The Clearinghouse Library for Pro Bono Adds Technology Items

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Bill Jones

The Center for Pro Bono maintains a Clearinghouse library of documents relevant to pro bono management, recruitment, recognition and support.  Over the last year, this Clearinghouse has been migrated to new software run on the American Bar Association (ABA) servers.  Prior to the migration, the collection was reviewed and obsolete items removed.  We have instituted a more simplified tagging scheme as the new software allows full keyword searching of available documents, a feature missing in the earlier software. There are now over 3,200 documents and resources represented—at least a third which are currently available for immediate viewing as PDF files while the rest can be individually requested through a link to an online form. This is only the beginning, as we strive to collect and add new content on a regular basis.

As we add new content, we want to expand our collection of non-ABA web resources. Whereas in the past we preferred having a physical/digital copy of an item we will now increase linking to the web resources of other members of the poverty law community.  As a start the Center has added several resources that focus on technology.

To begin with we wanted to point to important technology organizations that would be most relevant to our work, so naturally we have added the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP), the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), Techsoup.org and out of local pride LTRC — the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center.  We also list the LSC’s Technology Initiative Grant program, particularly projects that have focused on tech for pro bono development.

We’ve added links to free reports and white papers on technology use, for example Getting Started with Data-Driven Decision Making, the 2013 Consumers Guide to Low Cost Donor Management Systems, the Consumers Guide to Content Management Systems for Nonprofits, the Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook and The Resilient Organization:  A Guide for Disaster Planning and Recovery.  We link to the papers generated in the recent LSC Summit on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice some of which were published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology and others which are available at JOLT‘s website.  Of course, the Final Report from the LSC Technology Summit is also included.  These resources help programs make better choices in their technology decisions.  In particular the LSC Summit materials give a good overview of the state of delivery technology in the legal services community as well as indicating where the major technology focus will be in the next several years for LSC affiliates.

Some special collections of interest are also included:  NTEN’s and LSNTAP’s YouTube videos, LSNTAP’s Case Management System Reviews and Ratings web area and Social Media Governance’s Social Media Policy Database.

We also include some tools/widgets in the mix:  A2J Author, the Legal Aid Society of Louisville’s Law and Health Screening Tool, a Social Media policy generating tool from Canada, Legal Assistance of Western New York’s WriteClearly gadget and NTEN’s Technology Benchmarking Tool for nonprofits.

To view the technology resources recently added to the Clearinghouse, go to http://www.americanbar.org/directories/pro_bono_clearinghouse.html and select “Technology” from the “Content Topic” expandable menu.  The Center would appreciate any feedback on other web resources that should be added to the Clearinghouse—if you’d like to suggest a technology resource or other item, please send a link to the resource and a brief description to abaprobono@americanbar.org

Bill Jones is the Technology, Information and Content Coordinator for the ABA’s Center for Pro Bono.

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