Nonprofit techies will be gathering in D.C. this week for the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). If you’re planning to attend, be sure to check out “Transforming Advocacy for the 21st Century,” a panel that includes Tony Lu (Pro Bono Net), Adam Stofsky (New Media Advocacy Project), Jane Ribadeneyra (LSC), and Glenn Rawdon (LSC) on March 19 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. Kate will also be leading a session with Dawn Crawford called “Beginner Social Media - Where Do I Start?” on March 18th from 7:00am to 8:00am. More information about the NTC, including details about the online conference for those that can’t make it to D.C., is available here. - M
The Atlanta Legal Aid Society and the National Consumer Law Center are offering a webinar on debt collection and arbitration resources for pro se and pro bono cases on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 12 pm Eastern. The resources presented during this webinar will include “brochures and videos designed for consumers and pleadings and case development materials designed for attorneys, particularly pro bono attorneys who may not have experience in debt collection or arbitration cases.” Developed under a Technology Initiative Grant from the Legal Services Corporation, the presenters for this webinar include Kristin Verrill of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Arielle Cohen of the National Consumer Law Center. Registration for this free webinar is available here. -M
Kudos to Glenn Rawdon, Jane Ribadeneyra, David Bonebrake, and the other Legal Services Corporation staff who made last week's Technology Initiative Conference in Albuquerque happen. The agenda was packed with terrific sessions, including a keynote by Steven B. Levy, author of Legal Project Management: Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks, and Maintain Sanity; discussions about cloud computing; and two opportunities to "Ask the Experts."
A few things I took away from the conference:
- Stop playing the "Bring me a rock" game. If you want something from another staff member or volunteer, give them details and don't expect them to read your mind. (From Steven B. Levy's keynote "What's Standing Between Attorneys and Their Clients? It's About Time.")
- Programs must regularly train staff and volunteers on information security. Opportunities to train staff and volunteers are everywhere: initial orientation, monthly or yearly staff meetings, when problems happen, and so on. Also, you should give staff and volunteers written instructions to follow when they need to secure their cell phones, Wi-Fi networks, or home computers, if they are using them for work. (From the "Ask the Experts" session with Donald Carder and William Guyton.)
- People are curious about mobile applications, but few programs have invested resources in mobile applications. One exception is FrontlineSMS:Legal, which uses text messaging to deliver legal information.
I've posted materials from the two sessions that I participated in. Materials from the first session, "Conversing Online: Using Social Media to Engage with Your Community," which I presented with Joyce Raby, include the slides, a website disclaimer, a listening checklist, and a planning checklist. In my "5 Easy Things Law Firm Staff & Volunteers Can Do to Improve Information Security" Ignite slides, you'll find the resources I pointed out. A huge thank you to William Guyton, Donald Carder, and Ken Montenegro for inspiring this presentation
If you are looking for additional information and reflection on the TIG Conference, check out Joyce Raby's Notes from TIG Conference 2011 in ABQ and Richard Zorza's Celebrating the Access to Justice Technology Community — Thoughts for Next year TIG Grants and Direction. - K
On behalf of LSNTAP, Joyce Raby and I presented the webinar "Using Social Media to Engage Your Supporters" in early November. The recording and materials from that session are now available online, and Joyce has a short summary on her blog, Bits, Bytes, & Bikes.
If the webinar doesn't answer all of your questions, don't worry. Joyce and I will be presenting a second, more in-depth session, "Conversing Online: Using Social Media to Engage with Your Community" at the LSC TIG Conference, Come prepared to see how legal aid and pro bono programs are using social media, to find where people are talking about your organization and issues online, and to walk away with ideas for how your organization can start experimenting with social media. - K
Quarterly, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County hosts the Visionaries in Information Technology Forum. Peter Jungck, the Vice-President/CTO of CloudShield Technologies, Inc., was their latest speaker and explained why technology systems need to be protected from unknown as well as known threats.
As I listened to him speak, I jotted down three highlights to share with you:
- Security threats come from a variety of sources: script kiddies, hackers and crackers, insiders, competitors, organized crime, and cyber warriors. (I've listed them in order of increasing technical skill and resources.)
- Mr. Jungck encouraged the audience to approach securing systems as if "your network is already compromised and you will never be completely secure." Scary, huh? Think about it--how many people have touched your computer before you got it? Those people have compromised your computer before it arrived at your office.
- Everyone in an organization has some responsibility for security. HR may not be responsible for deleting user accounts when a staff member is fired, but they are responsible for notifying the IT Department that the accounts need to be deleted.
Want to hear Peter Jungck's entire lecture? Shortly, it should be posted on UMBCtube, UMBC's YouTube channel. - K
Welcome, new techno.la readers from Montana! I'm glad you're here.
Last week, I had a great time at Montana Legal Services Association's Annual Training. I caught up with former colleagues, met several new staff members and volunteers, listened to great presentations, and talked about technology tools and practices for legal aid advocates. To top it all off, I saw mountains. Who could ask for more?
Incorporating technology topics into their Annual Training isn't new for Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA). Since at least 2003, when I joined the program, MLSA has had a few technology sessions on the agenda, but this year, they went all out. Of 15 sessions, 12 focused on technology or included a technology component. What a terrific way for program administrators to let everyone know how important technology is for their program!
The results of the LSNTAP 2008 National Legal Aid Technology Survey suggest that MLSA is probably an outlier when it comes to technology training for non-technical staff. Nevertheless, quite a few programs reported offering at least some technology training opportunities. If your program is one of those programs, I'd love to know more about the technology training your program provides. How often? What types?
And if you don't feel like your program offers enough technology training, don't worry. I'm documenting what I covered for MLSA here on techno.la, so that you can benefit from it, too. The downside is that you will still be missing the awesome presentations that Ed Marks, the Deputy Director of Advocacy at Legal Aid of Western Ohio, gave about technology, supervision, and litigation. (When you schedule your own technology-focused training, invite him to speak. You won't regret it.)
You'll be seeing my articles over the next several days. You've subscribed with Google Reader or email, so you won't miss any, right? - K
This week, I'm at Montana Legal Services Association's Annual Training in Helena, Montana and am thrilled to be spending a few days with my former co-workers. They invited me to talk with them about technology: first about computer and information security and then technology tips for poverty law advocates. Later, I'll post a summary of the presentations here on techno.la.
But, in the meantime, I'll whet your appetite with two neat tools I found while doing research.
- Password Strength Checker This tool tells you if you have a strong password and gives you ideas for how to improve your passwords.
- Support Details This site tells you about your computer, letting you know the operating system version, IP Address, and other important information.
Any tech tip or security precautions that you think the Montana Legal Services Association staff needs to know? Let me know in the comments, and I'll pass it on. - K
On Tuesday, Illinois Legal Aid Online's Multimedia Content Coordinator, Susan Muirhead, talked about how ILAO uses video on its websites in the "Showcase of Statewide Website Innovations" webinar hosted by LSNTAP and Pro Bono Net. A talented videographer, she has created several videos for ILAO, including "LiveHelp Expands Access to Justice" and "Legal Aid 2.0: Legal Help Is Just a Click Away."
As Susan described the videos and her process, she shared several tips. Four that stuck with me:
- Create a script first.
- Don't cram too much in. (ILAO's videos are usually 2 to 4 minutes in length.)
- Vary your clips. People don't like to watch talking heads for long.
- Use your videos to support other website content instead of using them as standalone resources.
The webinar was recorded, so you can go back and listen to Susan's entire presentation when it's posted. But if you can't wait until then to hear all of her tips or you need more background information to put your video together, I found a few other resources.
- The Bay Area Video Coalition has a YouthLink Curriculum that outlines basic filmmaking concepts, pre-production, production, post-production, and advanced production skills.
- Nancy Schwartz reflects on creating her first video and, based on her experience, gives nine suggestions for others who are new to creating videos.
- See3, an "interactive media and marketing firm for nonprofits," has created a Guide to Online Video, an introductory series. You should also check out their Frequently Asked Questions About Video page, their blog post on 5 Questions to Evaluate Your Nonprofit Video ROI, and their session hosted by the Case Foundation, Case Soup Video Recap: How to make award worthy nonprofit videos.
If you've already created a video or two, what resources have helped you and have made the process easier? Are there any tips that you'd like to share? - K
Are you using social technologies to change the world? Or are you interested in learning more about how your organization should be using technology? If so, stop by the next NetSquared Local or NTEN 501 Tech Club event in your area, where you can meet other people in your community doing the same.
If your community doesn't already have a group set up, start your own. Both NetSquared and NTEN are happy to help and have information posted online (NetSquared, NTEN 501 Tech Club). Right now in Baltimore, Andrea Snyder, the Grants Specialist at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, and I are doing just that. If you are in Baltimore or the surrounding area, let us know if you want to join our NetSquared meetups, when is best for you, and what type of meeting we should have. And recently, in Northern Colorado, Joyce Raby started an NTEN 501 Tech Club. News about the upcoming meetings is available on her site. - K
In April, the Legal Services of Northern California's Findability Project was featured on a Computerworld webinar. (See "Google Sponsors Webinar About LSNC's Findability Project" for the announcement.) If you missed the live session, a recording of that webinar is now available online. - K
For the past few days, I've been at Gov 2.0 Expo, learning about how governments are using technology to engage with the public and be more transparent. A few tidbits from the Tuesday morning sessions:
- Audit parts of your website on a rolling basis. (For example, family law in January, February, and March. Then do consumer law in April, May, and June.) Figure out what is there, when it was last updated, and who should be responsible for it.
- Content tasks fall into three categories: maintenance, planned changes, and unexpected changes. Most of your time should be spent on planned changes, then unexpected changes, and the remainder on maintenance. Make certain your strategy reflects this time allocation.
- Fix the low-hanging fruit first. Update links and tweak content. Then re-evaluate and see if you need to entirely revamp the site.
- Ideas don't spread because they are "good."
- You either need to break through the noise or avoid the crowds. To avoid the crowds, look at posting materials on the weekends. (The traffic might be less overall, but your story might get more attention.)
Andy Carvin from NPR did a great job tweeting this session.
- Zarrella: even if only 10% of your audience use social media, they'll still be your most influential users. #g2e (See tweet.)
- Zarrella: in WWII, OSS & MI6 studied how to weaponize rumors. When there's an info void, rumors fill the gap. (See tweet.)
- Zarrella: the higher grade level required to understand title of article, the less it's shared on FB. #g2e (See tweet.)
- Zarrella: asking people to rt actually works. Just don't do it too often. #g2e (See tweet.)
Navigating the Maze - Caroline Lawson
I didn't attend this session, but from what I saw on Twitter, I wish that I had.
- Gov 2.0 is not at all about technology, its about reaching citizens where they are - Carolyn Lawson session "Navigating the Maze" #g2e (See tweet.)
- carolyn lawson: sm policy comes down to behaving yourself in public. Same as yesterday #g2e (See tweet.)
- Carolyn Lawson, CA CIO Office: If government is going to use social media, it must be prepared to be more nimble. #g2e #opengov (See tweet.)
I'd argue in that last tweet that "government" could be replaced with "legal aid organization." What do you think? - K
Yesterday Kate spoke at the Gov 2.0 Expo in Washington, DC about courts' use of technology to help self-represented litigants. The Gov 2.0 Expo brings together speakers on using the Web as a platform for government and citizen participation. You can watch Kate's terrific presentation below. Not only does she highlight the amazing work being done in our community, she also gives voice to those for whom justice is out of reach because they cannot afford a lawyer. - M
This week, technology leaders from the private and public sectors are headed to Washington, DC to explore how governments can use technology to become more transparent and better engage the public. This event Gov 2.0 Expo 2010 is one of a series of events hosted by O'Reilly Media and UBM Tech Web to look at the benefits and risks of strategies that local, state, and federal government agencies have used so far and to encourage more agencies to implement initiatives.
Access-to-justice community members may not recognize the Government 2.0 buzz word, but I hope they recognize how their work aligns with this movement.
Government 2.0 means doing more with small teams, and even the power of one. It means exploiting global creativity and changing workplace models and traditional designs for carrying out missions. It means infusing old processes with new technology. It means unlocking stores of data that can better inform and empower people about their communities, and governments about decision making. It means change has come to America. (From About: Gov 2.0 Expo)
Sound a little like what you are doing as you create legal information websites, automate documents, offer LiveHelp, and set up other technology initiatives to help people represent themselves? I think so.
I will be speaking, on behalf of Pro Bono Net, about the parallels during a Gov 2.0 Expo presentation called "Opening the Courts – Using Technology to Empower the Unrepresented." I'll have five minutes and twenty slides to convey my message to attendees in an Ignite-style presentation as part of the Keynote Kickoff.
I hope to introduce people outside of the access-to-justice community to the work that courts, legal aid organizations, and pro bono programs are doing to make the law more accessible to the public. Perhaps, I'll even be able to convince a few of them to try similar projects with their own customers.
If you are interested in learning more about Gov 2.0, I highly recommend viewing Tim O'Reilly's webcast "What is Gov 2.0?" and reading the "Government As a Platform" preview from the book Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice. And of course, you can follow what Expo attendees and others are saying about Gov 2.0 on Twitter. - K
Sonia Nazario, who's spent 20 years examining and reporting on social issues like hunger, drug addiction, and immigration, opened the 2010 Equal Justice Conference. In an emotional speech, she explained the difficulties faced by children immigrating to the United States to join their parents and her experiences on El Tren de la Muerta (the train of death) as she traced their journey. For those who couldn't attend in person, the ABA streamed this session live and have posted a recording online. Also available is a short interview with Ms. Narazio about Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), an organization that represents immigrant children, who otherwise would have to negotiate the US immigration system alone.
A side note: As you listen to the beginning of Ms. Nazario's session, several people will refer to protesters. While it's likely not a surprise that the ABA's decision to continue holding the Equal Justice Conference in Arizona was controversial, you may be surprised to hear that on Thursday local advocates protested the ABA's decision. azfamily.com has a short segment on the protesters as well as a quick shot of their song and dance. Was anyone at the conference able to capture the whole song? I couldn't find a recording on either Vimeo or YouTube. - K
- Amending the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
- Developing a Comprehensive and Legally Sound Social Media Policy
- The Microsoft Boot Camp
- Windows 7 - Tales from the Trenches
After registering, you can listen to these and other archived sessions. You'll also be able to register for the upcoming Virtual LegalTech on May 20, 2010, which includes the panels "Social Media: Security and Privacy" and "E-Discovery Cost Management and Litigation Readiness." - K
If you missed the session "Knowledge Management: What it is, why it matters, and (Google) options for making what you know findable" at the LSC TIG Conference, you have another opportunity to learn how legal aid programs are addressing knowledge management.
On Tuesday, April 29 at 2 pm Eastern, Google is sponsoring the webinar "Advancing Knowledge Sharing with Google: The LSNC Story," where Brian Lawlor and Mark Sawyer from Legal Services of Northern California will recount their experience implementing an enterprise-level Google Search Appliance, a project they referred to as The Findability Project.
I'm floored at how much content Nonprofit Technology Conference attendees created to document their activities. They took notes and photographs, drafted blog posts, created videos, uploaded slides from their presentations, and, of course, tweeted. A few of the many items that I've seen:
Session Recaps and Analysis
- Hotlanta and the 10NTC (JustAnne)
- Andrew Sullivan on New Media: “A mosh pit of universal dyspepsia and amusement - and value” (Katya's Non-Profit Marketing Blog)
- Conferences and Their Hashtags (The Extraordinaries)
- Diversifying Your Tech and Online Communications Teams (Frogloop Blog)
- From 10NTC: 7 Key Lessons for Integrated Multichannel Fundraising (Connection Cafe)
- Lessons Learned about a Distributed Workforce and Listening, via NTC (Online Communities for Social Change)
- NTC Day of Service 2010 (the groupery blog)
- NTC Day of Service: Our Tenth Year! (Beth's Blog)
- A sneak peek at The Networked Nonprofit: Beth Kanter and Allison Fine’s new book (Katya's Non-Profit Marketing Blog)
- Spreading the good word of storytelling (The Mercy Corps Blog)
- Nate Aune Of Plone Foundation On Working With Open Source Vendors (Causecast Nonprofit)
- Steve Backman from Database Designs on Project Management for CMS (Causecast Nonprofit)
- Ivan Boothe of Rootwork on the Death of Online Strategy (Causecast Nonprofit)
- Woody Collins from Congo Helping Hands (Causecast Nonprofit)
- Fan Of The Nonprofit Tech Conference (Causecast Nonprofit)
- Gregory Heller From Civic Actions On Working With Open Source Vendors (Causecast Nonprofit)
- Hayes Morehouse from Ella Baker Center on working with open-source vendors (Causecast Nonprofit)
- Gabriel Nichols from Human Rights First on Project Management for CMS (Causecast Nonprofit)
- Margaux O’Malley from Grand Junction Design on working with open-source vendors (Causecast Nonprofit)
- Tim Walker of Biro Creative talks Web Thinking (Causecast Nonprofit)
Seen any materials that I've missed? Please add them in the comments. - K
The NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference wrapped up on Saturday night after several days of service, keynotes, and sessions. I have several draft posts written but need to give them a final read now that I have a couple nights of sleep behind me. To entertain you until those posts are ready, I give you NTEN's Community Rhapsody.
The NTEN staff made this version of the Muppet original to reward the community for donating over $10,000 to help send more than 70 nonprofit technologists to the conference. (You may remember the reward from last year: Holly Ross' remake of Beyonce's "You Should Have Put a Ring on It.")
Mark your calendars. Next year's conference is in DC from March 17 to 19. - K
Day two of the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference. The morning started with Andrew Sullivan talking about blogging and ended with a awesome lunch with a table of legal aid folks who are learning and thinking a lot about web presence, social networking, and other technologies.
A lot of information is being shared at the conference, but some of the best conversations are happening in the backchannel, or online, where you can participate without being at the conference.
I've suggested before that lawyers need to write more plainly. Turns out that Alan Siegel, a well-recognized branding and design expert, agrees. At TED 2010, he lectured on the importance of plain language and also suggested that interactive tools are key to making resources for the public more effective. Video of his presentation is available on the TED website.
If you are not familiar with TED, this small nonprofit has been bringing remarkable people together to talk about "ideas worth spreading" since 1984. Originally the focus was on technology, entertainment, and design; however, that focus has expanded over time. You can view many of the speeches given at the conference online. - K
All right, so it's not so much the "midnight train" as it is a "noon plane," but I am heading to Georgia.
Atlanta and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits are hosting the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference, a multiple day extravaganza of speakers, exhibits, penguins, and people who love nonprofit technology. If you'll be at the NTC, please let me know so that we can meet up. And if you aren't going to the NTC, but can't live without it in your world, check out how you can participate online. - K
The American Bar Association held its annual technology conference, ABA Techshow, last week in Chicago. The agenda was filled with interesting sessions, and fortunately for those of us who couldn't attend, the ABA did a great job of archiving sessions, resources, and tips online.
If you only have a few minutes to browse materials, head straight to the list of websites mentioned in 60 Sites in 60 Minutes, a session presented annually. You should be able to quickly find one or two new sites to try from the list of sites highlighted in 2010 or past sessions.
Idealware, a nonprofit that provides impartial software reviews, is hosting a free webinar on fundraising software tomorrow. Laura Quinn, Idealware's Executive Director, will cover
- How different types of software can be useful for fundraising
- What types of tools are harder or easier to get started with
- Ballpark cost figures for different types of software
- A sense of the amount of effort needed to implement and keep up with each type
- A few types of tools that might be worth further exploration for your organization
You can register online for the session, which will be held from 1 pm to 2 pm Eastern on March 31, 2010.
And even if you can't go to the webinar, click over to see the awesome new redesign of the Idealware website. - K
The 2010 Equal Justice Conference will take place May 13-15 in Phoenix, Arizona. Below is a list of technology-related sessions at this year’s conference.
Thursday, May 13
9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Hotline Adaptations to Meet Community Needs
Courtroom M & N
Should Google Apps Power the Next Generation Legal Aid Office? Analyzing the Cost-Savings, Coolness-Factor, and Controversy
Grand Ballroom H
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Going Mobile: Strategies for Advocates, Clients and Pro Bono Volunteers
Grand Ballroom H
Technology Organizations Use to Help Pro Se Clients Address Their Legal Needs
Grand Ballroom I
3:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Cell Phones Intersecting with Hotlines, Intake Systems and Legal Services Delivery
Grand Ballroom F
Helping Hard-Hit Consumers and Homeowners Through Collaboration and Technology
Grand Ballroom H
Statewide Delivery of Self Help Services Using Technology Available at Public Libraries
Grand Ballroom E
Friday, May 14
8:45 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.
NTAP's 50 NEW Tech Tips
Grand Ballroom J
Intake in 3D Using Online Tools: Special Glasses not Required
Grand Ballroom G
Mining for the Gems: Case Management Software as a Supervision and Management Tool
Grand Ballroom H
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Current Issues in Ethics and Technology
Courtroom O & P
Social Networking 101: Tweeting for Justice
Grand Ballroom J
3:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Social Networking 201: Bridging the Justice Gap
Grand Ballroom J
Saturday, May 15
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Pro Bono 2.0: New Challenges, Next Generation Solutions
Grand Ballroom E
Thinking Outside the Phone: Staffing Models and Technology to Maximize Hotline Resources
Grand Ballroom I
The full list of workshops, including descriptions and presenters, is available here. -M
Illinois Legal Aid Online will once again be webcasting several live sessions from the LSC TIG conference, which takes place next week. Below is a list of sessions and links. To view the live webcasts click on the link at the scheduled time. Note that all times are Central.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Emerging Trends in Technology
Mission-Based Technology Planning
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Ignite Session - Show and Tell of Technology Projects
Pro Se Clinics and Document Assembly
Friday, January 15, 2010
NTAP and Pro Bono Net Updates
BTOP and Other Funding Sources
TIG Updates from LSC
A calendar of sessions is also available here. -M
The National Center for State Courts, the Self-Represented Litigation Network, and the Legal Services Corporation are hosting a two-day conference on how public libraries can improve access to online legal information. The training takes place on January 11th and 12th in Austin, TX. Participants will learn how to access legal information online and how to develop effective partnerships between libraries and legal services organizations, among other topics. Conference organizers will select between 10 and 15 teams from around the country to participate. More information about the training is available here. -M
The annual National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) conference is taking place November 18-21 in Denver, CO. As always, there are a number of great sessions focusing on technology, including online video, social media, GIS/mapping, document assembly, statewide websites, and the strategic role of technology in legal services delivery.
Thursday, November 19
Wise Investing for Lean Times: Strategies for Capacity Building and Finding Partners with Common Interests for Technology Projects
Social Media Tools for Advocacy, Fundraising and Connecting
NLADA Technology Section Meeting
Friday, November 20
Practical Uses of GIS Mapping: Telling Your Story, Needs Assessment, and Outreach Planning
Wither Does Thou Wonder? Desktop, Online Document Assembly, or Both?
The Future is Now: What Technologies are Emerging as Useful Tools for Attorneys and their Programs
The Digital Update: Times, Trivia, and Important Technology Information for the Legal Services Community
Changing Times: Approaches to Using Video to Deliver Legal Services
Saturday, November 21
Not Just a Pretty Interface: A2J Author Delivers Solutions for Challenging Times
The full conference program, which includes session descriptions and presenters, is available here. -M
Several upcoming events of note:
- She's Geeky DC - November 13 & 14, 2009 - Washington, DC
Techie women from the DC area are meeting up. It's an unconference, so no agenda will be announced prior to the event, but look here for a sneak peak at potential agenda items. (Cost: Starting at $55. Register here.)
- Tech Training Made Simple with Online Videos - November 18, 2009 - Online
At this TechSoup webinar, Stephanie Gerding will interview Lee LeFever of Common Craft about how their amazing "In Plain English" videos are created. (Cost: Free. Register here.)
- Virtual LegalTech - November 19, 2009 - Online
ALM is hosting an online version of their LegalTech Trade Show with both presentations and exhibitors. Two particular presentations of note: IT Leadership in Turbulent Times and the Microsoft Boot Camp at 3 pm and 4 pm Eastern, respectively. (Cost: Free to qualified attendees. Register here.)
- O'Reilly Gov 2.0 Online Conference - December 10, 2009 - Online
An online version of O'Reilly's popular Gov 2.0 conferences, this 3.5 hour session will focus on five projects: City of Santa Cruz Budget Crisis-A Blueprint Using Social Media, txts 4 africa, Transit 2.0 at Bart.gov; Utah Department of Public Safety Media Portal, and Digital Diplomacy. (Cost: Free. Register here.)
- LSC Technology Initiative Grant Conference - January 13 - 15, 2010 - Austin, Texas
The agenda for the LSC TIG Conference hasn't been announced yet, but like previous years, it's expected to be filled with great information. In addition to the conference, LSC TIG staff have been planning a week full of activities, including a document assembly training hosted by Pro Bono Net on January 11 and 12 and the MIE National Conference for Legal Services Administrators on January 12 and 13. (Cost: Not free. Registration available soon.)
- Nonprofit 2.0 - February 12, 2010 - Washington, DC
This is another unconference, but this one is for people interested in using social media to create networked communities. Randi Zuckerberg, who is responsible for Creative & Buzz Marketing, Politics, and Social Change at Facebook, and Amanda Rose, the Twestival Co-Founder, will be keynoting. (Cost: $47.12. Register here.)
And a couple of conferences that have already happened but have materials that are worth checking out.
- TedxMidAtlantic - Videos from the MidAtlantic version of TED are now available. (TED is known for "Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.") I recommend Sonja Sohn's talk, but then again, I'm a huge fan of both Baltimore and The Wire.
- Facebook, Twitter & Blogging...Oh MySpace! - The Pennsylvania Bar Institute brought together lawyers to talk about social networking and media. You can see the tweets from the event.
Any important events that I missed? - K
NTEN is hosting an Ask the Expert session with Beth Kanter and Allison Fine on Wednesday, October 28 at 2 pm Eastern. Beth and Allison will take questions about what social media means for organizations and how organizations can adapt and leverage the tools instead of simply reacting. This session is free for NTEN members. - K
At 2 pm Eastern today, Matthew and I are presenting "Using Social Media to Network with Other Advocates and Promote Your Work," a webinar hosted by the Shriver Center and based on our Social Networking Primer for Poverty Law Advocates and Organizations article that was published in the July-August 2009 issue of Clearinghouse Review Journal of Poverty Law and Policy.
If you're interested in attending, you can still register. And if you want to follow on Twitter, search for the tag #povlawnet. - K
A number of videos of sessions at the 2009 Court Technology Conference are now available online. In addition to the keynote by NPR’s Ari Shapiro, be sure to check out “Technology that Enables Self Help Centers: Solutions to Increasing Demands in a Time of Austerity,” a panel that features Pro Bono Net’s Claudia Johnson, Rochelle Klempner of the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program, LSNTAP and Chicago Kent’s Rachel Medina, and Stacey Marz of the Alaska Court System’s Family Law Self-Help Center. -M
In July, Pro Bono Partnerships of Atlanta offered a webinar on the "Legal Issues of Social Networking." That session as well as several of their other legal trainings for nonprofit organizations are now available on their website. Thanks to Cheryl Zalenski of the ABA Center for Pro Bono for pointing this out. - K
Just in case you've missed the flurry of recent training announcements, I've summarized them here.
- International Legal Technology Association Annual Meeting. August 23-27 near Washington, DC. The Annual Meeting for members of the Association. Legal Blog Watch points out how people can participate remotely.
- Web of Change: Innovation and Collaboration to Transform Our World. September 23-27 on Cortes Island, British Columbia. Web of Change is a series of conferences that connects the foremost thinkers and do-ers in the growing community of social change and technology from across North America.You can apply for one of ten scholarships to attend.
- Online Nonprofit Technology Conference. September 16-27 online. It's the Nonprofit Technology Conference, except you don't need to leave your office to attend. Technola covered this conference in the post Online Nonprofit Technology Conference Announced.
- NTEN Community Call: Broadband Access. August 26. Free for members. NTEN members can learn more and ask questions about the digital divide, net neutrality, and the national broadband plan.
- Disaster Planning: Backup, Backup, Backup! August 27. Free. TechSoup talks about the golden rule of disaster planning - backup.
- Public Interest Perspectives: An Introductory Training for Private Attorneys in Public Interest Placements. September 9. A free training for attorneys who are beginning volunteer public interest placements.
And I found that Beth J. Bates of Social Media Strategies and Tools Explained has collected information about several other webinars that are happening this week. - K
This year the Management Information Exchange (MIE) and LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants Program (TIG) will be hosting conferences during the same week in January in Austin, TX. The TIG conference will take place from January 13-15, 2009 and the MIE National Conference for Legal Services Administrators will take place from January 12-13, 2009. Registration information for the TIG conference will be available in September. -M
Every spring, the nonprofit technology community gets together at the NTEN NTC and spends several days talking about using tech for good. In April 2009, this meant that nearly 1500 people converged on San Francisco to talk about social media, crowdsourcing, fundraising, security, and more.
But NTEN knows that many people who wanted to come couldn't. Budgets are tight, and travel funds are limited. So this year, in addition to NTC, NTEN is holding the Online Nonprofit Technology Conference on September 16 & 17, 2009. Attendees won't have to leave their office to participate. They'll just need a phone, computer, and Internet connection.
The agenda is inspired by NTEN's book, Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission: A Strategic Guide for Nonprofit Leaders, and Ami Dar, the Founder and Executive Director of Idealist.org, will keynote the conference
Registration is $250 for members and $350 for non-members. (And an individual membership is $85. So if you aren't, become an NTEN member before you register.) - K
After a rough flight and a happy landing, I'm back in the Baltimore area and attending the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in DC today. (Yep. A lot of travel, and it's not stopping. On Tuesday, I plan to be in College Park, Maryland at the Maryland Access to Justice Commission listening session.)
So today, in exchange for speaking about "Online Interactive Court Forms for Self-Represented Litigants: The Library's Role," I get to hang out with over 2,400 law librarians from across the US and around the world as well as listen to some great panels and visit the exhibit hall.
If you are here, please find me and say "hi." Otherwise, again I will post updates here at Technola as well as on Twitter. If you are interested in following the entire conference, which runs through Tuesday, you can search for #AALL2009 on Twitter.
And don't worry. I've have several more posts from BlogHer coming. - K
My second session, Your Blog Is Great, Get People to Know About It, covered enough information to fill an entire track. Since I can't explain the topic well in a short post, I've found good articles that cover the two main points: search engine optimization and social media and network sites.
Search Engine Optimization
- Search Engine Optimization 101 from MarketLeap. A series of articles about the core concepts around search engine optimization (SEO). (Courtesy of the Pro Bono Net SWEB Support site, which has a great section on Search Engines and marketing, but you have to be a member to access it.)
- 5 Quick Steps to Better SEO and 5 More Quick Steps to Better SEO. Two blog posts from Allyson Kapin and Jarrod Seltzer on care2's frogloop blog.
Social Media and Network Sites
- Using Online Social Networks to Build Buzz, Community & Support for Your Cause. Slides from a presentation by Jonathan Colman, Scott Goodstein, and Heather Holdridge.
- How to Show Your Soul and Engage Users on Twitter from TwiTip.
A few resources to try to cover the large amounts of content covered in the this session. Definitely topics that need more attention in the future. - K
My first BlogHer breakout session, Owning Your Expertise, was an interactive session that fell a little short because of the large number of people that attended. However, I did take away a few key bits.
- Women write only 10 to 20 percent of newspaper opinion pieces, but they are prolific bloggers. The Op-Ed Project works with women, nonprofits, corporations, universities, and others to teach women to submit more op-eds.
- To get attention from media and other influencers, you need to figure out what you are an expert in and let them know.
- Use the sentence "I am an expert in [specific subject] because [reasons] to craft a good statement of why these influencers should listen to you.
- Don't feel like you are bragging. Sharing knowledge is good.
So what does this mean for legal aid/pro bono blogs? Public interest lawyers are smart, well-spoken people. You are experts in many diverse legal issues: divorces, parenting plans, debt collection, public benefits, health care, and so on. The media covers these topics daily. Why shouldn't they be using public interest advocates as their experts? The media gets good information, and your organization gets some publicity and attracts new donors, volunteers, and clients. - K
Sitting in a hotel ballroom with 1,400 people, most of them amazing women who either blog or want to blog? Attending a conference with sponsors who have brought awesome swag and cater to attendees because they make household financial decisions? Yes, well, welcome to BlogHer 2009. Find me and introduce yourself!
If not, well, I expect to be posting updates on Technola and on Twitter through the day and part of tomorrow. You can also follow the gigantic stream of tweets from the conference by searching Twitter. - K
In my post, Crowdsourcing Tedious Tasks for Fun and (Non)Profit, I discussed how the Sunlight Foundation was using website visitors to get tasks done a little bit at a time.
What I neglected to mention was that Amazon has had a similar project in place for almost four years: Amazon Mechanical Turk. Instead of using volunteers, this service pays people tiny amounts ($0.01 to $0.05 is typical) for each Human Intelligence Task (HIT) that they complete. Critics have referred to Amazon Mechnical Turk as a virtual sweatshop because of the minimum wage, workers compensation, and overtime laws that are avoided.
Recently, the Berkman Center hosted a session that discussed these issues: HIT me baby one more time, Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love Amazon Mechanical Turk. In this webinar, Aaron Shaw explains what Amazon Mechanical Turk is, its implications on the labor market, and who is using it. (Hint: it's not just middle-income people using it to make some extra cash.) - K
Last week, the Center for American Progress released a report "And Justice for All: Prioritizing Free Legal Assistance During the Great Recession." To celebrate the release, the Center hosted an event where leaders from the national and Washington, DC access-to-justice communities discussed "Narrowing the Justice Gap: Legal Services for the Poor in an Economic Downturn."
This event featured two panels:
- Panel One: Legal Services on the National Stage. Peter B. Edelman, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center; Ted Frank, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research; Don Saunders, Director of Civil Legal Services, National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA); Moderated by: Joy Moses, Policy Analyst, Poverty & Prosperity Program, Center for American Progress
- Panel Two: Poverty Law in the District of Columbia. Susan M. Hoffman, Public Service Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP; Jonathan M. Smith, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia; The Honorable Inez Smith Reid, Associate Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals; Moderated by: Steven L. Grumm, Board President, Washington Council of Lawyers; Director of Public Service Initiatives, National Association for Law Placement
My biggest take away from the panels: Our community needs to have more of these public conversations.
The Center was very smart and invited Ted Frank to participate. Mr. Frank does not support funding legal aid organizations with federal money. This alternative viewpoint provided for an interesting discussion. (And Mr. Frank, thank you for being willing to participate. Speaking as the sole dissenter on a panel in front of what I imagine was an audience that largely disagreed with what you had to say probably wasn't easy.)
For me, however, rather than disagreeing with what he said, I was amazed at how misinformed he was about legal aid and pro bono legal services. His misconceptions are especially scary because he's a national expert. Most people have less knowledge about what legal aid organizations and pro bono programs do than he does.
This tells me that our community needs to look for more opportunities to talk about what we do to correct these misunderstandings and remind people that most cases don't generate fees, and most legal aid and pro bono attorneys aren't taking the "sexy" cases. This is also important advocacy on behalf of low-income communities. Unfortunately, this type of advocacy can easily take a backseat when resources are tight, and we want to direct as many resources as possible to client services.
That said, we also need to remember to be open to what critics say. Mr. Frank had several suggestions and ideas about how to serve poor communities better. I don't think most of them will work, but why not brainstorm? Solutions often show up where you least expect them.
Check the video out. It's a little long (2 hours) but worth watching. I'd like to hear what you think about it. - K
The Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, a nonprofit that connects transactional lawyers with nonprofit organizations in need of pro bono legal services, is hosting a webinar on "Legal Issues of Social Networking" on July 15 at 10 am Eastern. This session will cover the legal risks associated with social networking and look at how organizations can draft and enforce policies that help to minimize these risks.
On Thursday, July 2nd at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET LSNTAP will host a Roundtable with Brian Lawlor, Regional Counsel for Legal Services of Northern California, who will discuss "Findability and the Google Search Paradigm: Integrating Search as a Organizational Solution." This discussion is based on LSNC’s Findability Project, an effort to integrate (and document) enterprise search in a large nonprofit legal services organization. Registration details are availble here and Brian's presentation is available here. -M
Today (June 24) the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission held their 2009 Access to Justice Conference (PDF). Chief Justice John T. Broderick of the New Hampshire Supreme Court was the keynote speaker. Because of David Raatz, an attorney in attendance, you can see the highlights without the trip to Hawaii.
A few highlights:
- Courts aren't meeting their obligations because of failure to use tech & make other changes - NH Chief Justice Broderick #AccesstoJustice
- It's not people's fault that they can't afford atty. Judges/attys need to speak about problem - NH Chief Justice Broderick #AccesstoJustice
- Widening justice gap won't close on its own. Everyone from White House on down should help. - NH Chief Justice Broderick #AccesstoJustice
To see the rest, search Twitter for #AccesstoJustice. - K
Twice a year, IncisiveMedia holds legal technology tradeshows: one in Los Angeles and one in New York City. These tradeshows feature an enormous exhibit hall as well as presentations from industry leaders.
This week, LegalTech West Coast starts on Wednesday, June 24 and runs through Thursday, June 25. If you're in the Los Angeles area, you can get a free pass to the exhibit hall and keynotes. And for those who won't be in LA, you can follow #LTWC on Twitter or check out the keynote presentations from LegalTech New York, which happened in February 2009. (You can even get CLE credit.) - K
Recognizing that nonprofits have integrated teleconferences, videoconferences, and webinars into their daily routine, The Goodman Center, which helps nonprofit organizations improve their communications with funders, stakeholders, and the public, surveyed the community to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly about these events. The result: Dialing In, Logging On, Nodding Off: The True Costs of Teleconferences, Videoconferences and Webinars, a report that suggests the nonprofit community has a lot of not-so-good meetings, trainings, and conferences.
The Goodman Center is sponsoring a webinar on July 17, 2009 to review the results of their report. Registration information is available on The Goodman Center's website. - K
- On June 10, 2009 at 2:00 pm Eastern, Care2 is hosting "Share the Story: High Impact Ways to Integrate Social Media into Your Advocacy and Fundraising Campaigns." This session will demonstrate at how nonprofit programs can integrate social media into their campaigns by examining the lessons learned by World Society for the Protection of Animals- Canada. Register for Care2's session here.
- On June 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm Eastern, LSNTAP is hosting an Executive Roundtable on social networking policies. This session is aimed at Executive Directors and Administrators. Find out how to participate on the LSNTAP site.
- On June 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm Eastern, NTEN is hosting "You're All a-Twitter," a free webinar about Twitter that will walk through the basics of what it is and how to use it. Register on the NTEN site. - K
- May 15, 2009: Top Five Secrets for Fundraising on Social Networks
- May 20, 2009: Build a Big Brand Online Using Social Networks: Marketing & Communications Strategies
- May 27, 2009: Social Networks for Health Nonprofits
- June 3, 2009: Twitter for Nonprofits
All webinars will be held at 2:30 PM EST/11:30 AM PST. - K
For those of you who won't be attending the Equal Justice Conference next week, there are several ways to follow the conference on Twitter. The first is to follow 2009 EJC (@09EJC), a Twitter profile created just for the conference. You can also follow the hashtag #09EJC, which participants will be adding to their Twitter posts from the conference (here's an RSS feed for the search, which you can drop directly into your RSS reader). Finally, Technola will be covering technology related sessions on its Twitter feed (@technola). -M
The annual ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference will take place next week (May 14-16) in Orlando, FL, and as always there will be lots of innovative technology sessions to choose from. Below are a few sessions that I'll be a panelist on:
Making Recovery From Disasters Easier Through Technology
(Thursday, May 14th 9:45am-11:15am) Presenters: Matthew Burnett, Mike Monahan, Eve Ricaurte and Juliet Choi
The Future Is Here Now: What Emerging Technologies Can Do For Your Mission
(Friday, May 15th 8:45am-10:15am) Presenters: Shirley Williams, Joyce Raby, Matthew Burnett and Liz Keith
50 New Tech Tips To Survive Hard Economic Times
(Friday, May 15th 10:30am-Noon) Presenters: Rachel Medina, David Bonebrake, Glenn Rawdon and Matthew Burnett
Other technology sessions that you should consider attending include:
Not Just A Pretty Interface: A2j Author® Is Changing How We Achieve Justice Through Technology
(Thursday, May 14th 1:30 - 3:30 pm) Presenters: John Mayer, Rachel R. Medina, Eve Ricaurte, Ronald W. Staudt
Creative Uses of Technology in Addressing the Foreclosure Crisis
(Friday, May 15th 2 pm-3:30 pm) Presenters: David Bonebrake, Jason Vail and Liz Keith
Statewide Websites: A Showcase Of Outstanding Client, Pro Bono And Advocate Features
(Friday, May 15th 2 pm-3:30 pm) Lisa Colpoys, Michael Genz, Vince Morris, Ken Perri, Glenn Rawdon
Technology-Enabled Self Help Centers
(Friday, May 15th 3:45pm-5:15pm) Presenters: Carol Austin, Michelle Hopkins, Claudia Johnson and Liz Keith
For the full agenda, visit the EJC website. If you plan to attend, be sure to join us for a session or stop by the Pro Bono Net booth in the exhibitor area and say hi! -M
On March 24, 2008, Google, the Salesforce.com Foundation and Facebook hosted a one-day conference on “Doing More With Less: Your Nonprofit in the Cloud,” which "focused on how online “cloud” and social applications can enable nonprofits to communicate, build community, and raise money more effectively and efficiently." Slides and video from the event are available here. -M
In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, TechSoup is hosting a webinar on "Managing IT Volunteers" on April 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm Eastern. Jayne Cravens, an expert in volunteer management, is the featured presenter and will talk about what it takes to support volunteers in technology-related tasks. Register for the webinar here. - K
NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network, has several upcoming free webinars. Two are part of their ongoing Ask the Expert series, which are free for NTEN members.
- Ask the Expert - Michael Schreiber on Technology Planning in Today's Economy -April 21, 2009 at 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific
- Ask the Expert - Mal Warwick on Fundraising When Money Is Tight - May 19, 2009 at 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific
Additionally, twelve sessions from the sold-out Nonprofit Technology Conference are being made available live and are free for everyone. (Check out more ways to participate in the NTC without leaving your office.)
Monday, April 27
1:30 pm Eastern/10:30 am Pacific
- Google Media: Google Grants, Blogger, YouTube, Maps
- Selecting and Implementing Open Source Constituent Relationship Management
4:30 pm Eastern/1:30 pm Pacific
- Online Organizing for Community Organizers (and vice versa)
- Advancing Your Career and Earning What You Deserve
6:30 pm Eastern/3:30 pm Pacific
Tuesday, April 28
1:30 pm Eastern/10:30 am Pacific
- Join! Renew! Give! Get! Successful elements of fundraising campaigns
- Case Studies of Conferences Energized Through Social Media
4:30 pm Eastern/1:30 pm Pacific
6:30 pm Eastern/3:30 pm Pacific
- Cloud Computing: More than just IT plumbing in the sky
- What nonprofits can learn from the presidential campaigns' (and other nonprofits’) 2008 online efforts
Enjoy! - K
Brian Rowe, Access to Justice Board Extern at the Washington State Bar Association, will be speaking at the 2009 Nonprofit Technology Conference on fair use and user generated content. Holly Ross, Executive Director of NTEN, interviewed Brian about the panel he's put together. Her interview, 2009 NTC Preview: Brian Rowe on Fair Use and User Generated Content, is posted on the NTEN blog. - K
- open source software;
- tools for online communication;
- social media return on investment (ROI); and
- launching a start-up.
The TeleSummit, scheduled for May 12, 2009, is free, and registration will open in April 2009. To be notified when registration opens, you can sign up on the Women Who Tech website for e-mails about the event, follow WomenWhoTech on Twitter, join the Women Who Tech group on Facebook, or join the Women Who Tech group on LinkedIn. - K
You can now find photos from the LSC TIG Conference on the LSC TIG Conference Facebook page, which is available to everyone whether or not you are a Facebook member. Conference attendees can relive all of the great memories, but more importantly, those of you who couldn't attend have a chance to put faces together with the voices and names that you've heard over and over again. A few people that readers of Technola might want to check out: AJ Tavares, the techie behind I-CAN! E-File; Ed Marks, who understands how tech and mission should fit together; Glenn Rawdon, beloved technology grant funder; and, of course, my former and current deputy directors, the Al(l)isons. - K
And now for the second in my series of now-finished half-finished posts from NLADA. At the NLADA Annual Training Conference, conversations about sessions and keynotes were happening online as well as off. Several attendees were live-tweeted key points from the sessions that they attended. Additionally, NLADA set up an online community for the conference. More than 250 people signed up, and there were several people who added content and asked questions. And finally, if you are looking for session materials from the conversation, check out the LSNTAP website, where Eva, their diligent and very patient librarian, posted materials from the technology sessions. And with that, I'm done with blogging about the NLADA Conference! - K
At any given time, I have 12 zillion ideas for blog posts. They are stashed in my head, as browser bookmarks, in e-mail folders, and in the stacks of paper that sit on and next to my desk. While sorting through these ideas and looking for a topic for my next post, I found a few half-finished posts from the NLADA Annual Training Conference. NLADA happened a few months back, but since the the information is still good and Technola is a better place for archiving information than my office floor, I decided to finish them up and post them. So now turn your attention to this, the first of those two half-finished posts.
Innovations in Pro Se Litigation Tools - Claudia Johnson, Liz Keith, Ed Marks, Mary Neal, Marc Theriault
This amazing panel was put together by my colleague Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net's Court Collaboration Circuit Rider, and she recruited four people who understand how mission and technology need to fit together in order to produce successful projects.
Ed Marks, the Litigation Director at Legal Aid of Western Ohio, began and reminded attendees to think about a project's overall goal and to use the right tools for that project. Technology won't always be a part of the solution but don't overlook its potential to help. A great quote from Ed: "There is a myth that being in poverty means you can't use a computer. Legal aid advocates need to know this is a myth."
Next, Mary Neal, the Automated Documents Manager at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), spoke about the document assembly resources that ILAO has developed for use in Illinois' thirty-two self-help centers. She led the group through ILAO's process--from how they choose which forms they will automate all the way through testing and launch. Details can be found in her slides from the session.
Wrapping up the session was Liz Keith, Pro Bono Net Program Manager, who spoke about LiveHelp and its growth. LiveHelp is a service that lets website visitors ask remotely-located staff or volunteers for help finding online legal information and resources. Liz said that there are projects in Montana, Iowa, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, and Minnesota, with projects planned for Kentucky and New York. Wow!
I can't believe that I didn't realize this earlier! Or maybe I did and just forgot. NTEN and TechSoup Global are sponsoring a series of free social media trainings. Several already happened and were recorded and made available online, but the remaining two webinars happen this Wednesday and next Wednesday. - K
TechSoup reports that MarketingProfs is offering a free marketing webinar on April 1, 2009 from 11 am to 5 pm Eastern. Topics that they'll cover include
- Online branding
- Building community with Facebook
- Getting your fans to tell your story
For more information, check out the TechSoup post about the free webinar. - K
Last week, I was in New York City during LegalTech, an annual legal technology event put on by Incisive Media. I didn't get to spend much time there; however, during my search for the Pro Bono Net booth in the exhibit hall, I quickly realized that LegalTech is a very different conference than TIG. A few things that stood out:
- The exhibit hall was enormous--three floors of space at the New York Hilton.
- Exhibitors had plenty of expensive swag. I promise, if I had had more time, I would have picked up presents for all of you.
- Most attendees wore suits. Steve Gray's "TIG business casual" and accompanying baseball cap would have been very out of place. (In fact, my normal business casual barely fit in.)
- E-discovery is the focus of many sessions.
And perhaps the most important difference--many more people attend LegalTech. This means that there are plenty of people who tweeted and blogged about the session that they attended and that you can attend without being there. A few posts worth reading:
- LegalTech New York 2009 Blogs On (Law.com)
- Monica Bay on Legal Technology in 2009 (WestBlog)
- LegalTech NY 2009 Ten Tech Stars (Legal Talk Network)
- Belated Thoughts on LegalTech New York (Counsel to Counsel)
- #LTNY: Trendspotter (The Common Scold)
And my favorite bit: Pam Weisz and Adam Licht talking about Pro Bono Manager at the Pro Bono Net booth. - K
Webcasts from the 2009 LSC Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) Program Conference are now available on IllinoisLegalAdvocate.org. -M
Foreclosure-Response.org, a joint project of the Center for Housing Policy, KnowledgePlex, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Urban Institute, is scheduled to launch on February 18, 2008. The website, which is currently available, includes general information, a policy guide, a discussion forum, and maps/data on foreclosure and foreclosure prevention. Additionally, an online session entitled "Foreclosure-Response.org: A New Tool to Help Communities Prevent Foreclosures and Stabilize Neighborhoods" is scheduled for Wednesday, February 18 at 1:30 p.m. EST. -M
Today LSC announced that the presentations from the 2009 TIG Conference are now posted online. - K
TechSoup's Kami Griffiths will interview Colin Carpenter and Lori Pottinger from International Rivers about their flash video, "We All Live Downstream", which was chosen as runner up in the Adobe-TechSoup 2008 Show Your Impact contest. Learn about the process for developing a flash video and how to produce a similar video for your organization. Register online here. -M
Today was the first day of the TIG Conference, and as with all of the previous conferences, I learned a lot. A few of those lessons:
- Members of the legal aid community don't brag enough. Amazing, innovative projects are happening all over, and unless you know the right questions to ask, you don't always get to hear about them. For example, Arkansas has a budding corporate pro bono program that they are supporting with a special website and document assembly.
- It's no longer questioned within the legal aid technology community: legal aid clients are using the Internet. Instead of asking if, people are now asking where and how to find them to let them know that legal resources exist.
- Programs are interested in social networking, but they don't yet know what to do in order to make it work. (I think that this puts them in the same category as the rest of the nonprofit world.)
- And my favorite, from Alison Paul in reaction to the security session, "We have trouble, right here in River City . . ." (I'm not surprised at the reaction, but I'm now definitely watching the webcast from this session.)
Perhaps the most important lesson that I learned was that I can't be in two places at once nor can I do twelve things at once. (And it's a lesson that I seem to have to keep learning over and over.) But the good news is that I don't have to. There is a whole crew of people who are also documenting what is going at this conference for you. Live-tweets are available here. Webcasts are available here. And others are blogging about sessions as well. - K
If you weren't able to attend the Legal Services Corporation Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) conference that's taking place through Friday in Austin, TX, you can watch sessions live online thanks to Illinois Legal Aid Online (see the full schedule below). You can also follow the conference on Twitter here. -M
Wednesday, Jan. 21:
8:30 am-9:00 am: Opening Remarks
10:45 am-12:15 pm: Project Management for Legal Services
2:00 pm-3:30 pm: Network Securities and Computer Use Policies
3:45 pm-4:45 pm: Meeting the Technology Need
Thursday, Jan. 22:
9:00 am-10:30 am: 2009 Google Apps and Microsoft Office Live
10:45 am-12:15 pm: PowerPersuasion
2:30 pm-3:45 pm: You Never Get the Disaster You Want
4:00 pm-5:00 pm: Trying to Raise Money in this Economic Environment
Friday, Jan. 23:
9:00 am-10:00 am: Tools to Engage Court Leadership
10:15 am-11:00 am: NTAP'S Interactive Support Services
11:15 am-12:00 pm: The Essentials of TIG Project Evaluations and Reports
I've told you before that NTEN loves its members, so it should be no surprise that it is looking out for members who can't afford to attend the Nonprofit Technology Conference, an amazing technology conference for nonprofits. With help from members who have a little extra cash and Convio, NTEN will award up to 57 scholarships and airline miles tickets. The only catch--to qualify, your organization needs to have an annual budget of less than one million dollars. If you're interested, you can apply for the scholarships, which will be awarded on a rolling basis. And if you want to help someone attend the NTC, you can donate to NTEN. (Check out this page or contact the staff.) - K
Do your staff know where they can turn to brush up on their spreadsheet and word processing software skills? What about to learn more about that new Web 2.0 stuff that can help them network and learn from each other? Yes, you may have told them before, but they have a lot of other important things on their minds--their clients. So I'd encourage you to remind them. A few resources that you can point out:
- LSNTAP.org. As I've said before, LSNTAP is one of the first places that the legal aid community should turn to for technology training. Rumor has it that their 2009 Training Calendar will be announced shortly, but in the meantime, your staff can watch their recorded trainings.
- TechSoup.org. TechSoup has and is continuing to host free technology trainings for the nonprofit community. Check out a list of their scheduled and archived trainings.
A huge thanks to Mike Monahan, the Director of the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project, for inspiring this post. (And reminding me to remind you to remind your staff.) - K
Today, Robert Ambrogi announced that bloggers can get in free to LegalTech New York. They even get reserved seating--a front-row table with electricity! - K
Earlier, Matthew told you that LSC had released the final Technology Capacity Planning document. Well, Joyce Raby and Glenn Rawdon will be hosting a session at the LSC TIG Conference, where they want to answer your questions about this document. If you have a question that you want answered, either e-mail it to Joyce Raby or post it below, and I'll pass the question on to her. - K
Getting back from vacation and realizing that the TIG Conference is only two weeks away added a little extra energy to my week -- both in the form of excitement and in an emotion that Alison Paul labeled as "AACK." Matthew won't be attending, so I'll be carrying the flag for technola. Since I am presenting as a part of only one panel and one "expert" table, you can expect plenty of live-tweeting and live-blogging. And I've heard rumors that some of the sessions will be webcast. So there will be plenty of ways for those of you who can't attend in person to participate and interact with the people who are. As a note, for the live-tweeting, I'm planning on using the hashtag #LSCTIG. If you are live-tweeting, please join me or let me know what tag everyone else has decided to use. That way we can easily aggregate the messages using Twitter Search. - K
Continuing my report on the NLADA Annual Training Conference sessions . . .
Technology Planning 101 - Jim Dill, Kate Bladow, Glenn Rawdon, Kathleen Brockel
So yes, I was on this panel, but I didn't really talk that much. The summary of what I had to say? Don't leave your techies in a room by themselves to create your tech plan. Your plan needs to be based on your organization's strategic plan, and you need buy in from attorneys, paralegals, administrators, and so on. After I was through with that introduction, the good stuff started.
Jim Dill, the Director of Technology at the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, talked about the statewide technology planning process in Pennsylvania. Less than a year old, his position was established to help the legal aid programs create and implement a statewide technology plan. Jim's initial goals have been to learn about the programs' existing infrastructures and needs and to help them to standardize platforms. After these initial steps, he hopes to help them to look at innovative initiatives that could be implemented on a statewide level. A few bits of wisdom that Jim provided the session attendees with:
- Check to see if your state government allows nonprofits to participate in their cooperative purchasing program. (Pennsylvania's program is called COSTARS.)
- Review your contracts with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) yearly. Programs may be able to save money by re-negotiating contracts.
- Don't sign a contract for T1 services for more than a year at a time. The price is likely to decrease, and you don't want to be stuck in contract if you could be paying less.
- Don't use consultants for strategic planning. Consultants are good for day-to-day tasks, but in most cases your mission is not their passion.
After some discussion and questions from the audience, Kathleen Brockel shared the results of the LSNTAP technology survey. A few points of interest:
- Programs spend the most on hardware and personnel. If the personnel line is low, it is usually made up by contracts for outside support.
- 99 to 100 percent of programs that responded have the security software necessary to protect their data, except in the case of instant messaging.
- Three-quarters of programs are using document assembly, and 46 percent of programs are using HotDocs.
If you want to check out more of the statistics, you can view Kathleen's slides on SlideShare.
Glenn was the closing act and discussed planning for document assembly projects. The summary--programs should be using document assembly. Get on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, I was watching for questions and confused looks and didn't take notes. I would recommend that you check out his slides, which are also on SlideShare. - K
At conferences, I spend a lot of time wandering around the vendor exhibits. Most of this wandering is done when I have been staffing the Pro Bono Net booth at either the NLADA Annual Training Conference or the Equal Justice Conference. However, this year, even though, or maybe because, NLADA had a great layout for the exhibit hall, I didn't end up wandering around as much.
Nevertheless, I did swing by the Management Information Exchange booth and pick up the latest copy of the MIE Journal. At the same time, I found hard copies of the first two installments of the Access to Justice Series from the Brennan Center for Justice. When I picked them up, I assumed that they were new documents, but when I started reading them at home, I realized that they were written in response to the massive cuts of 1996. I was awed by the stories that had been collected, and they made me incredibly proud to be working with the legal aid community. Along with Houseman's and Perle's "Securing Equal Justice For All: A Brief History of Civil Legal Assistance in the United States," I would recommend that legal aid organizations include these documents as suggested reading for new employees. In addition to providing inspiration, these documents explain why many advocates long for the "good old days" and why organizations advocate so strongly for dropping the restrictions.
Look for Part 3 in my NLADA series tomorrow. I'll cover some more sessions. - K
I sat in on several great sessions at the NLADA Annual Conference. While most weren't technology sessions, technology was nicely woven in to all of the presentations.
LSC Updates - Helaine Barnett, Karen Sarjeant, John Constance
I missed the first few minutes of the session, but I did arrive in time to hear Helaine Barnett talk about the LSC technology survey and the resulting guidelines document, Technologies That Should Be in Place in a Legal Aid Office Today, which was recently released. LSC is working to support grantees as they implement the outlined technologies. In particular, they worked with LexisNexis to develop a HotDocs software donation program and have funded the national document assembly project (NPADO) to support programs implementing document assembly initiatives. Through TIG, LSC provided funding for an updated version of the case management system report as well as a rating system for hardware, software, and vendors. LSC is also looking at identifying additional training opportunities and, as a part of this, will be webcasting parts of the TIG conference. In order to ensure that programs are looking at using technology to improve their service delivery, a technology plan will become a required part of an LSC grant application as was previously mentioned on technola. Additional technology-related news that was mentioned: LSC will shortly be sending check notices electronically; 33 TIGs were awarded; and LSC has funded the development of a website that focuses on legal issues for active military and veterans.
Client Use of Technology: 2008 Updates - Gene Donney, Kathleen Brockel
Gene led a great session about Internet use. (His slides are available on the LSNTAP.org site.) It was one of the most interactive sessions that I've participated in for a while. And Kathleen was an amazing Vanna White! My take aways:
- The digital divide still exists, but it is getting smaller.
- Our clients are using technology with us or without us, and we need to adapt, so that we can better serve them. For example, another attendee told the story of being asked to send a homeless client a text message rather than phone him because it cost less on a pre-paid cell phone. This is simple and can provide significant benefit to the client.
- Legal aid has to provide more than one way of accessing its services. I will be the first to acknowledge that technology is not the solution for everything. Some communities, like migrant workers, can be best reached through in-person intake; others can easily access legal aid through hotlines. In the same way, online intake can act as an important funnel for others--homeless families who don't have access to a phone because public telephones are disappearing and people who turn to the Internet for resources first.
That's all for today. Check back later this week for more. - K
On Tuesday, December 9th at 10:00 a.m. Pacific, TechSoup Global will be hosting a free webinar on stopping spam. Kami Griffiths will interview Eytan Urbas from Mailshell to help nonprofits understand how they can save money and keep their inboxes secure. You can register online here, and send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. -M
Steven Nipper of the InventBlog is hosting a free webinar on online tool and trends on December 16 at noon Eastern. From the agenda, it looks like it will cover a variety of topics including social media, mobile technology, and what comes next. Justin Foster of Tricycle, Inc. will be the presenter. - K
Polyglot Systems, who develop solutions to reduce communication barriers in the medical field, is offering a free webinar on December 9, 2008 at 1:00pm EST/10:00am PST entitled "Using Technology to Improve Access to Language Services." More information and the registration form is available here. -M
It's more than halfway through November, and I've neglected to point out a very important fact: it's NTEN Member Appreciation Month. Members have the chance to win prizes, get discounts on tech-related products, and attend free webinars. A few items that you might be interested in:
- Podcasting 4+1 Webinar (Session materials and recording are available.)
- Ask the Expert - Andrew Turner on GIS (Session materials and recording are available.)
- 10 Tactics for Growing Your Online Community (Live on 11/20/2008 at 2 pm Eastern.)
All of these materials are free for NTEN members. Isn't it great to be loved? - K
Law School Clinics are an important partner in the delivery of legal services to the poor. Not only do they provide needed direct services to low-income individuals, they also offer meaningful opportunities for law students to engage in legal work and help to foster commitments by young lawyers to use their legal skills in the service of justice.
Recently I came across an incredible resource on clinical legal education called the National Archive of Clinical Legal Education, which is housed at the Columbus School of Law of the Catholic University of America. The site contains an extensive bibliography of articles and conference proceedings on clinical legal education, articles on the history of various clinics, and wonderful transcripts of oral histories by those involved in the development of clinical legal education, including Gary Bellow, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Philip Schrag. -M
On Tuesday, November 18, 2008 TechSoup Talks is offering a free webinar on "Reducing Your Paper Usage." Anna Jaeger from TechSoup Global's GreenTech Program will interview Steve Adams from Protus, the maker of MyFax, a paperless fax solution. The webinar will be held from 10-11am Pacific. You can register online here. -M
On November 19 - 22, 2008 the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) will be hosting its annual conference at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. A number of folks from our community will be presenting sessions and even more will be attending the conference. Below are a few technology sessions that may be of interest:
Wednesday, November 19th
2:35 pm - 4:15 pm
Expanding Presence through Outreach
Presenters: Kate Bladow, Christine Mandiloff, Deb House
Thursday, November 20th
3:15 pm - 4:45 pm
Language Access and Technology: Reaching Limited English Proficient Clients with Technology
Presenters: Liz Keith, Tillie Lacayo, Leah Margulies, Michael Mule
3:15 pm - 4:45 pm
Technology Planning 101: Developing Service Based Plans for Programs and State Networks
Presenters: Kate Bladow, Kathleen Brockel, Jim Dill, Glenn Rawdon
Friday, November 21st
10:15 am - 11:45 am
Using Multimedia Content to Improve Web-Based Delivery of Legal Services
Presenters: Liz Keith, Jeff Narabrook
2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Innovations in Pro Se Litigation Tools
Presenters: Liz Keith, Claudia Johnson, Marc Theriault, Ed Marks, Mary Neal
In addition to these sessions, there are a number of others relating to statewide websites, document assembly and legal aid technology initiatives. For the full agenda, visit the conference website.
Kate has also promised to blog and "tweet" her way through a few sessions, so be on the lookout for updates. Also, this year NLADA has setup a social network for conference attendees, which can be accessed here. -M
LSC just announced that the 2009 Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) Conference will be held January 21-23, 2008 in Austin, TX. Registration will be handled a little differently this year: Starting today - November 4, 2008 - the registration system is open for all 2008 TIG Grantees. If you are a 2008 Grantee, you can register now here. Registration for the rest of the community will open on December 1, 2008.
This year's conference will have three concurrent tracks:
- Tech Track - this track is targeted at technologists. Session topics may include: Network Security, Computer Use Policies, Document Assembly How Tos, and Centralized vs. Decentralized Network Configurations.
- Lawyer Track - this track is for program advocates and senior management. Session topics may include: Visualizing Data - presenting data as information, Google Apps and Web-based Collaboration Tools, and Technology Planning with Lawyers in Mind.
- Management Track (New) - this track is for program administrators or management staff. Session topics may include: Supervision of Remote Employees, Technology Planning and Budgeting, Managing Technology Projects, and Online Fundraising.
The draft Conference agenda is available here. For questions about registration and/or the conference, contact Joyce Raby at jaraby at gmail.com. -M
The Center of Excellence in Advocacy at Stetson University College of Law has developed a free online advocacy resource center for nonprofit and government lawyers, which provides excellent online trainings (video and slides) on pretrial, trial and appellate advocacy, as well as guest lectures and materials from conferences on topics related to trial advocacy. -M [Thanks, Mike!]
Every year Microsoft hosts the Professional Developers Conference, a huge attraction for developers and architects who want to know where the Microsoft platform is headed. Typically this is the conference where they announce major changes like this year's demonstration of Windows 7. However, the conference registration alone runs around $2,500, which means that most legal aid techies won't be attending.
Fortunately Microsoft has recorded many of the sessions and made them available online, so that you can keep up with what is happening in the industry from the comfort of your office. Session topics include Visual C++, C#, creating secure SQL Server applications, how Silverlight works with Python, and more. - K
On October 13, 2008, I attended BlogHer DC: The Reach Out Tour. During that day, I tried my hand at live blogging and live tweeting (i.e. blogging and tweeting while the event happens). It was an interesting experience, and to help those who are considering live blogging or tweeting other events, I thought that I would share a few thoughts.
Beth Kanter wrote that "live blogging takes a certain chutzpah and fearlessness." She's right. When you are live blogging, you can't stop to be concerned about every detail of grammar and spelling. Your typing and thoughts won't be perfect, but you've just got to get over it. You can always go back and clean your post up after the session. And for me, it's much easier to clean up a rough post than write a post from scratch. When I wait, there's a good chance I'll never write up the post.
I was a little worried that live blogging would be a distraction or that I'd miss parts of the presentation; however, instead of being distracted, I had to pay attention, synthesize the information, and explain it immediately. I was forced to stay engaged, which I hope will mean that I remember the key points better. And if I don't, I have better than normal notes that I can review. (I really wish that I would have taken up live blogging during college! )
Live tweeting is much easier than live blogging. It's a lot like taking notes, except that you are sharing them with other people. People can respond and ask you questions, whether they are at the conference or not. For people who are at the conference, this can be an amazing tool. Panelists are able to gauge the audience's interest level as well as take questions, and audience members can have their own backchannel conversations about the topic. (Beth Kanter and Jeremiah Owyang both have posts on how a backchannel can change a session.) Live tweeting is also a great way to include people who aren't at the conference. They are able to eavesdrop on the session and get answers to their questions. Participation and ideas aren't just limited to the select people who were chosen or could afford to attend in person.
I had a good experience live blogging and tweeting at BlogHer. It made me really wish that the legal aid and pro bono communities would integrate these communication streams into their conferences. The first step? Make Internet access available in the conference rooms. - K
On October 31, 2008 at 11 am Pacific/2pm Eastern, I'll be discussing how the Immigration Advocates Network is using online media and social networking tools to engage advocates and increase communication and coordination in the immigrants' rights sector for a LSNTAP training on Creative Uses of Technology in Poverty Law. Other topics for this session include:
- Linking case management systems to document generators
- Call centers to connect pro bono attorneys with clients
- Online advice and representation platforms
- Litigation document management software
- Sharing pleadings with pro bono attorneys
To register for this free webinar, click here. Hope to see you there! -M
On October 30, 2008, the Coalition on Human Needs is offering a live webcast on the current crisis in the economy and in housing, and what Congress and a new Administration may do about it. Presenters include Jared Bernstein (Economic Policy Institute), Barry Zigas (Consumer Federation of America), and Deborah Weinstein (Coalition on Human Needs). For more information, visit the Coalition on Human Needs website. To register, click here. -M
Your readers are going to find your blog in a lot of ways - search engines, social media, statistics reports, and so on. You need to actively make certain that readers are engaged, and not turned off, by your site. You can do this in several ways.
- Make your site usable. You'll be better off with a simple and clean design. Everything should be no more than one click away.
- Target the right audience with fresh and interesting content. Be genuine. They'll know if you are posting just to be posting. If you see a spike in visits, pull those readers in by posting lots of new content.
- Build community. You need to be a part of the conversation. Make connections and remember to comment on other people's blogs. And respond to the comments that are posted on yours.
- Use social media to distribute your content. But select the avenues that will really help you. This area can take up a lot of time.
- Embrace search engine optimization best practices. You'll want to use keywords in your title and text (within reason) and to tag your posts and photos. For keyword research, try WordTracker Keywords suggestion tool.
While each of these areas can take a lot of thought, planning, and time, you can make the process as simple as you want to or have time for. And don't obsess. Search engine optimization isn't the end goal. It's just one way to make your goal happen. - K
In October and November, the Federal Interagency Working Group on LEP is offering a free webinar series on "Understanding Census Bureau Data on Language and English-Speaking Proficiency." The webinars will cover key Census concepts as well as finding language-related data and will be led by Census Bureau experts.
The webinars will be held on October 30, November 6, November 13, and November 20 at 2:00 pm Eastern; however, the sessions will be recorded and posted online for reference. To sign up, email CRT.LEP@usdoj.gov with the subject line "Census Webinar" by Tuesday, October 21, 2008 and provide your name, phone number, email address, agency or organization affiliation, and whether you require access to the captioned broadcast or a copy of the presentations and web links for use with a screen reader. - K
Idealware, an organization we've mentioned before on technola, is offering a free webinar--Online Communications on a Shoestring. The session will look at how websites, e-mail blasts, and social media can help your organization serve its mission. This webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm (Eastern). You can register online here. - K
Yesterday, I promised you more about the final panel discussion of the Court Leadership and Self-Represented Litigation track at the Court Solutions Conference: "Agenda for the Future." This panel featured Robert Baldwin, Executive Vice-President and General Counsel of the National Center for State Courts; Chief Justice John T. Broderick, Jr. of the New Hampshire Supreme Court; and Justice Laurie D. Zelon, Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal and was moderated by Richard Zorza.
The panel made some interesting points. First, they suggested that the community needs to broaden the conversation and make the public and politicians aware of the issue. This issue is one that affects the middle class and small businesses as well as low-income households. When speaking to attorneys on access-to-justice issues, Chief Justice Broderick frequently ask lawyers if they could afford to hire themselves and for how long. He usually gets knowing smiles. Without broadening support and making this a recognizable issue, courts are not going to get the support that they need to make the necessary changes.
Second, Chief Justice Broderick said that no issue should be more important to a chief justice than access to justice; instead, judges have been the "principle stumbling block." Self-represented litigants aren't going anywhere, and judges need to "get over it." Chief justices should be speaking out about the issue, and courts needs to be making changes before they start asking politicians for more money. (I suspect that this thought goes along with my theory of "If you don't care enough to put some money towards it, why should anyone else?")
Lastly, the panel encouraged the participants to focus the discussion on access for all and to refine the definition of the 100 percent access to justice. Chief Justice Broderick reminded the participants that not every problem needs a lawyer and not every problem will find a lawyer. And Robert Baldwin asked the group to remember to make the conversation about more than lawyers and money. - K
As I mentioned in my previous post, the Court Leadership Package was launched at the Court Solutions Conference. By my count, around 180 people from across the United States and Canada as well as several other countries attended the Court Leadership and Self-Represented Litigation track. This was a great conference with ample time for networking and learning. For me, highlights from the conference included the following:
- Being reminded by Joseph Abbate, Senior Management Analyst at the New York Office of Court Administration, that plain language isn't just used or needed in the legal world. Plenty of other jargon needs to be made readable. He used Google's promotional materials for their new browser, Chrome, as an example.
- Listening to Jeanette Fedorak, Senior Policy Counsel for the Government of Alberta, assert that most Canadians, low-income and otherwise, can't afford to hire an attorney. Her argument: In Alberta the cost for a divorce ranges between $16,000 and $128,000 with the average being $44,000. The average income for the lowest 40 percent of Canadians is less than $44,000, and as expected, this group doesn't have a lot socked away in case of emergencies. The next 20 percent of Canadians aren't much better off. They make only $54,200 per year, and while their net worth is higher, most of their savings are invested in their house. Her statistics paint a dismal picture.
- Supping with a group of document assembly enthusiasts at the Rusty Scupper.
- Attending a panel called "Agenda for the Future," which featured Robert Baldwin, Executive Vice-President and General Counsel of the National Center for State Courts; Chief Justice John T. Broderick, Jr. of the New Hampshire Supreme Court; and Justice Laurie D. Zelon, Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal. It was an inspiring session that I'll talk more about in another post.
- Lunching post-conference with Richard Zorza, Justice Zelon, and Bonnie Hough, Supervising Attorney for the Center for Families, Children & the Courts for the Judicial Council of California. All three are amazing access-to-justice advocates. Our conversation reminded me that no significant change happens overnight. It takes work and patience.
For those of you who weren't able to attend, the materials are now posted on SelfHelpSupport.org. Each of the modules includes slides with speaker's notes, project profiles, video clips, and activity and resource books. Also, thanks to Vince Morris, who kindly took on the role of videographer, all of the plenary sessions were filmed and, I hope, will be made available shortly to those who couldn't attend. If you only have a little bit of time, I recommend checking out the document assembly module - Deploying Automated Forms for Access. Granted, I might be biased considering my role in pulling the module together, but I think that one is the best. - K
A great free online training opportunity from the Shriver Center:
The Editorial Team of Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, invites you to attend this free, 75-minute webinar on Thursday, October 2, 2008, at 11 a.m. Pacific time, noon Mountain time, 1 p.m. Central time, 2 p.m. Eastern time.
Learn about how you can help clients who are tenants (including Section 8 tenants) in rental properties subject to foreclosure. (Please note a slight change since our "save the date" announcement--this webinar will focus primarily on strategies in nonjudicial foreclosure states.)
Presenters will be:
- Judith Liben, Senior Housing Attorney, Massachusetts Law Reform Insititute
- Esme Caramello, Clinical Instructor, Harvard Law School's WilmerHale Legal Services Center
- Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, Oakland, California
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/488827822 After you register, you will receive the website address and call-in phone number that you will need to join the webinar.
If you have questions, please contact Shriver Center Staff Attorney-Legal Editor Catherine Dorn Schreiber at 909.793.2578.
Today is the official launch of the Self-Represented Litigation Network Court Leadership Package, a set of tools that judges, court administrators, self-help facilitators, and others can use to educate their court and state about innovations in self-represented litigation. Topics that are covered include
- Court Self-Diagnosis and Strategies for Getting a Court Moving (Including Funding Issues)
- Establishing and Operating Self Help Centers
- Designing and Modifying Physical Space for Access
- Establishing Justice Corps and Volunteer Programs
- Training and Supporting Clerks for Access
- Developing and Deploying Forms and Instructions
- Deploying Automated Forms for Access
- Setting Up Case Management for the Self-Represented
- Working with Judicial Leadership
- Courtroom Staffing and Services for Access
- The Court Role in Establishing and Supporting Discrete Task Representation
- Supporting and Integrating Law Library Services
- Distance Service Technology
- The Limited English Proficiency Challenge
- Developing Systems to Facilitate and Ensure Compliance with Court Orders
These tools are being launched at the National Center for State Courts' Court Solutions Conference. People who are attending the Self-Represented Litigation Track will be trained to use these tools and have the opportunity to interact with experts and learn more about each of the areas.
For those of you who won't be in Baltimore at the conference, the materials will be posted on the SelfHelpSupport.org website in the next couple of months. If you will be at the conference, find me. I'll be there and helping out in a variety of roles. - K
On Tuesday, August 26, TechSoup is hosting a one-hour webinar about implementing online surveys. - K
Thanks Bill Jones at the ABA, all of the session materials available for 2008 Equal Justice Conference are now online. Materials from the last five years are archived here. Many of the technology related session materials for the 2008 Conference are also available on LSNTAP. Next year's conference is scheduled for May 14-16, 2009, in Orlando, Florida. -M
The Shriver Center's Clearinghouse Review is hosting an online discussion of the foreclosure crisis and legal strategies. To join, go to the discussion group website and sign up using your Google account. For more information, e-mail Martin Stainthorp. -M
I'm slowly working through a backlog of e-mail in my inbox and came across some interesting podcasts and materials from conferences that focus on design, technology, and the web. Since this audience may be interested in some of these resources, I thought that I'd make them available here.
- Pop!Casts from Pop!Tech - Innovative leaders talk about world changing projects.
- MP3s of Speakers from Future of Web Apps - Leaders in the field talk about social networking and other emerging web applications.
- Webcasts of TED Presentations - Speakers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes.
- Videos and Podcasts from SXSW - Subject matter includes film, music, and interactive technology.
- O'Reilly Conference Rresentation Downloads and News Coverage - Resources from the large number of O'Reilly conferences.
- Videos from Gel (Good Experience Live) - Speakers talk about business, art, society, technology, and life.
Since this is too much information for one person to consume in any reasonable amount of time, let us know if you come across something particularly interesting. - K
For those of you with a taste for virtual law, an upcoming teleconference on "Why Virtual Worlds Matter for Lawyers." Panelists include:
- Benjamin Duranske (Moderator), Author, Virtual Law: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds, Boise, ID
- David Elchoness, Executive Director, Association of Virtual Worlds; Founder and CEO, VRWorkplace.com, Boulder, CO
- Lauren Gelman, Executive Director, Stanford Law Center for Internet and Society; Lecturer in Law, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
- Steve Mortinger, VP & Associate General Counsel, IBM Systems & Technology Group, Somers, NY
- Francis Taney, Chair, Technology Litigation Practice Group; Shareholder, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, PC, Philadelphia, PA
Do you have a legal blog? Thinking of creating a blog? LexBlog is holding a free webinar on Thursday, May 29, 2008 about blogging for the legal community: Introduction Professional Law Blogs: What Works and What Doesn't. If you are already blogging and want to connect with other legal bloggers, use LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals. A Legal Bloggers group has been created. You can join here. - K
You've found the perfect training to solve that nagging problem. Perhaps it's for that attorney who keeps asking you the same Word formatting questions, the sys admin who needs to brush up on their skills, or even your officemate who hums off key. But it's incredibly expensive. Why, oh why can't you find cheap, but good, trainings?
Well, here's technola to your rescue. Today, I present a few free training options.
- LSNTAP.org. If you are in a legal aid program and don't know about the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP), you've likely been hiding under a rock. But just in case you haven't heard, LSNTAP regularly holds and records technology trainings on a wide variety of subjects: MS Word, LegalMeetings, document assembly, Internet trends, website best practices, and so on. Check out their training calendar and their archived trainings. LSNTAP also holds monthly Tech Noodling Roundtables. While not really a training, it is a great opportunity for legal aid techies to interact with their colleagues and get some support.
- Lynda.com. Most of the technology training content that Lynda.com provides is available for a low monthly subscription fee ($25); however, you can check out chapters of many of their titles for free. For example, you can get a brief overview of XML, learn the basics of search engine optimization, introduce yourself to the basics of computer privacy and security, and figure out how to navigate PDFs.
- YouTube.com. Yes, YouTube has plenty of material that couldn't even be remotely classified as "training." But it does have useful material, too. For example, the officemate mentioned above might want to check out Singing Lessons with Nikki Scrase. Or perhaps you want to introduce your office to social bookmarking. Instead of creating your own materials, you could just point them to Social Bookmarking in Plain English.
So there are a few sites where you can find free trainings. But there are many more. Let us know in the comments below if you've got a favorite free training site. - K
A couple of updates on previous posts -
- Update from Women Who Tech Can Now Tech Together (March 6, 2008) - Podcasts from the Women Who Tech Telesummit are online. You can also join the Women Who Tech groups on LinkedIn, Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Update from Another Reason to Become an NTEN Member (March 24, 2008) - I found another reason to become an NTEN member. This summer they are holding office hours. You can show up and get advice about IT, communications, fundraising, program development, and leadership.
- Update from LawHelp.org Earns 2008 Webby Nomination (April 9, 2008) - Unfortunately, LawHelp.org was not a repeat Webby. Congratulations to Out-Law.com (judges' choice) and the ABAJournal (People's Voice).
- Update from 2008 Equal Justice Conference Tech Sessions (April 30, 2008) - Conference materials from the technology session are available on LSNTAP.org. - K
Last week, I brought you the first installment of the SRL Pre-Conference "semi-live blogging" articles. Well, now, a week after the sessions, I bring you the second installment.
Distance Services and Technology
Katrina Zabinski, Supervising Attorney, Minnesota Judicial Branch
There are two self-help center walk-in locations in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Outside of the urban area, the Minnesota Courts have begun to use virtual self-help centers (a computer, desk, and VOIP phone) with centralized phone and e-mail support that is provided by Ms. Zabinski's department. When setting the stations up, the organization focused on the experience of the self-represented litigants. The phone dials directly into the call center; the computer desktop has been simplified so that the litigant knows where to go for information first; and the website focuses on the questions that litigants often have. These workstations have been paid for by one-time funding that was included in a legislative bill that modified Minnesota's child support laws. Currently, the program is looking for additional funding. Challenges in establishing these centers have included
- finding the right staff to create content;
- establishing a permanent funding base; and
- justifying the time investment.
The public's appreciation has been amazing. Most are incredibly happy to get a real person and not a phone tree.
Glenn Rawdon, Program Counsel, Legal Services Corporation
Technology can be used to bridge gaps, whether in the urban or rural areas. You don't have to be in one of the big square states in the middle to be interested in distance services. LSC grantees turn down over 1 million cases each year. One-fifth of those who need lawyers get lawyers. The other four-fifths go without. LSC has encouraged programs to look at innovative technology-based solutions to help legal aid programs be more efficient as well as to help self-represented litigants. Many of those solutions have been funded by the Technology Initiative Grant program. To date, the program has provided $27 million to 343 initiatives. To do this, partnerships have been key. There aren't enough resources to solve the problem once, let alone three times (legal aid, bar, and courts). The State Justice Institute has been an essential partner. Examples of funded projects include
- Idaho Legal Aid Services and the Idaho Supreme Courts have worked together to develop automated court forms, which help self-represented litigants fill out court forms correctly.
- The Internet Representation Project, developed by Legal Services of Northern Michigan (LSNM), allows pro bono attorneys to anonymously give advice to anonymous clients in their service area. So far, 754 questions have been answered, and clients have included people from each of the 36 counties in LSNM's service area. The Minnesota legal aid programs are hoping to replicate this project.
- Alaska Legal Services Corporation has produced CD/DVD material that contain legal workshop materials. The first DVD replaced 9 hours of divorce classes. Their next project will be to create a DVD to help parents help their children during child custody disputes.
- LawHelp/NY and PALawHelp.org have partnered with courts to see that court information is available on their websites.
Judy Meadows, Director and State Law Librarian of Montana
Montana is a big state with not so many people. Still, nearly 300,000 people qualify for legal aid. Because resources are scarce, the access-to-justice stakeholders are forced to work together. Legislative funding for a court-based self-help program was established in 2007. The one-time funding - $500,000 - may not seem like much, but on a per capita basis, it is as much as California receives. From a technology perspective, they have a lot: websites, WestLaw and LexisNexis, video conferencing in every courthouse, LiveHelp, Ask a Librarian, document assembly, and streaming videos. Lessons learned have included
- collect good baseline data to help sell your story;
- a little bit of money can go a long way;
- technology is key; and
- leverage your resources.
Materials from this presentation are available on SelfHelpSupport.org. - K
The 2nd Annual National Pro Bono Conference will be held September 18-19, 2008 in Vancouver, BC. Sponsored by Pro Bono Law Alberta, ProBono Law of BC, and Pro Bono Law Ontario, the conference will focus on sharing best practices, developing partnerships, and exploring challenges in order to improve the delivery of pro bono legal services. The opening speaker will be The Right Honorable Beverly McLachlin, P.C. Chief Justice of Canada. More information is available at www.probonoconference.ca.
For highlights from the first conference, check out the conference brochure and the conference remarks of David W. Scott, a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and a director of Pro Bono Law Ontario. - K
So it turns out that the EJC does not have free wireless set up, and it appears that the Hilton doesn't have pay-for wireless available for the conference rooms. Boo. So I must resort to my plan for "semi-live" blogging sessions. Today's post - the Self-Represented Litigant Pre-Conference.
Innovation - The Big Picture (Richard Zorza)
Most people in the room aren't exploring. Increasing access is what they do daily. Because of their work, court leadership feels like they know what they need to know, which is good and bad. Mostly importantly, it means that self-represented litigant innovation has moved to a different phase.
- Programs need to be built out and institutionalized.
- What does the next generation look like? Immigration, foreclosure, and so on.
The core vision - One hundred percent access. The way to get there is by having access-friendly courts that think about the litigant experience and understand that access comes through a wide variety of services.
Good things are happening. There are about 150 self-help centers around the country. Two-thirds of states have trained court staff. Over 5000 judges are going to be trained on self-represented litigant issues based on the Harvard judicial curriculum. Plain language forms and document assembly are spreading quickly. Technology and online sites are being integrated into court programs. National support for self-represented programs exists - The second version of Best Practices is being published and the SRLN, SelfHelpSupport.org, and other networks exist.
New tools are under development.
- Research and tools to show cost/benefits of innovations.
- Curriculum to help train court staff, which will be launched at that NCSC Court Solutions Conference.
- Second version for of the Best Practices. It now includes examples and resources for the best practices
- Tools to help get compliance with orders.
And there is plenty left to be done.
- Simplifying the systems, which will benefit everyone.
- Understand who needs what for access, since not everyone needs a lawyer and not everyone can follow through on self-help information.
- Research the "Three-No Problem."
- Develop a standardized forms and plain language strategy.
- Promote the continuum of service.
- Investigate solutions in the areas of immigration and foreclosure.
Law Libraries and Partnerships
Hon. Edward F. Vlack, St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge, Hudson, Wisconsin
Wisconsin knew that self-help centers could help serve the self-represented but didn't know where to get the funding. Law libraries seemed to be a natural partner, but the state doesn't have many county law libraries, and those that exist are locally funded and don't have many self-represented-litigant-friendly resources. So they turned to Wisconsin's strong public library network. These libraries are conveniently located, have public access computers, and have customer-focused staff. The partnership can be easily replicated. The biggest step is training the library staff across the state.
Marie Darst Rose, Staff Attorney, Central Minnesota Legal Services
Tri-county program in St. Cloud, Minnesota is staffed by a legal aid advocate because of a contract with Central Minnesota Legal Services. Self-help center is located in the law library and has two computer terminals available for public use. Legal aid advocate can provide information but not advice. It is open when the courthouse is open, and people can walk in. Advocate provides help filling out forms. The program had served over 1,400 people since the beginning of 2008. Last year, the judges in Sterns County ordered that self-represented litigants must see the advocate before they file their papers. Program is paid for through parking fines and other fees. The next steps for the program is to increase staff and add a legal advice clinic. The community response has been extremely positive.
Barbara Golden, Librarian, Minnesota State Law Library
Minnesota has 85 law libraries; however, only ten have fulltime staff. These ten cover 63 percent of Minnesota's population. The rest of the libraries are rooms with books. Some have computers, and some don't. The Minnesota State Law Library has tried to fill the gap for the areas where the law libraries aren't staffed - resources, circuit riding librarians, fielding calls from across the state, and so on. In the Fifth Judicial District, a successful project was established out of a partnership between the academic, law, and public libraries. Together they negotiated a WestLaw contract, established work stations, and started helping self-represented litigants. As the program progressed, it was discovered that the partnership saved money, which could be reinvested in the program. This program is now being replicated statewide, although the program does not have all of the features of the Fifth Judicial District's program; they only have circuit riding librarians, favorable pricing on legal databases, and partnerships with local organizations.
Sara Galligan, Law Library Manager, Dakota County Law Library
Dakota County is pretty rural but has some industry. The county seat is on the east end of the county and the population is on the west. In order to support self-represented litigants, they partnered with the public libraries. The public library acts as a "law library" on the opposite end of the county. The court provides the libraries with packets of forms, which the public libraries can sell and keep the profits from. The project moved on to providing volunteer attorney assistance. The law library does much of the coordination, but the local legal aid program handles the recruitment of the pro bono lawyers. This library also applied for a Library Services and Technology Act grant. They asked for a half-time position to create self-represented information and setting up two public workstations - one in West St. Paul and one yet to be determined.
M. Sue Talia, Certified Family Law Specialist
In California, 100 percent of California family law attorneys represent 20 to 30 percent of family law litigants. This means that self-represented litigants aren't just "poor people" with a problem. Unbundling is limited-scope representation. It is high quality representation that is limited in scope. It is not second-class representation. Typically, there is either a limitation on tasks (drafting a petition, representing at a single hearing, or drafting order) or on an issue (supervised parenting order). Most attorneys do more than legal advice but less than representing someone in a hearing. Ethical issues are critical and need to be addressed.
- Limitations in scope must be reasonable. (For example - don't send SRLs into court on their own when they don't speak English.)
- Client must be informed of scope in writing. (Talia doesn't believe in oral limitations in scope because if there is a question, it will always be decided in favor of the client.)
- Changes in scope must always be documented. (If something pops up, make certain to change the written scope.)
- Attorney must advise client of related issues even if the client doesn't ask. (Nichols v. Keller - Attorney is in better place to know if there are related items and has the duty to tell the client.)
Issues raised in limited-scope representation in a court-based program are different than those that show up in private practice. Pro bono attorneys like to do limited-scope representation for volunteer work. The most receptive people are rural bar associations and ethnic bar associations (both rural and urban). Clients like it because they get only what they need. People know that they aren't being charged for work that they don't really need, and they know what it is worth to them. It gives the client more control. Limited scope is not for every court, not for every client, and not for every case. But limited scope can build a sense of good will with clients.
Rochelle Klempner, Principal Court Attorney to Justice Fern A. Fisher, Administrative Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York
Civil Court and New York City Bar Association run a Volunteer Lawyer for a Day (VLFD) program in Housing Court. Lawyer and client meet day of court appearance. They sign a limited retainer agreement. The lawyer represents the client, but no matter what happens the representation begins and end that day.
To establish a program
- Form a partnership.
- Find funding.
- Gain court administration support and/or bench support.
- Build the program (hire staff, develop training, develop forms, recruit, and so on).
- Run your program.
The New York City program was a established as a pilot project of the court and local bar association. Funding came from the state court in order to hire a program coordinator. The program was built quickly because they only had a temporary line of funding. Program is modeled on San Francisco "Volunteer Lawyer for a Day" program. Volunteers were offered CLE in return for participation. Reaction to program was great. Clients loved it; landlord bar had no problem. Only criticism came from tenant advocates.
Because it was a pilot, it was evaluated. Everyone involved felt good about the program. But it also had benefits for the clients, volunteers, and courts. It improved access to justice. Clients were able to raise defenses that they didn't know that they had. The courthouse efficiency improved. It was an attractive pro bono oppportunity because it was finite. And the program improved the perception of fairness and accessibility to justice. City bar eventually approved the report.
Materials from these sessions are available on SelfHelpSupport.org. - K
Matthew and I will both be at EJC this week. For those of you who will be joining us, stop by the Pro Bono Net booth to say "hi." And if you won't be going, keep an eye on the blog for updates. Matthew and I are hoping to do some live blogging. (Or in my case, some semi-live blogging depending on available Internet access.) - K
Kate and I will be participating in a few sessions at the Equal Justice Conference in Minneapolis next week. If you're planning to attend, we'd love to have you join us.
- Tuesday, May 6th
Distance services/technology (2:30pm-3:30pm; Presentation at Self Represented Litigants Pre-Conference)
Presenters: Katrina Zabinski, Glenn Rawdon, Judy Meadows and Kate Bladow
- Thursday, May 8th
Using Technology to Advance Your Mission: Challenges and Opportunities for the Up-to-Date Legal Aid Law Firm (2:00pm-3:30pm)
Presenters: Kate Bladow, Kathleen Brockel, Rachel Medina and Alison Paul
Using Technology to Provide Technical Legal Assistance at the State and National Level (3:45pm-5:15pm)
Presenters: Matthew Burnett and Michael Monahan
There are a number of other great sessions on statewide websites, document assembly and legal aid technology initiatives, so be sure to check out the full agenda. If you won't be at EJC, just tune in to technola next week, where Kate and I will be blogging from the conference. -M
Last Saturday I spent the afternoon at PodCamp NYC, a gathering of podcasters and new media enthusiasts that took place in New York's finest borough (yes, Brooklyn), to pick up a few tips and tricks. Here's a quick recap:
The most valuable session that I attended was an introductory overview of audio production lead by Matthew Ebel (available here). Matthew provided a lot of great tips on producing podcasts, including a couple of mic recommendations that are worth sharing: the Blue Snowball, a professional USB condenser mic with both cardioid and omni polar patterns, and the RØDE Podcaster, a broadcast quality USB mic with a cardioid polar pattern (see the presentation for more on why these distinctions matter). For those interested in a more portable mic, there's the Snowflake, a compact USB mic that's also by Blue. All of these mics are both Mac and PC compatible.
Another session I attended, on RSS, wasn't particularly noteworthy except that the speaker didn't show up. About ten minutes after the session was supposed to begin the group rallied together and someone volunteered to lead the session with help from the audience. It was great to see folks come together and press on, a testament to the "BarCamp" or "unconference" user generated conference model.
I also attended a session on new media marketing with Chris Penn, who hosts the Financial Aid Podcast, co-hosts the Marketing Over Coffee podcast and blogs here. I don't know much about Chris, but he struck me as a guy who has a lot of practical information to share based on his own experiences with new media, something I'm beginning to appreciate more and more as I struggle to find the right tools and approaches to developing, delivering and marketing new media content with limited resources. -M
The editorial team of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law's Clearinghouse Review is hosting an online discussion about the future of affirmative advocacy and leadership development in legal aid. Ross Dolloff and the Leadership Institute Fellows from the Center for Legal Aid Education will moderate the discussion centering on articles they have written for the March-April 2008 issue of Clearinghouse Review. -M
The week before last I spent some time at the 2008 Virtual Worlds and Virtual Law Conference here in New York. (A warm thanks to Ben Duranske, author of the Virtually Blind blog and a new book on virtual law, for making it possible.) I attended a few different sessions, ranging from an interesting discussion on intellectual property issues (yes, you can trademark your avatar, complete with "TM" bling) to a panel on bringing your organization into virtual worlds, which provided tips on getting started (know your virtual audience) and prompted a candid discussion of ROI (stickiness is a big metric).
It was really interesting to see the range of audiences that are being targeted, from the preschool set to older adults, as well as the range of companies that are making the jump. And while the driving force behind virtual worlds seems very entertainment focused, there is also a good deal of energy being put into creating virtual worlds (or projects within virtual worlds) that focus on more worthy pursuits, like education and advocacy.
In fact, one project that should be of interest to our community is the work that former statewide website coordinator Gene Koo (blog) is doing with the Berkman Center and CALI to create virtual environments that facilitate legal instruction and collaboration among law school professors. For more on the intersection of law and virtual worlds, check out the excellent book, The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds, and the State of Play conference website, which includes podcasts and webcasts of past conferences (also available on iTunes U). -M
Recently, Aspiration and Idealware announced a Managing Non-Profit Technology Projects event for Oakland, CA on May 20, 2008 to May 21, 2008. Participants in this event will discuss project management tools and best practices. Registration information is available on Aspiration's website.
I highly recommend attending, especially if you are an accidental project manager. In January 2008, I went to the first Managing Non-Profit Technology Projects event in New York City and got to participate in great conversations about how much websites should cost, how to manage consultants and vendors, and how to collaborate with remote teams. Coming out of the event, I had new resources to help me manage the projects that I'm involved in, including a wiki that contains notes on all of the sessions.
If you aren't able to attend, sign up for the wiki anyways. You'll be able to read the session notes and benefit from the thoughts of the people who did go. - K
Clay Shirky discusses his new book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The big bullet point: group action just got easier. Here is the link to the video. -M
The pre-conference will include
- an introduction by the Coordinator of the Self-Represented Litigation Network
- a tour of the Hennepin County Self-Represented Services Program
- panels on unbundling, funding, law library services as well as statewide and distance services
If you are interested in self-represented issues, I highly recommend going. The cost is $65. Register here. Registration for the main conference is required. - K
In my college computer science and mathematics courses, typically four or five of the thirty people were women, and I had a total of three courses in my major taught by female professors. This quickly made me recognize that I'd be coming into a world where women were underrepresented and finding strong female role models could be difficult. Knowing this, I've taken as many opportunities as possible to network with other great women technologists and have been incredibly impressed with the female role models in the nonprofit technology community.
For those of you who haven't had a lot of opportunities to network with other women, or for those of you who are always looking for more, you are in luck. Women Who Tech is holding a TeleSummit on March 31, 2008. This free, live event features some amazing women speaking about timely, important topics, including
- open source software,
- Web 2.0,
- building online and offline campaigns, and
- mobile technology.
The best part - it's a phone conference. You don't have to go anywhere. You just need to pick one or more of the sessions and then dial in at the right time. So go register. - K