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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

jasa logo

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.

Beth Lyon headshot
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.

M. Brian Miles headshot
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.

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, 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.


Who 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 web-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

LegalServer staff have decades of combined experience applying technology solutions for attorneys who help society. Our encouraging and compassionate team will help you improve your processes while enabling you to configure the case management system to match the way you desire operating.

Get a Demo of LegalServer

Some of our clients

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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
  • Peter James headshot
    Working with LegalServer's onboarding team greatly improved our transition to the new system. They were always responsive, flexible and ready to find creative solutions. As a result, we had a smooth transition to LegalServer and feel set up for success in the future.
    Peter James
    Senior Manager of Research & Evaluation

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