entry. LegalServer offers a varied and secure system to aid in processing applicants.
“We credit our online intake with general increases in our intake numbers…The online intake freed applicants from the frustrations of the phone system and from the limitations of an automatic call distribution system,” said Hayes-Snow. “We believe that this has significantly expanded our ability to pursue our goals of meaningful access to justice for our entire client community.”