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TIG-Funded Pro Bono Projects

The TIG program has devoted more than $1.2 million to projects that use technology to support and manage pro bono initiatives.

The list below provides a brief description for every TIG-funded project that was specifically focused on improving pro bono.

2013 Grants

Organization
Project
TIG Award

New Mexico Legal Aid

This project will create a customized pro bono portal that will enable clients, pro bono lawyers, and legal aid lawyers to exchange legal documents and information in a secure online space.

$72,405

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

This project will enhance two tools to deliver unbundled services in a high-poverty rural area. The first tool is a “Guide Me” resource module for clients, which includes legal information and an automated interview to create court forms. The second tool allows pro bono attorneys to access the data that clients submit, so that they can review the forms and provide limited scope legal services online.

$72,609

Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, Inc.

This project will create online training videos to complement Call4LAW, a statewide program that matches prescreened clients with pro bono attorneys for one-hour legal consultations by telephone. The videos are designed for pro bono attorneys who have limited experience with the topics that are common in the legal aid community, so they will address the basics of divorce law, custody, law, private landlord/tenant law, security deposits, consumer debt collections practices, unemployment law, and the ethics of Call4Law.

$33,702

North Penn Legal Services, Inc.

North Penn Legal Services will automate a Pennsylvania "Divorce Tracker" system that will guide pro se litigants and pro bono attorneys through simple divorce cases. The system will determine upcoming tasks and monitor due dates, and generate the appropriate documents when they're needed.

$32,150

 

2012 Grants

Organization
Project
TIG Award

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

This project will adapt the LiveHelp online chat tool to allow volunteer attorneys to provide counsel and advice to low income people in 25 rural Ohio counties.Since the volunteer attorneys can use the tool anywhere that there is an internet connection, it will decrease the geographic barriers to pro bono work.

$48,735

Utah Legal Services, Inc.

This project will create a system that streamlines the statewide placement of eligible clients with pro bono attorneys. The system is designed to ease the burden of matching cases and tracking volunteer activities. The completed system will allow all nonprofit legal aid providers in Utah to input cases that need to be placed with volunteer attorneys. It will also include: panels for attorney’s subscriptions; automatic emails to manage correspondence; an income verification system; an event feature to track attendance at CLEs and clinics; partitioning functionality to protect client confidentiality; and the ability to generate reports.

$32,500

Colorado Legal Services

This project will develop a mobile app that allows attorneys to sign up for volunteer work, provides them with preparation checklists, and provides the procedures that volunteers should follow.

$43,920

Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota

This project will create a set of settlement checklists and client interview guides, to support volunteer attorneys doing pro bono work outside of their areas of expertise. These resources are mobile-optimized, so they will be easily accessible when volunteers are in the field.

$90,460

Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, Inc.

This project will develop an Online Classroom Template (OCT) that legal aid programs can use to create self-paced online courses for self-represented litigants, legal aid clients, and pro bono attorneys. The final project will include six pilot courses that include instructional documents, videos, slide casts, A2J interviews, and links. The courses will be: “What to do if your employer does not pay you for your work” (English and Spanish, “How to make sure your disabled child gets an appropriate education” (English and Spanish), “Consumer Law and Debt Collection” (Pro Bono), and “How to use the Online Classroom Template.” The Online Classroom Template is designed to be easy to replicate in other legal aid organizations.

$45,500

 

2011 Grants

Organization
Project
TIG Award

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association

This project will create a statewide pro bono website that allows volunteers to find and sign up for pro bono opportunities and access trainings, practice materials, mentors and law student assistance to support their pro bono work. The new site will be built on the probono.net template, so all enhancements will be available to the 22 other probono.net websites across the country. The project is a collaboration between the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association (VLP), LSC and non-LSC funded legal aid organizations, law schools, bar associations, and the judiciary in Massachusetts.

$70,205

Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.

This project will create clinical courses in law schools that train students to work on A2J Guided Interviews, HotDocs templates and other content for statewide legal aid websites to lower barriers to access to justice for low income people. This course has already been piloted at six law schools, with several more planning to join in the coming year.

$198,600

 

2010 Grants

Organization
Project
TIG Award

Mississippi Center for Legal Services

This project created new online resources for pro bono attorneys in Mississippi, including widgets that display volunteer opportunities and a training calendar. Any firm or partner organization can embed the widget code on their own website, and display pro bono opportunities and upcoming trainings.

$24,150

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass

This project will build a pro bono portal for volunteer attorneys, and integrate Legal Aid of the Bluegrass' online document assembly with its Kemps case management system (CMS) to avoid duplicative data entry.

$56,100

Central California Legal Services, Inc.

The Central Valley Capacity Building Project will increase the capacity of legal services programs serving the rural Central Valley of California by leveraging pro bono resources and increasing access to training.

The project includes:

  • A pro bono challenge that urges attorneys in the Central Valley to pledge a certain number of pro bono hours during the one-year period. TIG funding will create an online portal to support the campaign, which includes an online pledge system, a calendar of trainings, descriptions of available projects, and a reporting function that documents volunteer hours.
  • Virtual clinics that allow urban law students to connect with rural low-income clients via webcams and online video-chat software.
  • High-quality, relevant training on legal services skills and substantive topics for rural legal services staff.

 

$70,600

Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc.

This project developed the first statewide pro bono mobile app. The app, which launched in 2011, provides Illinois attorneys and other legal professionals with a volunteer opportunity search tool, a calendar of upcoming events, and instructional legal content. The app is available for both iOS and Android and has been downloaded and installed over 2700 times since its launch.

$79,406

 

2008 and Earlier Grants

Organization
Project
Year
TIG Award

Legal Services NYC

This project will replicate and improve the “LiveHelp” initiative with a specific focus on the needs of New York’s Spanish speaking and limited English proficient users. LiveHelp will be staffed by volunteers from partner law schools and law firms.

2008

$64,560

Utah Legal Services, Inc.

This project will create a wiki of the Domestic Law Manual, so that volunteer attorneys have better access to training in a high need area. The Domestic Law Manual is a large document (1600 pages) that requires constant and substantial updating. Creating an electronic version of the document on a wiki will allow real-time updates to the document, and include links to supplemental material. Utah Legal Services also plans to embed short training videos throughout the document, to provide volunteer attorneys with additional help in working with low income clients.

2007

$27,500

Legal Services of North Florida, Inc.

This project would expand Florida’s statewide pro bono website, FloridaProBono.org. The project includes a web content needs assessment to determine which areas of the website need to be supplemented, focused development of web content that can reach a wide number of attorneys, online communication tools for case placement, volunteer support, and volunteer recruitment, and evaluation of the project to support organizations considering similar projects.

2007

$25,000

Legal Services of Northern Michigan, Inc.

This project will improve LSNM's successful internet based legal advice site (IRP) by adding e-mail notifications and basic formatting for the question and answer section. In addition, the project will package the improvements as an installation package for distribution along with a "How to" manual.

2007

$31,000

Montana Legal Services Association

This project will expand LiveHelp to support volunteer attorneys in Georgia, integrate LiveHelp with document assembly in Montana, and test a cross-jurisdictional approach to delivering LiveHelp assistance that builds a national network to help clients in times of crisis. This project is a partnership between Montana Legal Services Association, Iowa Legal Aid, the Georgia Legal Services Program and its State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project, and Pro Bono Net.

2006

$32,200

Legal Services of Northern Michigan, Inc.

This project created a platform so that volunteer attorneys could provide legal advice online, to clients who need assistance but do not meet intake priorities. The project was designed to encourage more to volunteer in rural northern Michigan, because the online platform eases geographic barriers to the region. This project was an early pioneer in using the internet to screen for eligibility, deliver counsel and advice to clients, collect client data into a case management system, and increase the availability of pro bono services to rural populations.

2004

$70,877