LSC's Tech Download Newsletter | March 2021
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Highlighting Innovation in Legal Aid Technology

Legal Tech Leaders Share Insights on LSC's "Talk Justice" Podcast

Legal tech experts joined LSC on two recent episodes of "Talk Justice" centered on innovation amid COVID-19. 

First up was a discussion of takeaways from LSC's Innovations in Technology Conference, specifically focused on how lawyers and legal professionals can innovate in the face of the pandemic’s many challenges. LSC Emerging Leaders Council member Jason Tashea sat down with Steven McGarrity, executive director at Community Legal Aid Services (Northeast Ohio); Cat Moon, director of innovation design and lecturer in law at Vanderbilt Law School; and Ilenia Sánchez-Bryson, chief information officer at Legal Services of Greater Miami.

“There is a fire and momentum that I think was definitely spurred on by the pandemic,” said Moon. “And in this weird way, I think that we got a sense of confidence about what we can do that didn’t exist before. And I think that’s going to be really, really, really hard to put back into the bottle when we get to the other side.” 
 
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In the second podcast, LSC Board Vice Chair Father Pius Pietrzyk discussed court innovations with Rita H. Blandino, director of the D.C. Court’s Domestic Violence Division, and Paul Tuttle, assistant clerk for the Massachusetts Court of Appeals. They described the problems COVID-19 poses to the justice system and shared details on how their courts have leveraged technology and partnerships to meet these challenges head on. 

Blandino explained that, despite the challenges, it’s been encouraging “to actually see the partnership between the judges, the leaders of the courts, and the administrators — and see how great we can work together and what we can do when we combine skill sets.” She added: “In this very heightened and rushed situation, it's amazing what you can do when you bring those groups together with their different mindsets to get something done.”
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LSC Emerging Leaders Council Members Honored for Their Leadership and Contributions

Upsolve co-founder and Emerging Leaders Council member Rohan Pavuluri is included on this year's "TIME100 Next" list. Time magazine annually recognizes emerging leaders who are shaping the future.

Upsolve's free online tool helps users fill out bankruptcy forms. Over the years, it has helped users relieve more than $300 million in debt.

“We’ve found a way to use technology to address a civil rights injustice at scale,” Pavuluri said.
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LSC Emerging Leaders Council Co-Chair Kristen Sonday, cofounder and COO of Paladin, was one of five women named by the International Legal Technology Association's "2021 Influential Women in Legal Tech." 

The list, released annually, recognizes outstanding leaders in the legal technology community based on their mentorship history and overarching level of impact on legal technology.

Shannon Salter, chair of the Civil Resolution Tribunal (Vancouver, British Columbia), who served as keynote speaker at LSC's 2020 Innovations in Technology Conference is also on this year's list. 
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Innovations in Technology Conference On Demand

LSC's virtual 2021 Innovations in Technology Conference (ITC) featured 152 presenters and more than 900 attendees. If you were unable to attend ITC, LSC is offering an on-demand registration for $49 that will allow you to access more than 50 videos from the conference. ITC sessions will be available for viewing until June 30.

For questions about the conference, please email itc@lsc.gov
Purchase ITC On Demand

Spotlight on Success: TIG Project Profile
Boosting Knowledge Management and Communication

West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS) used LSC Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) funding to modernize its knowledge management and communication systems. The project’s goal was to promote consistency and efficiency at intake, enable easy collaboration among staff and improve remote supervision.
 
The organization’s transition to Microsoft 365 and SharePoint preceded the outbreak of COVID-19, but the new system made remote work easier. WTLS's successful technological transition enhanced productivity and effectiveness. 
 
The lessons learned from WTLS’s approach may be helpful to other legal services providers who are considering technological transitions. WTLS prioritized in-house knowledge of SharePoint. The project also looked at expertise from the corporate world, which led to the adoption of better site structure and a focus on user-centered design. WTLS focused on the human component of technological change, offering additional trainings and other forms of support to staff with fewer technology skills.

The majority of WTLS staff reported that SharePoint was a positive change and 42% of employees said that their work had improved. Ninety-one percent agreed that managers, staff and consultants had well prepared the office for the changes. 

Apps for That
Best Legal Aid Apps 

What are the latest tech tools? Which new apps are the most promising? In this section, we recommend tech resources that can benefit legal aid organizations and their clients.

Check My Links

Check My Links is a link checker that crawls through a webpage to identify broken links. It clearly highlights which links are valid and which ones are broken. It's simple to then copy all the bad links to a clipboard with a single click. 

Check My Links is a free Chrome extension developed primarily for web designers, developers and content editors.

Learn more

Chrome Remote Desktop

Using Chrome Remote Desktop, you can easily use a computer or mobile device to access files and applications on another computer over the internet. You will need to download the Chrome Remote Desktop app to use your mobile device for remote access.

Learn more
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