Online intake: The “whats” and the “whys” of online intake


Bob Aubin, Paralegal and Self-Employed Developer
Breckie Hayes-Snow, Deputy Director, Legal Advice & Referral Center
Joan Kleinberg, Director of CLEAR/Private Bar Development, Northwest Justice Project
Ed Marks, Executive Director, New Mexico Legal Aid


Claudia Johnson, LawHelp Interactive, Program Manager, Pro Bono Net


2 examples in the community
Technology (specifics of online intake applications
Data sharing/outcomes
Why Intake?

Intake is one of the most time and resource consuming area a legal nonprofit deals with.

Often time 10% or more of a budget
Look to see if your intake process can be made more effective
Getting intake right is important.
It helps define the types of cases that you litigate
Online Intake

No ABA standards, but new model rules do have provisions under the competency standard
LSC has requirements of human verification of eligibility
Factors for online intake:

Are the case acceptance guidelines stable?
Is there a solid understanding of which cases get accepted by problem type?
Is there a strong IT team?
Northwest Justice Project: Online Intake

Washington State

Presenter: Joan Kleinberg

The process of development

Articulate your goals
At NJP: make sure people with time sensitive issues get through (ie: housing)
Triage: get people not to call and provide resources to those we cannot help
Provide resources
Develop the logic model (branching logic that takes user to questions depending on previous questions and answers)
Chase each question and answer out to a conclusion
You have to be systematic
Excel is your friend
The user interface (user’s experience)
Break it down to simple questions (very challenging)
NJP used A2J interface
Use plain language
Anticipate user questions
Test questions for ambiguity
Policy Decisions:

What info are you comfortable gathering online?
How will you make allowances for incorrect info?
How will you handle LSC requirements to notify all applicants of grievance process?
Demographics-online applicants are:

50% whiter
much younger
significantly more female
about the same income distribution

define your goals up front
be prepared for higher volume of intakes
add a user survey.
make sure staff understands how it works
go through outreach materials
branch logic and structuring questions is a long difficult process
Legal Advice and Referral Center- Online Intake
New Hampshire
Presenter: Breckie Hayes-Snow
General Timeline

8 Legal Advice 7 Referral Center 3/96-today
September 2009 telephone system crash—total failure
Online intake implemented to provide access
2012 intake integration with NHLA
Small grant from New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to fund new system
Collaboration to create LARCOI- launced in March 2013
NHBar Pro Bono Program adopts LegalServer in summer of 2013
Ongoing Projects

Integration of intake among all 3 New Hampshire programs
Direct transfer of cases from LARCOI to LARC, NHLS, and NHBar
Creation of additional application
Criminal annulment
Domestic violence

Intake program is through LegalServer
Low cost/relatively quick (5 months)
It is a standalone case management system
Allows for intake and referral among 3 NH programs
Can do conflict searches before importing file
Allows form responses
Number of applications they were able to process DOUBLED without increase in staff
A2J Intake: Nuts & Bolts
Northcom Associates, LLC
Presenter: Bob Aubin
Typical A2J Intake Configuration is made up of 3 logical components, each managed/provided by a different vendor or entity

3 Components

Up Front: Web Server

In- house or rented/leased from an isp
Write permisssions
The Middle: A2J

A2J interview
A2J server Files (flash and PHP)
Transformation File (XSLT)
Back End: Case Management System

On web server or on a different server
If on different server, how to import XML?
Bob Aubin covers:

What does XSLT do?
What does PHP do?
Kemp’s Case Works direct import
Intake with no transformation (issues with dates)
Things you have to provide to developer
Needs and Wants
CMS server collocation
New Mexico Data Sharing Project
New Mexico Legal Aid
Presenter: Ed Marks
The data sharing project is a Pika program used by 5 partner agencies. The program takes non-confidential data from agencies participating, and compiles the data by problem type

The program sends trend reports daily, and the organizations can discern trends in the data

If there is a spike there is an alert graph
If there is a spike in domestic violence or consumer finance the data gives the organizations a chance to figure out if they can respond more effectively
Sometimes just ebb and flow, but with more data monitoring the program has a lot of potential to lead to better outcomes and results for the client
Results are reported by organization
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legal aid intake