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Creating and Building a Legal Aid Dashboard

Laura Quinn, Executive Director, Idealware, who will lead the class.

Peter Campbell, CIO, Legal Services Corporation

Kristin Verrill, Attorney, Atlanta Legal Aid Society


  1. What is a Dashboard?
  1. 7 Steps to Your Own Dashboard
    1. Define who and what it's for
    1. Understand what your users want
    1. Map metrics to your needs
    1. Choose your dashboard platform
    1. Design charts and displays
    2. Implement and roll out
    3. Plan to iterate
  1. Some Dashboard Case Studies


Dashboards consolidate information to help measure monitor, and manage the way you work.


What data does a dashboard track?

It depends on the organization, but it could include:

  • Operational data: day-to-day data. for example: the number of open cases assigned to each attorney, average time that a case is open, or time spent per program.
  • Program spend and budget
  • Program impact: client satisfaction.
  • More Specific: ie, calculated metrics like the average time that a case is open or the time spent per program.


STEP 1: Define Who and What you Dashboard is For:

Who will be the highest priority users?

Who are you designing the dashboard for?

Will there be additional types of users?

Is your goal to Centralize key Metrics? Do you want everyone to be able to seethe same set of metrics, to help keep everyone on the same page. Is this for the board, the ED, the public, etc?


  • Or will staff choose their own metrics. Will they be customized to help people with their own jobs, but don't necessarily get everyone on the same page.
  • Is data self-service a goal. Do you want to allow staff to look up data themselves rather than requesting it from a central team.
  • Define what success looks like: resist the urge to make something that's all things to all people.


"The more you know going into it, the more success you will have -Peter Campbell"


STEP2: Understand What Your Users Want From the Dashboard

Find out what they currently do: convene staff members and talk about their current processes for decision making. Pay more attention to gaps and workaround than to what they say they'd use.


Consider the "Magical Dashboard": ask people to draw out the information they'd like to have can be useful.-- often desires are surprisingly simple.


Define what they really need

  • Simple summary of key data
  • Complex indicators
  • Ability to tailor their own need
  • To be able to drill into details
  • To do scenario planning


STEP 3: Map Metrics to Your Needs

Find overlap in what you want to know and what you can collect.

What data will help you make decisions?

Where will the data come from?

  • Do you have the data.
  • How easy will it be to pull it for your dashboard.
  • What kind of transformation will it need.

Don't Underestimate this process: for many orgs, designing the right metrics-those that are both useful and practical-is the hardest part of a dashboard process.


Kristin: Start with information you already have in your Case Management System


STEP 4: Choose Your Dashboard Platform

What Platform will work best?

Your Existing Legal Case Management System: probably has a lot of your data.

An Excel Spreadsheet

A plug-in reporting or dashboard tool.

Such as:

Conceptually similar to an excel spreadsheet.

Or an external reporting tool

Or A Custom-Built Dashboard: more flexibility, but likely requires more time and effort.


STEP 5: Design Charts and Displays

Match your metrics to visuals-let the data itself take center stage.

Keep your data clean.

Beware the glitzy graphic: how much are you taking up with glitz rather than information

In many instances, display the data in different ways. People like the big picture, and to drill down into specifics.


STEP 6: Implement and Roll Out Your Dashboard

Bring the data together with your visuals and platform to let the magic happen.

Obviously, the effort and process will depend hugely on what you are doing

Roll it out thoughtfully:

Don't forget about training and the process of getting people on board

It doesn't matter how great it is if no one uses it.


STEP 7: Plan to Iterate

Start with baby steps

It's much easier to figure out what's needed by iterating than through a huge design process


Refine Your Data as Well

Your dashboard is only as good as your data-but making it more visible can often inspire improvements in data quality.


Some Dashboard Case Studies:


 Atlanta Legal Aid Society

  • Awarded a TIG in 2012 to develop and Executive Dashboard in their existing case management system, LegalServer.
  • The dynamic reports allow the executive team to both see a high-level overview of programs and services, and drill down to see outcomes for a specific program or individual.

Blue Ridge Legal Services

  • Static charts and graphs built in Microsoft Excel, displaying performance metrics to compare individual offices, programs, and case handlers
  • Used for  individual performance reports for staff or offices
  • Displaying results more more
  • Long-term goal is to create a template file in Excel, allowing staff to quickly create dashboards from custom reports or queries.

Utah Legal Services

  • Awarded a TIG in 2010 to develop dashboards in Kemp's Case Works to provide a clearer and more user-friendly version of their quarterly performance reports.




By Idealware—People “like” you, but what is that actually doing to support your organization’s bottom line? We’ll talk critically about how you can move constituents up a ladder of engagement from a simple “like” to actually get them to do something for your organization. Ask a question, attend an event, volunteer and yes, even donate—it’s possible to get your constituents to do all of these things as a result of social media actions, but it’s not easy. Armed with case studies, industry research and plain old common sense and experience, we’ll work together to recalibrate your social media mindset in order to provide more value and cultivate a deeper commitment.


Chris Tuttle, Idealware Expert Trainer, Principal Consultant, Tuttle Communications

Christine Mandiloff, Communications Director, Montana Legal Services Association


What We'll Cover Today

  • Goals
  • What is engagement?
  • Practicing engagement
  • Next steps


Your Challenge: think like a social media user. People use social media:

  • To post updates to their friends and family
  • To share pictures and videos
  • To market themselves
  • To learn about things to do
  • To have fun


When brands can tap into people, you will find engagement is much stronger.

 Breaking through the social interaction

Your mission: Engage your constituents in a truly social way!

Not just pushing resources, press releases, or asking for money.


Goals are essential:

Which social media tools you use and how you use them depend on what you want to accomplish and who you want to reach.

Goals should be SMART
S: Specific

M: Measurable

A: Attainable

R: Relevant

T: Timely


Define: What do you want to achieve by using social media?

Goal 1: Build the Community

Measured by followers

People talking about

Goal 2: Providing Information

Programs and Events


Goal 3: Promote Services

Educate people about how to reach your organization

Ask people how they found out about you (to measure)

Goal 4: Raise Funds

One of the most common social media goals

One of the most difficult goals to achieve


Communications that are the most successful tend to be the ones that are the most fun. Behind the scenes pictures of staff at an outing or retreat.


The Path to Deeper Engagement (# of likes)

Moving from Like to Love <3

Provide value at every stage of the pyramid:

  • Offer a central place for people to ask, learn, stay informed, and join in
  • You let them feel heard and answer key questions
  • You built a community & offered a chance to join in
  • You connected them to something great!


What does it mean to provide value:

  • What services can you offer?
  • Can they volunteer online?
  • Can this be a portal to involvement, events, community building?
  • What info can you share?
    • Before each post, ask yourself: is this providing value?


Balance Value

What Constituents Want  vs. What you Want


It's not just what you do, but how you do it.

  • Don't use social media just because you think you should
  • People will know when you are faking it.
  • Don't share content for the sake of sharing content



Practically Practicing Engagement (how to attract attention)

  • Attract followers: offer exciting things and keep them hungry for more.
  • Get People "in the door"
    • Ask constituents to invite friends
    • Ask influencers to promote your page
    • Include a link in emails and on website
    • Include on business cards, email signature
    • Do a campaign with an incentive
    • Create a contest-photo contests work great
    • Tell people!


Listening and Responding

  • Tweets are threaded if you use the reply button
  • Ask for feedback
  • On Facebook turn on reply option. (it defaults off)
  • Cross Promotion
  • Ask your followers questions
  • Use Hashtags


Encourage Interaction: Be engaging with every communication

  • Provide resources
  • Share stories
  • Share related events
  • Highlight your community
  • Make connections between students
  • Ask questions
  • Share volunteer or job opportunities 




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

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