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Aug
30
 
Data Structure Chart
 
It’s always extremely satisfying when two threads you have been following intersect, this is one of those times. In this case the threads are the new Illinois Legal Aid Online website and Open Referral.
 
Following up with the new Illinois Legal Aid Online website we mentioned in a recent blog post Teri Ross wrote an excellent post on Open Referral’s blog and went into data about some of the benefits of and challenges with switching over to the open Referral data model..
 
For reference here are our two relevant previous blog posts.
Aug
23
 
a
Legal aid lawyers spend hours providing clients with valuable self-help legal advice. What happens to that advice? What results are achieved? This session explored Atlanta Legal Aid Society’s (ALAS) experience building an extensive follow up pro bono project that provides additional assistance to clients and collects legal outcomes, using modifications to its Legal Server database.
 
We got to have some fun and polled the audience about their predictions about the effectiveness of follow ups and compared their expectations of change over 18 months with what actually happened and continued into some of the behind the scenes nuts and bolts.

 
Speakers:
Allison Stiles - Enhanced Services Pro Bono Manager - Atlanta Legal Aid Society
Kristin N. Verrill -  Director of Grants and Innovation - Atlanta Legal Aid Society

 
 
Aug
17
 
 
In this workshop we explored how evaluation approaches are coming of age for technology projects. Our panelists shared evaluation approaches from other fields and contextualized them to legal services tech. They also went over evaluation design, doing evaluations in a resource constrained environment, and providing overall capacity in evaluation of tech projects and tech needs while sharing recently completed evaluations for complex tech projects.
 
Panelists:
 
Tara Lee Saylor, Q2 Consulting
Valerie Oliphant, SIMLab
Keith Porcaro, SIMLab
 
Moderator: Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net
 
 
For those that want to take a closer look at the our slides can be found here.
 
 
Ket Ng
Aug
16
 
This could be your new workplace

 
If you have a very strong tech background, interest in tech policy, and are willing to move to DC to do research with Paul Ohm there is a job you are going to want to check out.

 
You will have three main duties
 
  • You will work with Paul on original research at the intersection of privacy, law, and technology. Results will be presented in journals and at conferences.
  • You will help teach law students about technology.
  • You will work at the Center for Privacy & Technology to educate policy makers.
 
The base requirements for this job are threefold.
  • Bachelor’s minimum with Master’s prefered is Computer Science or related field.
  • Strong proficiency in programing.
  • Strong proficiency in both verbal and written communication.
 
For the full description of the the job check out Paul’s post here.
To apply take a look at the official post here
 
As might be expected an ideal candidate will have some experience teaching and public speaking. Also nice is some expertise in some of the more fundamental tech fields like network security and how the internet and it’s underlying protocols work.

 
Most importantly of all you should be prepared to defend your stance on emacs versus vi.

 

Aug
9
 

 

Last week Illinois Legal Aid Online Launched their new website that was built in house over 22 months. This new site is a big improvement on previous incarnations, you can compare it to older iterations using the Wayback Machine here.

 

The first thing that jumps out is their clean layout. The use of whitespace, pictures, and dividers to avoid overwhelming the user when they first hit the landing page. They have put a lot of time into UX and user testing  and it shows. The next thing that is worth noticing is the page makes it easy to find what you are looking for, a few of the popular topics have been put onto the front page with big titles and good pictures while the rest of the page elements are simple but descriptive.

 

Diving in deeper the menu system gives you enough information to find the next step while also letting you get to pretty much any answer you need within 3-4 pages. Also note the good use of colored text and larger fonts to help people spot the important parts of the page quickly. Their calendar is well done too. It doesn’t do anything too fancy, it just has all the relevant information and provides you the filter events to find the ones relevant to you.

 

Checking out their mobile things look good. Things are rearranged a bit to accommodate mobile but all the content is there and accessible.

 

Something that is less obvious but very important is the near total absence of Flash. Flash is notorious for having security holes and not working well on mobile devices. Historically it has been extremely useful for a variety of applications but better alternatives have been developed and both developers and users are moving away from it. Currently the only part of the site that still uses flash is the food stamp calculator, and there are plans to update that in the near future. This fall we can look forward to multilingual support, you will notice if you try to switch it to Spanish now it doesn’t work.

 

 


 

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