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Integrating Technology Into Self Help Center Operations. Michelle Hopkins, LASC KC Thomas, LASC Harry Jacobs, AOC - CFCC. Old Service Delivery Model. Litigants provided with instructional packets and blank court forms. Litigants complete blank court forms by hand.

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Integrating Technology Into Self Help Center Operations

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Integrating technology into self help center operations

Integrating Technology Into Self Help Center Operations

Michelle Hopkins, LASC

KC Thomas, LASC

Harry Jacobs, AOC - CFCC


Old service delivery model

Old Service Delivery Model

  • Litigants provided with instructional packets and blank court forms.

  • Litigants complete blank court forms by hand.

  • No public computers used in center operations.

  • Divorce workshop series offered twice per month.


New service delivery model

New Service Delivery Model

  • Public computers and Resource Center website key to center operations.

  • Staff, volunteers and litigants use website to access online document assembly programs, local & state fillable forms, and to gather legal information.

  • LawHelp Interactive programs used in all workshops, clinics & individually by litigants to prepare forms.


Turning to technology

Turning to Technology

  • Specific problems presented in existing divorce workshop series.

  • Length of time for workshop & review of forms, litigant fatigue, quality of education, legibility & accuracy of handwritten forms.

  • New resources became available. (computers, JusticeCorps, template developer & on site developer)


Role of it department

Role of IT Department

  • Provide computers & internet access.

  • Provide hardware and layers of software.

  • Provide ongoing IT support.

  • No legal knowledge.

  • No SRL knowledge.

  • No role in template development.

  • No role in service delivery.


Role of self help center developer

Role of Self Help Center Developer

  • Functioning as “on the ground” service provider.

  • Collaborate with Template Developer in creating, reviewing, testing, and revising programs.

  • Implement & manage the use of the technology.

  • Address problems, offer solutions, make & implement changes.

  • Mentor and train staff, paralegals & volunteers.


Role of template developer

Role of Template Developer

  • Study current process.

  • Talk to everyone involved.

  • Try to figure out how technology can help.

  • Discuss conclusions.

  • First draft, attorney review, revisions.

  • User testing, revisions.

  • Ongoing support and updates.


Initial considerations

Initial Considerations

  • Who will use computer?

  • Workshop setting? Individual use?

  • Where will computers be placed?

  • How much of the forms should be completed by the program?

  • How much education will the program provide?

  • Roles of workshop presenter, volunteers & litigants?


Expansion of lhi programs

Expansion of LHI Programs

  • More programs (derivative & substantive).

  • Changing use of programs.

  • Different types of programs.

  • Expand physical locations for use of programs.

  • Changing of roles of staff, paralegals, JusticeCorps volunteers & litigants.


Getting staff to use technology

Getting Staff to Use Technology

  • On site developer launches use of programs.

  • Demonstrate the benefits of the technology.

  • Create a open, collaborative environment.

  • Involve staff in implementation & modification process.

  • Address staff concerns.

  • Provide sufficient and ongoing training.


Paternity workshops

Paternity Workshops

  • Development process for creation and modification of LHI Paternity programs.

  • Role of staff and volunteers in workshop setting.

  • Petition for Paternity.

  • Judgment Workshops: Stipulated, Default & Contested.


Expansion of guardianship services

Expansion of Guardianship Services

  • Obtaining paralegal buy in.

  • Substantive & technical training issues.

  • Development of paralegal service delivery model.

  • Implementing remote attorney review.


Getting volunteers to use technology

Getting Volunteers to Use Technology

  • Assessing knowledge & comfort level.

  • Providing sufficient and ongoing technical training.

  • Defining the role of the volunteer.

  • Providing & accepting feedback.

  • Creating a collaborative, “work in progress” environment.


Trial preparation clinic

Trial Preparation Clinic

  • Packet based format – Clinic Style

  • JusticeCorps participation

  • Impact of LHI program

  • Expanded to Petitioner and Respondent format


Getting litigants to use technology

Getting Litigants to Use Technology

  • Assessing literacy level & comfort level.

  • Technical navigation concerns.

  • Presence of computer monitors.

  • Use of plain language in interview questions.

  • Addressing substantive questions during computer interview.


Probate notes clinic

Probate Notes Clinic

  • Development process of LHI program.

  • Establishing clinic style service delivery model.

  • Role of volunteers in assisting litigants.

  • Impact of LHI program on quality of services.


Probate self help online forms

Probate Self-Help Online Forms

  • Service Model

  • Spousal/Domestic Partner Petitions

  • Release of Remains

  • Completion of Orders

  • Issuance of Letters


Thanks for listening

Thanks for Listening

  • Michelle Hopkins, LASC MHopkins@LASuperiorCourt.org

  • KC Thomas, LASC KCThomas@LASuperiorCourt.org

  • Harry Jacobs, AOC harry.jacobs@jud.ca.gov


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