The Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP) is an online resource that provides legal aid programs with advice and support on which technology can be used to assist in their mission. LSNTAP provides frequent free online trainings, roundtables, a tech blog and the robust LSTech discussion list. There is also a growing technology library. The website has an online chat feature, should you wish to ask a question, or you can just email them for information instead. Although geared specifically to support staff at Legal Services Corporation grantees, most of the content is also available to non-LSC funded groups.
If you want to know about a particular form of technology relevant to your work visiting the LSNTAP pages should be one of the first things you do (in addition to consulting other important technology information resources such as the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC), the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) and Techsoup.org). Here are some of the resources that you can find there.
|Videos: LSNTAP has a YouTube presence with videos of interest to those doing technology work for legal aid programs.|
Some of the videos are very short “how to” clips while some are archived full-length webinars. Among the topics: geographic information system (GIS) mapping, securing cloud files, website analytics, website accessibility, setting up a Google custom search engine, how to use technology to support low-English proficient (LEP) speakers, online resources for helping self-represented litigants and using video cameras and editing videos.
Case Management Systems (CMS): LSNTAP maintains a section on their website that allows comparison of the case management systems most in use by LSC grantees. The six systems are: Kemp’s Case Works, Legal Files, Legal Server, Pika CMS, Practice Manager and Time. Other case management resources on the NTAP site may be found here:
Trainings: LSNTAP has frequent and free online trainings and webinars. Upcoming events are webinars on Microsoft’s OneNote, 50 Tech Tips, Using Mobile Phones for Service Delivery, Innovations in Technology-Enabled Pro Bono, Getting Beyond the Like: Social Media Engagement and Visualizing Your Data Through Dashboards
Tech Library: The Tech Library is key word searchable – if you want to rummage for anything such as “open source,” “hotdocs,” or “Outlook” this would be a simple way in to see what was available. But the library is also tagged and sorted by topic, the most general being: Legal Aid Tech, Tech Management, Future Think & Ethics and LSC &Technology Initiative Grants.
Clicking on one of these general topics will reveal links to a wide range of specific technology information: Wikis, mobile websites, multimedia, hotlines, document assembly, statewide websites, communications, phone systems and XML for example.
Other Resources: LSNTAP maintains a Survey Bank with over 25 sample surveys that may be of use to organizations, a technology blog that can be searched by keyword and also supports the LSTech discussion list. One can request admission to the LSTech list on the LSNTAP home page.
There is also an online help/chat desk which is currently available 10 am – 3 pm CT, Monday through Friday. The current policy is that “any staff member from an LSC-funded program can use the chat client to receive help.” If the help desk is offline send in your technology question to email@example.com
Bill Jones is the Technology, Information and Content Coordinator for the ABA’s Center for Pro Bono.