Choosing the right platform for pro-se guided interviews

I am working on a project to develop a guided interview for tenants who are facing eviction. Briefly, a guided interview is a TurboTax-like interface that asks a user questions and drafts a letter, form, or pleading that might be printed out or electronically filed with a court. This is meant to be a user-friendly […]

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Initial version of HotDocs Component Generator is now available

The HotDocs Component Generator for Google Sheets is now available in the Chrome Web Store. This is an evolution of a few techniques I’ve discussed on this blog that is more user friendly than PowerShell and doesn’t require you to learn JavaScript. Read more about it here: http://nonprofittechy.com/projects/hotdocs-computation-generator/.

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The automation’s the thing

Without true automation, guided interviews that produce legal forms are too difficult to justify the learning curve. As I have stated on this blog before, I am working on updating the Greater Boston Legal Services Eviction Defense System, a tool that helps lawyers and nonlawyer advocates complete legal forms for an eviction. The original system […]

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Google Forms Workflow to Replace Hotdocs Overlay Answer files
Screenshot of Google Form to add a Court to GBLS Eviction Defense System.

Do you maintain Hotdocs guided interviews on LHI? Here’s one way to keep a Hotdocs guided interview up to date: use a Google Form to let users across the jurisdiction submit updates to a spreadsheet, and then use Google Apps Script to generate a Hotdocs computation from the user submissions. The computation can be used as a […]

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How Technology Can Narrow the Access to Justice Gap

The maximum amount a single person can earn and still qualify for free legal help is just over $15,000 a year, and for a family of four that increases to only $30,000 a year. With a few exceptions, someone making $16,000 is on their own. Even if you do earn less than $15,000, you only […]

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Using Office 365 SharePoint as a Litigation Support Tool

For small law firms or legal services programs, Office 365’s SharePoint Online just might be the perfect litigation support platform. My legal services program recently has started to use SharePoint Online to store, index, and markup discovery for easy retrieval. It doesn’t do everything tools used by the big law firms do, but it might […]

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The WriteClearly Google Docs add-on is now available to the public

The WriteClearly team at Urban Insight has finished work on the public version of the Google Docs add-on. WriteClearly is a plain language tool. It helps lawyers write documents that most people can understand. I worked on a draft version of this at the TIG Hackathon this past January. Check it out and start using […]

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How legal technology can help your legal services program and your client base

Yes, it’s true: you should probably be using technology right now in your legal services program. It’s time to think beyond the word processor. Technology can directly help both our clients and the people we turn away. What’s more, it can help us sell our message better to the people who fund our work.In the […]

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WriteClearly: Developing a Google Apps Add-on to Promote Plain Language in the Legal Community

I recently was sent by my employer, Greater Boston Legal Services, to a legal technology hackathon at the TIG 2017 conference in San Antonio, Texas. Our team created a tool that helps legal aid lawyers do a better job of writing for the general public. Statistics show that the average reading level in the United States is […]

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