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At least 80 percent of the legal needs of the poor and two-thirds of the legal needs of middle income Americans are not met. Seattle University’s Social Justice Hackathon will unite the legal and tech communities to create innovative solutions to American access to justice.

We’re looking for projects that seek to eliminate the gap between those who need civil legal services and those who provide legal resources. Participants include developers, designers, lawyers, law students, business developers, “idea people”, or anything in-between!

Teams can work on a project of their own interest or select from any number of problems suggested by our community partners. Ideas of all sorts are accepted, from Web and Mobile Apps to Wearables and Algorithms.

More Information can be found at their website
29 founders Sandro Tuzzo and Larry Maloney have an ambitious goal, they aim to do to family law what TurboTTax has done for filing taxes. They have are are simplifying the process and pushing it online, and they are starting with divorces.


Tuzzo has been a divorce lawyer for 15 years, Maloney created the first smartphone virus scanner and is one of the Founders of Hacker Dojo. is an online web application that helps users fill out, file, and serve divorce papers online. The user will answer questions one at a time and the application will use that to determine what forms are needed and plug the data in at appropriate points. is a corperation not a legal firm, should the process reach a point where a lawyer or other professional needs to get involved the user will be reffered out.


The are currently launching in California with plans to follow with Texas and New York, and then geographically from there.

To briefly editorialize this is quite exciting, this is someone taking what we are starting to do and trying to blow it up on a much larger scale. I see two main potential benefits of this for us in legal aid. One is we can learn from watching, it’s nice to be able to learn from the mistakes and successes of other, the other is if we are lucky might share some of their tools and data with us.

Today we had a webinar focused on getting you up to speed on document assembly. We covered the basics and then discussed some of the different tools people used and their associated prices and tradeoffs. 
Laura Quinn, Idealware
Chris Alfano, Automated Document Producer
Brian Rowe, National Technology Assistance Project Coordinator
Resources mentioned

Our friends over at Idaho legal Aid Services are looking to get a website made. If you are interested please submit a proposal, and if you know anyone else who might be game for this send it their way. The full document can be downloaded here.



Request for Proposal

Pro Bono Opportunities Website

Summary of Essential Information

Deadline for Full Proposal: October 31, 2015

Required Project Completion Date: September 30, 2016




The state of Idaho is vast, with a population of just over 1.6 million spread over 82,000 miles, most of which are considered rural. Of that population 15.5% are living below the poverty level. Historically obtaining access to justice for this population has been difficult if not impossible. The proposed website will bring attorneys from around the state willing to donate their time together with cases that match their expertise and the low income clients that bring those cases.


Pro Bono Opportunities Website (PBOW) Attributes


PBOW will improve pro bono services throughout Idaho in many ways. Attorneys will be able to easily search, find, evaluate, and select amongst pro bono case opportunities. The website will provide attorneys customizable, real-time access to cases that are available throughout the state. It will also allow attorneys to input case preferences (such as geographic location, substantive legal area or client status such as veteran) and have the system reach out to them as new opportunities that fit their selected criteria arise.

Idaho Volunteer Lawyer Program (IVLP) staff will upload anonymous case information in PBOW, providing a central space for attorneys to find and select cases. Cases will also be entered to PBOW through an integration developed as part of this project between PBOW and the case management system used by Idaho Legal Aid.

The PBOW will provide IVLP staff with enhanced tracking tools that will allow them to identify high priority cases and place them with pro bono attorneys if they are not picked up from the website. It will also allow IVLP to broaden their knowledge of who is interested in volunteering and which cases they prefer. The website will also generate reporting at multiple sort levels for easy access to data and statistics.


RFP Responses


Please be sure to include the following minimum information in your response.

1.General Information

1.Legal name of firm


3.Name and title of owner, principal or managing partner

4.Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)

5.Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) number

6.Organization type (Private for profit, private non-profit or governmental corporation, sole proprietorship, community based organization, etc.)

7.Phone number and email address/website of the firm

8.Name of primary contact for this RFP

9.Phone number and email address of the primary contact


2. Experience providing Programming and Applications Development Services to similar organizations and/or similar projects.


1.Provide a description of your firm

2.Describe 3 related projects

3.Describe your experience with legal aid software and technology projects

4.If partners or other employees serve in an advisory capacity, please list such positions.

5.Indicate the levels of individuals who would be assigned to this engagement and explain how your firm will ensure continuity of staff throughout the engagement.

6.Describe your firm’s basic approach to performing Programming and Applications Development Services.

7.Please identify how a consulting engagement is planned and scheduled; the level of partner and manager commitment; quality control mechanisms; and other areas you feel are important.

8.Describe any proprietary systems or technology that would be necessary to complete the proposed project. If no proprietary systems or technology is necessary state that.


3. Qualifications


Minimum Qualifications for resources assigned to this engagement are as follows. Please state your qualifications.


1.Project Manager experience three years

2.Engineer Experience three years

3.Biographies for each resource outlining development languages and projects completed

4.Additional Preferred Qualifications are:

a.Quality Assurance and testing resources and experience in verifiable testing and development methodologies

b.Developers located in the United States


4. Proposed Work Plan


Please describe your proposed work plan, schedule and budget based on the project description.


Project Description

Scope of Work

The project will consist of developing the new interactive Pro Bono Opportunities Website. This will include the creation of two new software components modules for the integration with LegalServer case management system. Upon completion of the design and development work, there will be intensive beta testing, training of all key site users and finally launch of the site. The project will require continuous communication with core project staff. We also recognize that vendors may recommend approaches other than the ones we specify. We will listen to these recommendations carefully.


Basic Template Functionality


 These requirements include:


1. Storing and/or displaying resources for attorneys in specific areas of law including videos, PDFs and Word documents.

2. Website should include a security system allowing access to certain portions only to authenticated members. The website administrator should be able to choose permissions on a page-by-page and document-by-document basis. Within the secure area, will be listed the details of pro bono opportunities for attorneys, searchable by counties and case type.

3. Website will include webforms that pull variables to allow the program to push certain case types to attorneys email at the time a case is posted in a region of the state in which they reside with case types matching the attorney’s preference indicated on the webform.

4. Ability to integrate data from the LegalServer case management system.

5. Website should include a calendar capable of multiple event listings including option to hover over specific listing and see event details and contact information. The calendar feature should also be able to show embedded Google maps based on the event address. Ideally, the calendar should include the ability to save events to user’s local calendar. And, if possible, the ability to only show events based on authenticated user’s location.

6. Ability for site managers to easily modify and edit the navigation menus, pages and site content.


Main Results Needed from Platform


For site users:

The appropriate new platform will offer superior ease of use to advocates who access protected site features. For users with disabilities, the new platform should follow Section 508 compliance and make it easy to maintain and expand the site within the provisions of these standards.

The new platform will offer intuitive approaches for new users (advocates) to create and manage their own authenticated accounts to access protected site features.


For site administrators:

The appropriate new platform will offer a stable site that is easy to maintain and expand, using a content management platform that is supported by a strong user community, with abundant, affordable technical assistance widely available.

The new platform will offer intuitive approaches for site managers to create and manage authenticated accounts within the system. And the new platform should offer intuitive ways for site managers to manipulate integrated case data from the LegalServer Case Management system plus the ability to add new and additional case data.


For future growth:

The appropriate new platform will offer extensive options for building and expanding new web-based features that support continuous improvement in service delivery to pro bono attorneys. These may include media-based instruction or education, and other approaches to improving the quality, speed, and accessibility of service delivery.


General Template Preferences


The template should be easy for site administrators to manage without programming experience.

It should accommodate extensive site growth and expansion.


Additional Platform Preferences



The platform should have a robust search capacity, including at least these features:

●Natural language search

●Ability to search full text of related documents in Word, and extending to PDF, and PowerPoint if possible.

●"Global" search capable of returning accurate items from multiple site sections (for example, returned search items should be able to include documents from the public document library and the link library; returning calendar items as well would be ideal but is not a requirement), key word search on the private side must be able to return public library documents as well as private items.

●Primary reliance on a powerful, easy-to-administer keyword search function, as well as menu-driven and "browse" searching.

●Search returns organized by relevance, and offer the additional capacity to pre-designate important (most useful) documents for presentation at the top of the list of returned items (or otherwise call attention to their usefulness.

●Ability to tag items by topic so that certain common searches will return pre-designated sets of items.


●Easy library administration that includes the ability to see and manipulate a list of all documents, set auto-expire dates for review and non-display, and load, edit, and delete documents efficiently and intuitively.

●Easy indexing and retrieval of documents in any of several formats, including HTML, Word, Excel, PDF and PowerPoint.

●Ability to edit and add library categories and subcategories


Standard contemporary site components and characteristics:



●News "spots" or boxes

●Printable page option on every page

●Maximum feasible section 508 (ADA) compliance

●Maximum W3C compliance

●Automatic "breadcrumbs"

●Tagging – ability to associate content with different sections of the taxonomy based on keywords.

●Social networking capacities, multiple options for ways to facilitate communication and knowledge-sharing among advocates, and between advocates and clients.

●Clean, uncluttered interface.


Administrator Features


Rich, easy to access, easy to understand site use statistics using Google Analytics; ideally administrators can modify and expand the statistics, share them easily in commonly used formats (PDF, Word, Excel), and tailor specific reports to specific groups.

Workable, efficient solution to managing and updating content.

Ability to upload any kind of media content (text, images, video, audio.) Ability to easily incorporate images (and video) into html pages.

Profound ease of use, including a WYSIWYG HTML editor that also allows website coordinators to access HTML code if they choose.

Pasting and cleanup from Microsoft Word; ease of posting PDF and PowerPoint files.


Submission Details


Please send all completed proposals to:


Mary Zimmerman

Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.

Boise ID  83706-4044


Or email to:





As legal services technology tools evolve, taking into account the diverse populations these tools are created to serve is crucial to their overall impact and use. Taking into account the specific needs of vulnerable communities can ensure that these tools serve an entire client population. This workshop will focus on best practices in designing technology tools and content with sensitivity to issues surrounding gender identity and expression, racial and ethnic diversity, limited English proficiency, disability and 508 compliance as well as their intersectionality.


Presented by

·        Talley Wells, Director, Disability Integration Project, Atlanta Legal Aid Society

·        Xander Karsten, Project Manager, LegalServer 

·        Camille Holmes, Director, Leadership & Racial Equity Initiative of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association

·        Mirenda Meghelli, LawHelp Interactive Program Coordinator, Pro Bono Net (moderator)


Links to things shown in the video

As usual here are the slides and please take a minute to fill out our short survey.