LSC's Tech Download Newsletter | June 2019
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Highlighting Innovation in Legal Aid Technology

Speaker and Workshop Proposals for LSC's Innovations in Technology Conference Now Open

LSC is now accepting speaker and workshop proposals for the Innovations in Technology Conference (ITC), to be held January 14-17, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Proposals are due by July 17.

ITC brings together legal aid advocates, court personnel, pro bono coordinators, librarians, legal tech startups, law students, academics, and other professionals to showcase technology projects and tools being implemented across the globe to promote access to justice and high quality legal representation for low-income people.

The 2019 conference attracted almost 500 attendees and featured more than 50 sessions.

This year, LSC is accepting proposals for five types of conference sessions:
  • Workshop Session (75 minutes)
  • Hands-On Lab or Technology Demo (75 minutes)
  • Tactical Session (30 minutes)
  • Affinity Group Discussions (informal 60-minute discussion group)
  • Rapid Fire Talks (6-minute lightning talk at a plenary)  
For more information, see the Guidelines for Speaker and Workshop Proposals. Email techgrants@lsc.gov with any questions about the conference or session proposals.
Submit a proposal

Rapid Fire Tech at LSC's Access to Justice Forum

(Clockwise): Steven McGarrity, Executive Director, Community Legal Aid Services (Ohio); Kristen Sonday, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, Paladin; Rohan Pavuluri, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Upsolve.
Experts on technology's role in meeting the legal needs of low-income Americans joined LSC in April at the Access to Justice Forum. The event, hosted by Georgetown University Law Center, featured Steven McGarrity, Executive Director, Community Legal Aid Services in Ohio; Rohan Pavuluri, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Upsolve; and Kristen Sonday, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, Paladin. Pavuluri and Sonday are both members of LSC's Emerging Leaders Council, with Sonday serving as Co-Chair.  

McGarrity presented on how technology like Amazon's Alexa can improve the delivery of legal services by allowing remote staffing of legal aid offices. Pavuluri shared information on Upsolve, a nonprofit online legal aid tool that enables low-income Americans to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on their own with reviews by lawyers. Sonday discussed tips and best practices for co-developing access to justice technology. 

Professor Gloria Valencia-Weber, University of New Mexico School of Law and a member of the LSC Board, introduced the speakers. 

Spotlight on Success: TIG Project Profile
Guiding Users to Valuable Legal Help

LSC Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) funding has played a major role in supporting and extending LiveHelp to legal aid websites. The service is a chat-based, real-time support service. The initial pilot project for LiveHelp, a collaboration between Iowa Legal Aid, Montana Legal Services Association, and Pro Bono Net, was launched with the help of TIG funding in June 2006 on MontanaLawHelp.org and IowaLegalAid.org.

The chat feature allows visitors—who may lack the legal or technology skills to conduct their own research or be overwhelmed by available resources—to click a button and connect with a specialist. These specialists provide visitors with links to legal information and can even use the platform's collaborative features to "escort" visitors to relevant online resources. 

Since launching, additional TIG funding has helped extend the service to additional states. Sites that offer LiveHelp report rapid growth in the number of chats and requests for legal help. Surveys of users show high satisfaction levels. 

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.

WeCo


WeCo fosters understanding of how people living with disabilities access technology. The company offers free accessibility reviews that can pinpoint ways to make online resources more accessible. It also offers more in-depth services including full accessibility audits and disability-focused testing. Professionals living with a wide range of disabilities make up the vast majority of the company's support teams. 
Learn more about WeCo

Microsoft Office Accessibility Checker

Microsoft Office products all offer a built-in Accessibility Checker. Simply run the checker to make sure content is easy for people of all abilities to read and edit. On the ribbon bar on top, access the checker under the Review Tab. The program will show errors, warnings, and tips along with recommended actions. It is also possible to keep the checker running while you work. 

Read more about Accessibility Checker
CALENDAR
 
June
 
  • Using JusticeServer and Salesforce for Cloud-Based Client Management
    This online session will show how JusticeServer and Salesforce can help organizations be more effective and efficient through a modern, flexible, and scalable data management platform. Salesforce is one of the top data management solutions in the world. JusticeServer, designed by legal services organizations, is a case management and volunteer attorney portal solution built by TechBridge on the Salesforce platform.

    Online 
    June 28, 10 AM EDT
    Registration Info

September
 
  • Technology Innovations for Civil Legal Aid Clients and Victims of Crime: Stronger Together
    Over the past two decades, the LSC TIG program has seeded civil legal aid technology innovations in nearly every state in the country. More recently, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has funded technology initiatives to reach underserved victims of crime. What is the relationship between these efforts, and how can programs build complementary strategies that leverage existing online resources available through legal aid? This webinar will highlight examples of DOJ-funded technology innovations developed in partnership with legal aid programs that help to increase awareness and adoption of civil legal aid resources.

    Online
    September 18, 1 PM EDT

    Registration Info

October
 
  • Developing Successful Legal Aid - Private Sector Tech Collaborations
    As the legal aid field becomes more sophisticated in its use of technology and partnership models to address the justice gap, it is attracting companies in the private tech sector such as Microsoft, Google, and new legal tech start-ups as partners in this work. This workshop will explore partnerships between legal aid organizations and private enterprise in the legal, technology, and marketing sectors. Presenters will discuss their access to justice projects, how these partnerships were brokered and structured, what was successful, and lessons learned to strengthen future efforts.

    Online
    October 2, 10 AM EDT

    Registration Info
     
  • Clio Cloud Conference
    This conference helps practitioners strengthen their legal tech expertise, connect with peers from across the nation, and draw inspiration from game-changers in the legal industry and beyond. 

    San Diego, CA
    October, 21-22

    Registration Info
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