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Christopher Alfano - Illinois Legal Aid Online
In this video Christopher from ILAO goes into detail explaining the pros and cons of A2J Author and HotDocs and looks at some of the other consideration involved in developing an automated interview.

This video  it is an excerpt from a webinar on Future Proofing that can be found here. A lot of the advice given is simple but following it can save a lot of work down the road



Presented by
  • Xander Karsten - Legal Server
  • Jack Haycock - Pine Tree Legal
  • Kathleen Caldwell - Pine Tree Legal
  • Sheila Fisher - North Penn Legal Services
  • Christopher Alfano - Illinois Legal Aid Online
  • Mirenda Meghelli (moderator) - Pro Bono Net

Today we hosted a webinar that covered some of the things an organization can do now to reduce the chances of something in the future happening to mess everything up. We cover what can be done both on an individual level and on a project level, the core points for each are as follows.
For People
  • Don’t just document what you do, take some time to explain why. If the next people don’t understand why they are doing things they will have a harder time improving on the process and are more likely to misapply it.
  • Start documenting things yesterday and incorporate documentation as a step in your workflow. It’s much easier to document things as you go than it is to sum up years of work at the very end, and the results will be much better to boot. Also remember that while you can predict your retirement it’s much harder to predict getting hit by a bus, unexpected leave of absences happen and good documentation smooth things out.
  • If you can arrange overlapping time between someone exiting a position and the person filling it.
        For Projects
  • Make sure the workload is well distributed and people are familiar with what role everyone plays. Make sure that no one person is so critical that their removal will sink the project.
  • Find a project management tool that works for you and use it, there are lots of good ones that can be used for free.
We have also split one section of this video off into it’s own video, Christopher Alfano of ILAO did such a good job covering A2J Author vs HotDocs we have split it into it’s own video so It’s easier for people to find in the future, be sure to check out the A2J Author vs HotDocs video here.
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.
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.

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

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.
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