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By Pro Bono Net-October 15, 2014


· Paul Haidle, Director Volunteer Attorney Program, New Mexico Legal Aid

· Tony Lu, Citizenship Works Project Coordinator, Pro Bono Net

· Claudia Johnson, LawHelp Interactive Program Manager, Pro Bono Net

· Ric Morgan, Attorney, Ric N. Morgan, LLC

· Beth Andersen, Attorney, Johnson & Associates, Attorneys at Law, PC


· Adam Friedl, Program and Special Initiatives Manager, Pro Bono Net



  • Emphasis on content, not location
  • Two-way communication between lawyers and clients
  • Combination of automated and human based guidance
  • Efficient volunteer management
  • Forms & E-Filing


Paul Haidle: Using technology to bridge the rural justice gap

The Problem: Lack of Access to Civil Legal Aid. In New Mexico 90% of lawyers live in 2 cities

The Solution: A Virtual Legal Fair

Steps to a Successful Rural Clinic

  • Identify communities in need and potential host sites
  • Identify stakeholders in the community
  • Advertising for volunteers and clients
  • On site screening of legal issues
  • Technology "dry run"


Technology Considerations for A virtual clinic

  • Internet connectivity
  • Wireless availability
  • Privacy concerns
  • Choosing the appropriate technology
  • Client/attorney familiarity and comfort level

Ric Morgan and Beth Anderson: Virtual Pro Se Clinic (VPC) Concept Presentation

Concept: free monthly clinics link parties without an attorney to counsel over the internet held at public libraries across Colorado

Combine: Technology and 'in place" public resources, volunteer attorneys statewide, partnerships with local communities

Rely on existing public infrastructure



  • Capitalize on existing public infrastructure investments
  • Use technology to secure broader public engagement
  • Mobilize volunteer attorneys effectively and efficiently
  • Enhance coordination between public service organizations
  • Develop practical strategies and tools to lessen the Court's press resource problems

Phase 1: Proof of Concept

VPC relies on building partnerships:

  • Clinic schedule set and published locally
  • Local librarians open the link connection
  • Local Court and Bar Association help with court procedures
  • Interactive computer link via Zoom software interface


One-on-one attorney dialogue & instant access to:

  • State Judicial forms & instructions
  • Supplemental materials
  • Electronic downloading & sotrage
  • Printer


Phase 2: Preliminary Fielding

  • 6 additional counties
  • Notionally: local VPC Coordinator, working  with volunteer attorneys who staff the local VPC clinic
  • Requires an effective coordination/calendaring tool
  • Monthly press notices by VPC Coordinator


Phase 3: Build-Out

  • Fully sustainable with 250 volunteer attorneys
  • Uses existing infrastructure in local libraries
  • Volunteer attorneys never have to leave their office
  • Local bar associations and courts represented
  • Feedback from the courts on VPC effectiveness

Summary: Free monthly clinics for self-represented litigants that combine technology, volunteer attorneys, and local partnerships

Tony Lu: Technology-enabled Pro Bono in Naturalization and Immigration

Currently, CitizenshipWorks  is a site that uses Law Help Interactive to present a user friendly interview screening to  see if users are eligible for citizenship and to get them relevant documents. The current model relies on people to go to a workshop, complete the form, and have it reviewed by an attorney. CitizenshipWorks 2, is being developed to enhance the current version and make it easier for clients and attorneys.


Current Pro Bono in Naturalization

  • Immigration Attorneys in short supply
  • Non-immigration attorneys--limited ability to assist


CitizenshipWorks 2 has three parts for clients:

  • Prescreen-Interactive do-it yourself application
  • Ask online or meet in person
  • Complete and Apply


Also has an interface for attorneys:

  •  Expert System and Contextual Info
  • Structured guidance for Pro Bono attorneys
  • Information when it's needed most
  • Solve red flags


Most exciting new feature: Pro Bono from your desk

  • Video Chat!
  • In browser program that doesn't require installation
  • Live text chat

Brian Houghton: Overview of LHO's Ticket System

  • Law Help Ontario
  • Remote Assistance Project (Launched 2012)
  • Ticket System (Launched 2013)
  • The Basics of our Ticket System


LawHelp Ontario's ticket system is similar to systems used for technical support. The attorneys have access to the ticket, and everything relevant to that ticket, but the user responds via email.

Website Portal Tracks all tickets


  • Users select a department for inquiry
  • Call is added to a queue
  • Site keeps track of everything that is being done
  • Client responds with email. Seamless
  • Easy to see back and forth in one spot
  • See Law student taking notes or attorney taking an action
  • Created a series of statuses for reporting
  • Allows staff and volunteers to see where a ticket is in the system
  • Can search for tickets by phone number and name
  • Allows you to create basic reports


  • Opening a ticket
  • Managing and closing tickets
  • Private comment
  • Adding files
  • Reports
  • Canned responses


  • Off the shelf or customized solutions
  •  Cost
  • Programming or technical experience
  • Internal or external
  • Security issues: HTTPS, Storage

Claudia Johnson: Technology in pro bono legal services-of all places

What are other states doing in reaction to these changes/new trends on how people communicate, search for information, and prefer to work.


Bread and butter tools:

  1. Website
  2. Web chat/hotline/ SMS texting
  3. Online forms-- to do self directed check lists/triage or to create forms
  4. Videos and visual graphical representations of complex processes, instructions, what if type information
  5. Smart use of social media and other types of sites.


LawHelp Interactive- What is it?

Advocates or self-represented litigants answer questions during an interview, a personalized document is created from the answers, e-file, fax and file, and use in CMS.


  • Why online forms add value
  • Standardized content
  • Electronic (remote sharing)
  • Information reusable
  • Less training required
    • Self navigation or less skilled worker
  • Basic computer needs
  • Can create and edit from anywhere there is access to internet

Please leave any comments or questions about this training below. If you have a moment, Please take our survey to help us continue to improve these trainings. 


Earlier today I was helping a client with an upcoming Ignite presentation.  They asked "where can I find photos?"  These were my three suggestions:

1. Flickr’s Creative Commons search is my favorite resources. This photo was found there: "Figures of Justice" is by Scott Robinson under a CC BY

Figures of Justice


2. Googles image search with the advance option for open licensed works.  It is under search tools> Usage rights This photo by Michal Maňas and the work is under a CC - BY SA

Justice statue.jpg
"Justice Statue" by Michal Maňas (User:Snek01) - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.


3. Creative Commons also has a great search tool at: I used this tool to find the following image at Pixbay this image is in the Public Domain:


RSS stands for "Rich Site Summary" and it is a dialect of XML. For a more thorough technical definition of RSS, See "What is RSS?" an LSNTAP Blog post.  Although the technical definition of RSS isn't the easiest to understand, don't let that scare you away from this useful timesaving tool.


 If you are unfamiliar with RSS, I recommend this short video: RSS in Plain English. It explains RSS simply and shows you how to subscribe to feeds by looking for this logo on your favorite blogs and websites.

In addition to the orange RSS icon, look for these icons as well

Once you've subscribed to several sites, you view them in your RSS reader of choice. The video recommends using Google Reader which no longer exists. Below is a list of RSS readers and dashboards to help you keep all of your RSS feeds in one convenient location. Most RSS readers allow you to subscribe to feeds directly from their website by simply typing in a URL, ie will give you the headlines for all of LSNTAP's blog posts.  A lot of RSS readers have additional features which allow you to create customized dashboards with RSS feeds, email, weather, etc.  There are many more RSS readers out there. If one of these isn't  exactly what you are looking for, I suggest doing some more research. Here is a list of RSS readers that you might find useful.


Netvibes/Bloglines (Great Free version)  Both sites allows you to create multiple dashboards. You can have a dashboard for work, home, or for different projects. You can easily add RSS feeds and customize the look. Add a google search bar to the top and make it your homepage. Easily check all your favorite websites, the weather, email,  social media feeds, google analytics, create  to-do lists , and more.The paid version gives you deeper insight into analytics.  Which one: They are basically the same, but I think Netvibes is slightly more user friendly.  Here is an example of what Netvibes/Bloglines look like:



Feeds 2:(Free) A web based RSS reader. Sign up for a free beta account. Add your RSS feeds, and feeds2 learns about content you read and personalizes your account with relevant content.


My Yahoo: (Free)Add RSS feeds, the weather, and other apps to customize your homepage which includes a Yahoo search engine.


Feedly: (Free version or $5/month) Feedly is a great basic RSS reader. You add feeds by topic or URL. The site has a nice user interface which helps you keep your feeds organized.  The pro version incorporates other apps to make sharing and searching easier. For an RSS reader, the free version works great. Available on iOS and Android.  Here is an example of a Feedly Feed:



NewsBlur: (Free) News blur is  a real-time RSS Reader which allows you to organize your feeds by type, and then shows you content in a split screen, so you can view the feed while also reading content on the same page. There is also a sharing element which allows you to share stories on your blurblog. Newsblur has a web app and is optimized for smartphones and tablets running iOS and Android.  Here is an example of NewsBlur:



Protopage:(Free) a personal dashboard/RSS reader. Add widgets and customize this page. Similar to Netvibes/Bloglines. Preprogrammed search bars for popular sites including Amazon, Google, YouTube, and Ebay. You can also add notes and tabs to multiple dashboards.


The Old Reader: (Free for up to 100 feeds which is plenty for most or $3/month for Old Reader Premium) Connect your account to Facebook or Google +. There are many options for mobile apps because of its Open API. Great RSS reader with a social component.  Example:


There are many more RSS readers out there. If one of these isn't  exactly what you are looking for, I suggest doing some more research. Here is a list of RSS readers that is a good place to start. 


Here is an Advocate Feed List that was posted on LSNTAP's blog if you are looking for new RSS feeds to subscribe to.  And here are 1,000 more feeds that aren't related to legal aid. Please share your favorite RSS feeds in the comments box and let us know which RSS reader you use!


Most of you already know that  social media is an important part of any marketing strategy. Effective social media strategies allow organizations to increase exposure,  develop community, build partnerships, and so much more!  In order to keep followers engaged and actualize the potential of social media marketing, it is important to continually update your profiles with new and interesting content. This task becomes daunting as users try to manage an increasingly long list of profiles: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest,  Instagram...the list goes on).  Fortunately, there are many great programs out there designed to help you manage your social media accounts, schedule posts, and track your influence.



Klout: (FREE) Klout is a social media management system that gives users a social media influence score between 1 and 100 (the average score is 40). A Klout score measures social media reach and influence.  Connect Klout to your social media accounts, find and share great content, and schedule posts.  Simultaneously post to different social media accounts, schedule content to publish, and watch your Klout score go up! There is also a Klout Chrome Extension which allows you to quickly format and share links. Klout is free, easy to use, and can save you a lot of time!


Buffer: (Limited free version or $10/mo.) Connect your social media accounts and schedule postings. Buffer suggests content and allows you to connect to RSS feeds to find great content. Buffer is a great time saver, and allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one convenient location.  The free version allows you to add up to one account per social network. The "Awesome Plan"  is  $10/month without a contract and it allows you to add up to 10 profiles and 15 RSS feeds.


Cyfe: (Limited free version or 19/mo.) Allows you to create customized dashboards to easily monitor all of your data in one place.  Create dashboards for social media, finance, project management, and more. Share your dashboards with team members, clients, or public URLS.  Cyfe costs 19/ month or 14/month if paid annually. There is a limited free limited version which I've found works well to keep track of some of LSNTAP's Analytics. For more information about Cyfe, see this short introductory video.   


TweetDeck: (Free) A dashboard application for managing Twitter accounts. Tweetdeck users can monitor and tweet from multiple accounts and create customized dashboards to organize your Twitter streams.



PeerIndex: (limited free version or $100/mo.)  Similar to Klout in that it measures your social influence on your social media accounts on a scale of 1-100. Increase your score by sharing content, building community, and increasing online activity. Disclaimer: I created a profile to try and test out PeerIndex, but I couldn't get passed the loading screen. It was loading for hours. I tried a couple browsers with no luck. 


Twitter Lists: (Free) Twitter lists are a great way to organize and manage your Twitter contacts.

Organize your contacts by interest area so you don’t have to scroll through irrelevant tweets to find what you are looking for. I recently created a Twitter list for Tech Law Twitter Users. The list allows me to quickly get information that I want without being bombarded with Irrelevant tweets on my home feed. Others can easily subscribe to the list or ask to join. Twitter lists are great for creating little online communities. 

Hootsuite: (Limited free version or $9.99/mo.) A dashboard system to help you organize and optimize your social media accounts. Add social media account streams to your dashboard and publish content directly from Hootsuite.  The free version is very useful.  Click on tools and in extensions and downloads, you can download a chrome extension, which formats content and allows you to schedule posts.

 This is just a short l list of sites you can use to help manage your social networking sites. Creating  accounts is really simple, so I suggest trying out a few until you find one that you like. If you are interested in the sites that give you a social media score, here is an interesting article comparing Klout, PeerIndex, and Kred, 3 of the most prominent score based social media management sites.

 Please comment and let me know which sites you've used, which sites you find the most useful, and of course sites that I've left out!


Also, If you find this post interesting or helpful, you are likely to benefit from an LSNTAP community training by Idealware on October 22, 2014: Getting Beyond the Like: Social Media Engagement.  More information about this training is available on our Training Page.