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A Better Approach to Non-Profit Legal Services in Canada

Established in 1971, Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) is a non-profit organization in British Columbia, Canada that provides legal services to people that are disadvantaged or face discrimination.

CLAS logo.

In 2019, CLAS started a new program called Sexual Harassment Advice, Response, and Prevention (SHARP) for Workplaces, which offers free confidential legal advice to anyone who has experienced, or is experiencing, sexual harassment in their workplace in B.C. The program’s goal is to support workplaces to ensure respectful environments that prevent sexual harassment, and develop trauma-informed policies and procedures to handle complaints in a sensitive, respectful manner to all involved.

SHARP Workplaces Legal Technology

CLAS chose LegalServer to help manage the new SHARP Workplaces program, and the software quickly proved to be a major boon to staff, according to Program Coordinator Angela Leung. “Since we’re a new program, we could not anticipate all the data we wanted to capture,” Leung says. “The customizability of LegalServer allowed us the flexibility to add additional fields to capture new data and processes as our program evolved. It also allowed for easier reporting.”

The best feature with LegalServer is the ability to customize the system after the onboarding period.

Headshot of Angela Leung.
Angela Leung, Program Coordinator
SHARP Workplaces at CLAS

Along with flexibility, the time savings since adopting LegalServer has been significant, Leung notes. “LegalServer’s timekeeping component allowed staff to stop redundant timekeeping, and assist in tracking time spent on a given outreach/case,” she says. “It also reduced a lot of paper use since we’re able to send out our client survey using the external form module.”

A Holistic Approach to Legal Case Management

When adopting a new case management system, it’s useful to consider the optimal way to handle the entire process of serving clients. SHARP Workplaces used this opportunity to the fullest.

“The LegalServer onboarding process actually helped in prompting us to think about some of our intake and case management processes,” Leung explains. “It started a dialogue and the system became a concrete way of imagining how our program might function.”

LegalServer greatly improves the ability for the staff to work efficiently as a team, eliminates the need for paper files, and has been fantastic for reporting to the Board, donor and track information to help inform our outreach.

Headshot of Jennifer Kohr.
Jennifer Kohr, Supervising Lawyer
SHARP Workplaces at CLAS

LegalServer’s office hours and reports modules have helped SHARP Workplaces streamline their operations, too. Along the way, support from LegalServer support staff - and colleagues throughout the non-profit legal world - have provided additional layers of knowledge.

“The LegalServer listserv with other admins is really helpful - especially to see how other organizations are using the software,” says Leung. The organization has made good use of the included demo site as well, where they test new fields and processes. “It’s also been a great training ground for our staff,” Leung concludes.

For decades-old programs or new initiatives, LegalServer is the ideal solution for non-profit legal organizations. Book a live demo to see why.