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Apr
19
 

Bay Area Legal Aid is now looking for a new Director of Information Technology. If you know someone who might be interested please be sure to pass this along.

If you prefer it in pdf form the application can be found here.

 

Bay Area Legal Aid

Director of Information Technology – Central Support, Oakland

 

Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) has an exciting leadership position for an experienced and enthusiastic professional to serve as its Director of Information Technology (DIT). Supported by an excellent Board and Leadership Team, BayLegal staff members provide critical legal services for the poorest and most vulnerable residents in seven Bay Area counties. The DIT will have an exceptional opportunity to help maintain, design, strategically grow, and direct BayLegal’s technology solutions to effectively support our team.

Position: This position is responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of BayLegal’s information technology systems and telecommunication systems for our seven-office law firm. Additionally, the DIT administers and serves as the primary point person for the support of BayLegal's client case management database system. The DIT will oversee desktop support personnel and ensure that trouble tickets submitted by staff receive timely responses. The DIT is also responsible for working closely with advocates and attorneys alike to determine and assess their needs.

Responsibilities:

• Develop, recommend, and implement short-term and long-range strategic technology architecture and initiatives

• Manage backup processes to ensure 24/7 operation of application servers and databases

• Manage virtualized server environment (presently under VMWARE)

• Assess and implement network and system design solutions in order to eliminate downtime for the organization

• Assess, and if appropriate, design and implement transition from local office-based server and storage solution to a managed, hosted, or co-located solution, including providing an analysis of existing points of failure, drafting the systems design, and implementing an upgrade plan

• Develop, recommend, and implement policy for the use of technology in the delivery of legal services through collaboration with other members of the leadership team

• Prepare, manage, and report on technology-focused grants, in consultation with Grants and Development Team

• Oversee maintenance of telecommunication network, IT infrastructure, and Internet connectivity

• Develop, recommend, and implement standards for equipment and software acquisition, installation, and use

• Develop and implement solutions for program-wide computer training

• Collaborate with Finance Team to develop, recommend, and administer annual budget for technology

• Negotiate, administer, and monitor contracts for equipment, software, services, training, and other technology-related matters

• Supervise the provision of local office desktop support and network administration in local offices

• Hire and manage technology professionals and/or consultants

• Communicate the technology vision of BayLegal to staff and other stakeholders

 

 

• Keep up-to-date on the trends and advances in the utilization of technology in the provision of legal services

 

About the Successful Candidate:

• Bachelor of Science or advanced degree in computer science

• At least five years of progressively increasing responsibilities including project management, managing technical support provider/outside support vendors and organizational planning for technology solutions

• Microsoft systems administration certifications

• Demonstrated expertise with Windows Server, Exchange and MSSQL, including demonstrated knowledge of Windows security

• Demonstrated experience in management of virtualized server environments

• Proficiency with Citrix XenApp server administration and VPN administration

• Knowledge of high availability, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery for database and application servers

• Knowledge, implementation, and maintenance of CRM programs

• Experience with MPLS networks

• Hands-on, results-oriented problem solver with excellent time management skills

• Inquisitive and self-directed with an ability to anticipate what needs to be done while still managing/overseeing multiple projects

• Strong organizational, language, and communication skills

• Positive attitude, with ability to work independently and as part of a team

 

Compensation and Benefits: Compensation is based on experience. Generous benefits package includes medical, dental, and life insurance; long term disability; paid vacation and sick leave; and 401k retirement plan.

Applications: Bay Area Legal Aid thrives on our diversity and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Please send cover letter, resume, references, and writing sample to: David McGee, Director of Human Resources at dmcgee@baylegal.org. Please reference Director of IT in your application.

About Bay Area Legal Aid

Bay Area Legal Aid's (BayLegal) mission is to provide high quality legal assistance regardless of a client's location, language, or disability. Since our founding in 2000 as a regional poverty law firm, Bay Area Legal Aid has earned a strong reputation for outstanding legal services and advocacy. We are the largest provider of free civil legal services to low-income residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, with seven regional offices serving the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. From Napa Valley to Silicon Valley, Bay Area Legal Aid ensures fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of our community. We help our clients protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. BayLegal's 100+ staff members provide wraparound legal services in housing preservation, domestic violence/sexual assault, family law, immigration, economic security, consumer protection, healthcare access, and youth justice.

Apr
13
 
Right now we have a problem: when it comes to legal resources for people in need, lots of useful information is scattered across many different websites, databases, and even printed flyers and booklets. When valuable information is too hard to find or too cumbersome to use,  everyone suffers — people seeking help, people trying to help people find help, and people who want to make better decisions about meeting the needs of their communities.
 
One solution is to adopt  open data standards. For example, the Open Referral Initiative has developed a standardized way to publish resource data (i.e. directory information about health, human, and social services such as legal clinics) so that the same data can be shared between websites, case management systems, and even search platforms like Google and Yelp.  
 
Data standards are predictable, broadly applicable ways to structure and share data — and when data standards are adopted, they can help make things easier for everyone. An open data standard is one which is freely available for anyone to use, without being trapped into proprietary software — and even one that people can help shape over time.
 
Below you can see two examples of open data standards being put to use. Here you can see weather.com has tagged its data in accordance with the W3C web standards — so that Google (and other search engines) can parse it and immediately display much of the information you care about. Below you can also see the same thing when you search for a movie and it shows various locations and showtimes with links to easily purchase tickets. On the right there is lots of extra information like reviews, runtime, rating and a trailer.

 
 
Here’s what’s happened in these examples: these websites (weather.com, Wikipedia, IMDB, etc) have ‘marked up’ their content so that ‘web crawlers’ can effectively index their information in precise ways. That enables  Google to ‘know’ what different kinds of data represent, and then display that data in a special way. This enables search results to show the user ‘rich content,’ which is translated from raw data with standardized tags.
 
Consider the opportunity for referral services like hotlines. Currently if a hotline wants to have a good base of resources to refer people to it’s going to require a significant investment. Aside from the initial setup cost, maintaining the information takes a lot of time. New resources are created, old ones go out of date, and the best way to keep track of all this information is to call an organization and ask.
 
This is where Open Referral comes in. By enabling organizations like the referral hotlines to structure their resource data in a standardized way, Open Referral can make it easier for such data to be updated once and shared simultaneously in many different websites and tools. It may be that a referral provider still needs to make calls to direct service providers, so that they can update their records — but now that data can be shared across many different websites and information systems. That can make it a lot easier for many more people to always have  current, clear data at their fingertips.
 
The challenge is adoption. We would need  a critical mass of people to put their data in this format for the promise of this data standard to be fully realized.
 
However, Open Referral has already garnered adoption in cities like Boston and Chicago and elsewhere. Meanwhile, there are a number of tools (like free, open source web sites and mobile apps) that can already be used with data that is in this format. Check out the Ohana Web Search, Zendesk’s Link website, and Helpsteps mobile app — all of these are freely redeployable and work with resource directory data that is in the Open Referral format.  
 
As handy as it would be if people went in and changed their sites to use this more realistically it will probably be something that is written into the contract when a site is being built or overhauled. It’s akin to changing the foundation on a of a house, while not impossible to do it’s a pain. Plus  if you know you are going to knock it down and rebuild in a year or two you probably should just wait and incorporate it into the new design. The one thing I want everyone who reads this to do is take a good hard look at your upcoming projects and see if Open Referral is something you can incorporate in.
 
For more information on Open Referral you can visit their website or watch this presentation given by Greg Bloom, the lead organizer of Open Referral.
 
 

Apr
13
 

Yesterday we had a presentation on some of the core features of Google Analytics and talked about some of the best practices and common pitfalls in using it. If you missed it yesterday or are just curious to see what the big deal about analytics is check out the video below. In this video we focus on Google Analytics but the theory holds up no matter what analytics package you are using so it's well worth checking out.

This webinar was presented by Chris Tuttle of Idealware and Brain Rowe of LSNTAP. 

If you watched the video please take a minute to fill out this survey and give us some feedback.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZNKJQJ6

Apr
6
 

We have just put up video from the Google Docs webinar we hosted a little bit back. The webinar has been chopped into three parts, one each for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and put into a play list along with our videos on GIS mapping which make use of Fusion Tables. If you missed the webinar or want a refresher on what we covered please check out that playlist.

 

Mar
31
 

 

What’s the benefit of a tech investment, and when it is worth the expense? What’s the best way to think about the return on investment of a technology project in quantitative terms? In this session, we’ll talk through the core concepts around how to consider and weigh the costs and benefits of technology projects. Then we’ll work together as a group to collaboratively identify some of the most effective and measurable elements you can use to predict the return on investment for innovative projects. You’ll leave with a clear framework to help you think through innovative technology investments at your own organization.

Presented by 

Laura Quinn of Idealware
John Greiner of Just Tech, LLC
Brian Rowe of LSNTAP

The slides for the presentation can be found here.
http://www.slideshare.net/LSNTAP/determining-the-roi-on-innovative-tech

And please fill out this survey to help us continue to bring you these videos.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/68H6D5X

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