The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has issued a notice of request for letters of intent to apply for 2011 TIG funding. TIG will also be holding a webinar on Wednesday, February 16 at 1 pm Eastern to discuss program eligibility, areas of interest, and the application process. Approximately $3.4 million in grants is anticipated to be available for the 2011 cycle. The deadline to submit an LOI is March 7, 2011. To register for the webinar, click here. Additional information about the TIG program and grants process is available here. -M
Yesterday the LSC announced the latest round of TIG grants. A total of 30 grants worth approximately 3.3 million were awarded to legal services programs in 25 states. The full press release is available here. -M
technola has been nominated for The Mobbies 2010, a competition for outstanding Maryland blogs and bloggers. If you are a registered Baltimore Sun user or interested in becoming one, your vote would be appreciated.
And if you're voting, I encourage you to vote for the Maryland Legal Aid Newsroom, too. This blog is published by the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau and is a good example to look at if your legal aid or pro bono program is interested in launching a blog.
You should also take a look at several other worthy law and nonprofit blogs that have been nominated.
Whether your organization is blogging or thinking about blogging, you should come away with a few ideas that you can use to make your blog better. (And if you're not thinking of blogging, perhaps looking at these blogs will make you start!) - K
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently announced two BTOP grants, totaling $6.1 million, to help bridge the technology gap and increase access to justice in North Carolina and Washington State.
In North Carolina, the North Carolina Central University School of Law will receive nearly $2 million to upgrade broadband service and expand access to its legal education programs. The project will use videoconferencing to serve low-income residents and undergraduates at Legal Aid of North Carolina offices at North Carolina Central University and at four Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as expand its Street Law project and other public school initiatives. More information about the project is available here.
In Washington, The Puget Sound Center Foundation for Teaching, Learning, and Technology will receive $4.1 million to expand public computing centers and enhance broadband adoption, workforce training, digital literacy, education, and justice resources. This project will partner with the Northwest Justice Project, Washington’s LSC-funded legal aid program, to create public computer centers in five rural courts, including the Kalispel tribal court. More information on the project is available here.
These are the only successful BTOP grants involving legal aid partnerships that we’re aware of. If you know of other BTOP grant awards in which a legal aid program is a partner, please let us know in the comments. -M
ESRI, the company behind the leading geographic information system (GIS) software, announced a new donation program for nonprofit organizations last week at the Gov 2.0 Summit. Now nonprofits can get ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server, or an Enterprise License Agreement for only the administrative fee. Interested, eligible organizations should register for additional information.
ESRI's CEO, Jack Dangermond, made the announcement during "Open Data and the Future of Mapping and Location Based Services," a session where he and Bernard Szukalski, another ESRI employee, showed how mapping data can help people and organizations interpret the massive amounts of data local, state, and federal governments make available.
Several legal aid programs are already mapping data with GIS software to help them advocate for their client communities. Matthew previously pointed to a presentation from Legal Services of Northern California's Race Equity Project that describes how maps helped to support expert testimony and show a town discriminated when providing water services. More information about the Race Equity Project and how they support their work with mapping are available online. Also several programs worked with the Legal Services Corporation Office of Inspector General to evaluate mapping and identify how to help programs take advantage of its potential. Materials and lessons learned from this study are available online.
Numerous resources are available for programs that want to learn more about GIS software and mapping:
- The Illustrated Guide to Nonprofit GIS and Online Mapping (MapTogether)
- GIS Mapping Resources (Legal Services of Northern California)
- A Few Good Mapping and GIS Tools (Idealware)
- GIS Mapping (LSNTAP)
Also, LSNTAP is hosting a series of GIS trainings. The next training is on September 16, and more information is available on LSNTAP's site.
The BlogHer community likes to recognize their favorite blog posts. It started with the Community Keynote, a session at the BlogHer Annual Conference where bloggers are invited to read their posts. But as the community grows, the tradition does, too.
This year, in addition to the Keynote, BlogHer recognized 90 posts as 2010 BlogHer Voices of the Year. In late July, I was notified that my post My Name Is Kate and I Am a Listener was selected as one of the 90 posts. I was thrilled to be included among the likes of Joanne Bamberger, Tracey Gaughran-Perez, and Liz Henry.
But I evidently didn't read the notification email well because it wasn't until recently I found that my post was inspiration for a terrific piece of art by Kalani Cropper, "Listen."
You see, all of the 2010 BlogHer Voices of the Year were used as inspiration for custom works of art and are now being auctioned to support long-term Gulf Coast recovery efforts.
Interested in bidding on this piece? Do it soon. It's only available until September 20. - K
Friday, the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals (NAPBPro) awarded Mike Monahan, Pro Bono Director at the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project/Georgia Legal Services Program, the 2010 Tanya Neiman Pro Bono Professional of the Year Award.
This award is presented to pro bono professionals who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to pro bono and have achieved outstanding results. It is named after Tanya Neiman, who "pioneered the fields of pro bono, holistic legal services and community lawyering." She was the Director of the Volunteer Legal Services Program at the Bar Association of San Francisco for nearly twenty-five years and " was a giant in her commitment to improving the condition of all people and in her passion for living."
Congratulations, Mike! The award is well deserved. Keep placing those unplaceable cases. - K
Yesterday, April 18, marked the start of National Volunteer Week, a national celebration of people who are volunteering and improving their communities. Thousands of projects and special events have been scheduled to recognize existing volunteers and encourage others to become involved. This year marks the thirty-sixth National Volunteer Week, an event that was established by former President Richard Nixon in 1974 and is sponsored by Points of Light Institute and HandsOn Network.
As this week progresses, I suspect that you'll see communities leveraging technology to promote volunteerism and events for volunteers. Already few examples exist:
- Blogging: The Case Foundation summarized the history of service in the US on its blog. And in our own community, Pro Bono Net has invited guests to blog about pro bono legal services on their Martindale-Hubbell Connected group. The first post "An Opportunity to Serve Those Who Serve Us" from Jason Vail of the ABA Military Pro Bono Project is also posted on Pro Bono Net's website.
- Videos: Chapters of the HandsOn Network, the American Cancer Society, and the American Red Cross created videos to thank their volunteers. HandsOn Network also put together a video to promote National Volunteer Week.
If this celebration makes you want to get involved, check out the National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide for local legal aid organizations and pro bono programs that need help. Other non-legal opportunities are listed on the HandsOn Network website.
Are you doing anything to celebrate your volunteers this week? If so, what? Let us know below. - K
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
LSC published a detailed list of the awarded 2009 TIGs on its website. This list contains both project descriptions as well as the amounts awarded. - K
Last Friday, Justice Served announced the Top Ten Court Websites Awards for 2009. This year's winners:
- Superior Court of California, County of Orange
- Colorado State Judicial Branch
- State Court of Chatham County Georgia
- Singapore Subordinate Courts
- Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
- Courts Service of Ireland
- Iowa Judicial Branch
- Spokane County District Court
- US District Court, District of Maryland
- Alabama's Legal Information Network
The announcement on the Justice Served blog explains more about the competition, the judging criteria and what makes each of these sites outstanding. - K
No? Well, good. Your sys admin probably doesn't want a hug from you anyway. But you should make certain to wish her or him a "Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day!" today.
It may look like they are just "playing on the computer," but they aren't. Sys admins work hard:
A sysadmin makes sure your network connection is safe, secure, open, and working. A sysadmin makes sure your computer is working in a healthy way on a healthy network. A sysadmin takes backups to guard against disaster both human and otherwise, holds the gates against security threats and crackers, and keeps the printers going no matter how many copies of the tax code someone from Accounting prints out.
A sysadmin worries about spam, viruses, spyware, but also power outages, fires and floods.
When the email server goes down at 2 AM on a Sunday, your sysadmin is paged, wakes up, and goes to work.
A sysadmin is a professional, who plans, worries, hacks, fixes, pushes, advocates, protects and creates good computer networks, to get you your data, to help you do work -- to bring the potential of computing ever closer to reality.
And we don't make their jobs easy. Nor do their families give them a break. (Imagine going home and hearing "Son, it's great to talk to you. It has been a while. So, I called because I've been having a problem with my computer at work. Can you tell me how to make [insert random ancient proprietary software package name] work?" or "Susie, I bought a [insert random piece of hardware name]. Can you configure it for me while you're visiting on vacation?")
So today, take a moment and thank your system administrator for the all of his or her hard work. And if you're feeling especially thankful, I've heard that they like gifts. - K
But you may not know where the idea for the organization came from. (And honestly, even though I've worked with and for Pro Bono Net for a total of six years, I didn't know until recently either.) Turns out that Mark O'Brien and Michael Hertz, Pro Bono Net's co-founders, met when they were handling pro bono asylum cases in the mid-1990s. These cases resulted from the Golden Venture, the infamous smuggling ship, running aground in New York City in 1993. It was carrying 286 immigrants, most of whom were sent to detention centers through out the US. Mark and Michael quickly realized that technology could help the many advocates collaborate better, even though they may not be in the same place.
The stories of the immigrants on the boat were documented in Peter Cohn's movie Golden Venture, which was an Official Selection of the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and the 2006 Amnesty International Film Festival.
In recognition of this story's connection with Pro Bono Net's beginning, and Pro Bono Net's 10th Anniversary, Peter Cohn has graciously agreed to give half the proceeds of every DVD purchased to Pro Bono Net. You can purchase a copy for $24.95. - K
In an effort to reduce excess inventory, the American Bar Association is offering its comprehensive fundraising manual, "Innovative Fundraising Ideas for Legal Services (2004)," for one dollar (plus shipping and handling). The manual "provides information on 30 initiatives for developing funding to support the delivery of civil legal services to the poor" and "offers a user-friendly overview of each fundraising strategy, examples of successful implementation, and the names of individuals who can be contacted to further discuss each initiative described." To place an order, visit the ABA Web Store here. -M
Want to help the Online Document Assembly Project win $5,000 cash and $25,000 worth of donated software in Microsoft's and TechSoup's Show Your Impact contest? Yes? Great!
It's easy. You just need to vote for the "Increasing Access to Justice" entry in Microsoft's and TechSoup's Show Your Impact contest by June 10, 2009. Here's how:
- Go to Microsoft Impact Story Contest.
- Register or log in.
- Vote for "Increasing Access to Justice" in the Transformations to Maximize Impact category.
- Vote for at least 2 other programs. (Preferably, your two other choices are in other categories.)
- Cast your ballot.
- Tell your friends to vote.
The first round of judging is by the public, or more specifically any individual from a Microsoft donation recipient organization, TechSoup or Microsoft, and any of those individuals' friends, family or contacts. (If you are reading this post, you qualify.) To move on to the second round, the "Increasing Access to Justice" entry needs to be one of the top nine voted-for entries in the Transformations to Maximize Impact category. So please vote!
Need to know more about Online Document Assembly, the project that consumes my days, before you vote? Check out the profile that The Chronicle of Philanthropy published in February. -K
In the middle of April, I glanced at NTEN's post Time to Tap Into Your Inner Poet: ZD Technology Haiku Contest (Win $ for a good cause!), thought "Ah! TIGs! No time for poetry! Focus! Project narratives! Letters of support!" and promptly moved on to the next unread item in my Google Reader.
However, the Public Interest Clearinghouse and the Legal Aid Association of California didn't ignore the announcement and are now up for a $2000 prize. Help them out by voting for Tressa Milford's haiku:
Joint projects? Sticky!
Sharing info can get rough.
Vote by May 15, 2009 at ZeroDivide.org. - K
WomensLaw.org, a site that provides legal information and resources on domestic violence and sexual assault, was chosen as the winner of this year’s Webby Award for the Law category. The People’s Voice Award went to GetLegal.com, a commercial website with legal information and resources for lawyers and the public. Congratulations to the winners, as well as this year’s nominees and honorees! -M
The Chicago Lawyer recently published a nice article on the work of Professor Ron Staudt, director of Chicago-Kent’s Center for Access to Justice & Technology. Among its other projects, the Center for Access to Justice and Technology is behind A2J Author, which allows advocates to easily build guided online interviews for pro-se users to generate court forms or find answers to their legal problems. -M
It’s time again for the Webby Awards, but this year there’s a twist. Of the five legal websites nominated for Best Law Site, three focus on public interest topics: the Immigration Advocates Network, WomensLaw.org and Workplace Fairness. They are joined by last year’s nominee, JURIST, and a newcomer commercial law site, GetLegal.com. Hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. From now until April 30th, you can cast your vote in the Law category (and 70 others) in The Webby People's Voice Awards at http://pv.webbyawards.com. Winners will be announced on May 5th, 2009 and honored at a ceremony in New York City on June 8th. –M
Jim Luce, who writes and speaks on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens, authored a really nice piece at Huffington Post on Pro Bono Net, the wonderful, innovative nonprofit that Kate and I call home. -M
My Pro Bono Net colleague Tory Messina pointed out two documents from the DC Bar Foundation that aren't technology-related but are likely of interest to Technola readers. These documents, Summary of Listening Session with Pro Bono Counsel and Summary of Listening Sessions with Legal Services Providers, highlight how pro bono counsel and legal services providers are being affected by the economic crisis and how they are trying to cope. My impression: the picture is pretty bleak.
While these documents focus on DC providers, I'm guessing that their comments reflect what is being seen more widely. I'd love to hear whether or not this is true. Let me know in the comments. - K
The LawHelp/NY Consortium, a group of nonprofit legal services organizations that support the statewide legal information and referral website LawHelp.org/NY, has been named one of eight finalists for The Collaboration Prize:
The Lodestar Foundation, in association with the Arizona-Indiana-Michigan (AIM) Alliance, created The Collaboration Prize in an effort to demonstrate how nonprofit resources can be used more effectively to create greater impact. The LawHelp/NY Consortium, which is made up of 11 legal aid, bar and pro bono organizations throughout the state, was selected from a competitive pool of over 644 U.S.-based nominations.
Congratulations to the City Bar Justice Center, Legal Services NYC, The Legal Aid Society of New York, Pro Bono Net, Volunteers of Legal Service, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Empire Justice Center, New York State Bar Association, Legal Assistance of Western New York, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and Nassau/Suffolk Law Services on making LawHelp/NY a national model for collaboration in the nonprofit legal sector! -M
LTN has announced the winners of the sixth annual Law Technology News Awards. Among the award categories is "most innovative use of technology for a pro bono project," which was won by Miriam Buhl, pro bono counsel at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, for their implementation of Pro Bono Net's Pro Bono Manager software:
To help make the practice of pro bono more effective and efficient for its 1,300 attorneys in 20 offices, Miriam Buhl and others at Weil teamed with Pro Bono Net, an organization that serves the public interest legal community. Weil became the first user of Pro Bono Manager, PBN's new commercial software product that integrates content from the public interest legal community (including training events, volunteer opportunities and news) with powerful pro bono reporting, knowledge management and lawyer matching tools.
Congratulations to Miriam, Weil and Pro Bono Net! -M
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
The National Law Journal just published a great article on the impact of the Madoff scandal on public interest legal organizations. In response to the shortfalls facing several legal organizations, the Atlantic Philanthropies and Open Society Institute committed $300,000 in matching donations (the Brennan Center for Justice and the Center for Constitutional Rights are among the recipients). MoveOn.org coordinated the effort, which was reported here. Other work to support nonprofit victims of the scandal include efforts by a group of Jewish foundations and a website that provides links to the online donation pages of nonprofits that were hit financially. Please consider showing your support for the public interest legal organizations that were impacted by making a donation. -M
P.S. The American Lawyer reports that not every financial scheme has an unhappy ending ... "the legal department at insurance conglomerate ACE Limited put together a novel program that leveraged contributions from in-house lawyers into a $200,000 donation for three public interest groups."
Marketplace, the public radio show on finances and the economy, wants to know how the financial crisis is affecting you. They've posted an online survey where you can respond. Responses are confidential, but they are obviously looking for stories that they can air. Legal aid programs should consider responding to raise the media's and public's awareness of legal aid and how its funding is declining as the need for its services is climbing. - K
This year at my house, we decided to make this holiday season more about giving than gifting. Neither Garrett nor I need any more things, and most of our family and friends are in the same place. Because so many others haven't been as fortunate, we decided to make donations to non-profits on behalf of our family and friends rather than buying gifts. So instead of facing the post-Thanksgiving shopping crowds, Garrett and I spent time together picking out causes that matched with people's interests: FirstBook for the sister-in-law that reads more than Matthew; Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary for the brother who wants to bring every stray animal home; and health-related Gifts That Give More for my mother-in-law the nurse. Now, even if my family isn't completely satisfied with their gifts, at least I know that they won't be sitting in a closet unused.
If you are interested in doing something similar, there are plenty of sites to help you pick out the right cause. For example: Redefine Christmas, Network for Good, and JustGive.org. Or if you already know the organization you want to give to, you can head directly to their website for information on how to give.
For those of you who don't want to or can't give up giving gifts, there are still ways for you to make your gifts go farther. When you shop at The Hunger Store or Epic Change Gift Shop, a portion of your purchase helps to feed a family or build a school. Also, through We-Care.com when you shop at merchants like Target, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, a portion of your purchase is directed to the organization of your choice. (I'd recommend Pro Bono Net, but I am a little biased.)
And even if you don't want to spend any money, there are still ways for you to give. Check out the Give List. Through del.icio.us, Twitter, and their blogs, people are contributing ideas for how to give back without spending anything more than time. - K
The ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services is currently seeking nominations for the 2009 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access, which "recognizes programs and projects that have made innovative and/or substantial contributions toward meeting the legal needs of people with moderate incomes." Details about the Award and the nomination process are available here. The deadline is December 15, 2008. -M
As you may have guessed, my Internet access was spotty at the NLADA Annual Conference. Neither the hotel nor NLADA provided Internet access in the conference rooms, and I didn't spend enough time awake in my hotel room to use the connection there. But I promise that I took lots of notes and will share them shortly. However, before I get to those posts, I wanted to mention the news that filled my feed reader while I was gone: legal aid is facing a funding crisis, and lots of people still need help. The topic wasn't a surprise--funding was a part of nearly every conversation and panel at the conference. What was a surprise was the number of articles. In addition to a national perspective from NPR's All Things Considered, there was coverage from eight states:
- California (Beringer awards $25,000 to Legal Aid),
- Connecticut (Legal Assistance for the Poor Takes a Hit, Legal Aid Agency Reaches Our for Help, Legal Aid Faces Layoffs, Layoffs Loom at Legal Aid, Layoffs and Legal Aid, Hard Times for Legal Aid Agencies, Recession Cutting Legal Aid Services for the Poor)
- Massachusetts (Free Legal Help for Low-Income Residents Drying Up, MLAC Reducing Grants to Massachusetts Legal Aid Programs by 40 Percent)
- Montana (Ensuring the Promise of our Constitution)
- New Hampshire (Legal Aid Suffers Layoffs)
- Tennessee (Tenn. Bar Say More Lawyers Needed to Give Free Services, Bar Group Seeks to Broaden Free Legal Help)
- Texas (Bank Partners Up with IOLTA: Program to Use Money for Grants to Legal Aid Service Providers, Residents at rundown complex seek shelter before holiday)
- Washington (Economic Woes Threaten Legal Aid Nationwide)
But in the midst of this bad news, I did find a bright story. On Twitter, I was able to follow the progress of UberChick, who was reaching out to legal aid for help. (Posts: 11/20(1), 11/20(2), 11/20(3), 11/21(1), 11/21(2), and 11/26.) Seems that she was able to find an attorney to help her. It reminded me of what it feels like to be searching for help while trying to keep your world from falling apart. (And she's not the only potential legal aid client on Twitter. Search on "legal aid" to see who else is out there.) - K
While not technology related, this National Law Journal article on the FDIC's announcement that IOLTA funds are immediately eligible for insurance coverage under the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TGLP) should be of interest to folks in our community. "Abandoning IOLTA would have been catastrophic for IOLTA programs in all 50 states, which provide funding for legal aid for the poor," said [ABA President H. Thomas] Wells. "Moving the accounts to larger banks would have defeated the FDIC's purpose in creating the TLGP." -M
The New York LawHelp Consortium has been chosen as a semifinalist for The Collaboration Prize, a new $250,000 award that recognizes and encourages collaboration among nonprofit organizations. Made up of 11 legal aid, bar and pro bono organizations, the New York LawHelp Consortium was nominated for the prize by the Hon. Juanita Bing Newton, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives for the New York State Unified Court System. It is among 30 semifinalists chosen from 644 nominations. The press release is available here. Congrats LawHelp/NY! -M
Nominations are open for the second annual James I. Keane Memorial Award for Excellence in eLawyering, which is awarded by the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association to law offices or legal organizations that have developed legal service innovations delivered over the Internet. The Award Guidelines and Nomination Forms can be found here. The deadline for submission is January 15, 2009. -M (Thanks, Marc.)
Today's headlines are scary, and nonprofits are feeling the financial crunch. If you are looking for resources to help you plan for the upcoming year, go to the Nonprofits Assistance Fund's website. This organization works with nonprofits to help them make sound financial decisions. In fact, check out their latest blog post, which talks about steps to take as you are budgeting for the upcoming year. - K
The Legal Services Corporation and LexisNexis have announced the launch of the HotDocs® software donation program:
The new donation program will strengthen the important national online document assembly project that LexisNexis, LSC and the State Justice Institute have nurtured to provide access to justice for low-income Americans. LSC initiated that program, known as National Public Automated Documents Online (NPADO), in 2001 with a grant to the Ohio State Legal Services Association that developed a system in which legal aid programs use HotDocs® Professional Edition to create easy-to-use guided document assembly interviews from existing forms. Interviews are then uploaded to a national server, allowing users to assemble professional-looking legal documents.
Any LSC or state IOLTA funded legal services organization can request a donation using the program's website. -M
This is a post that I've been patiently waiting to write for some time now. The reason: Pam Weisz, PBN's Director of Corporate Sponsorship, would have been upset if I had announced the news ahead of her. So, until now, I've had to keep quiet. But as of today, the press release is out, and I'm free to go ahead. So here it is:
The American Bar Association has recognized Pro Bono Net and several of its partners for contributing to the understanding of professionalism among lawyers and will be presenting them with one of three E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards at the ABA Annual Meeting in New York City on August 8.
Pro Bono Net's application focused on how programs are leveraging technology to promote and support pro bono involvement in underserved, frequently rural, regions. Examples include an online pro bono manual in Mississippi that helps lawyers doing volunteer work outside their area of expertise; the use of online mailings tools to place pro bono cases in Wyoming; and pro bono trainings done via webcast in Georgia.
So let's hear it for everyone involved in these efforts. Go team! - K
You've probably heard the news. The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) intends to require a technology plan as part of its 2010 grant competition. Perhaps this news has made you happy in that you now have a good reason to get started. Or perhaps it just made you cry, rant and rave, quake in your boots or giggle hysterically. How are you going to get this done on top of everything else? And what's a technology plan anyway? Don't worry. Here's a list of free resources to help you along.
- Statewide Technology Planning Manual - The resource for technology planning in the legal aid community. LSNTAP drafted this manual to help legal aid programs develop technology plans without hiring a consultant.
- Path to Successful Technology Planning - A free webinar on June 5, 2008 from TechSoup.org. TechSoup.org is a technology community that provides free technology resources and support to the nonprofit community. They also run TechSoup Stock, which provides discounted or free technology products to nonprofits. In addition to the training, or if you can't attend, make certain to check out TechSoup.org's technology planning center.
- How to Cost and Fund ICT - A technology planning guidebook. It gets to the point of a technology plan - finding out what your technology costs and how you are going to get the money to fund it - and provides some great worksheets and checklists for you to use as a part of the process. I'll admit that I've only scanned this document and haven't read it thoroughly, but Beth Kanter and Marc Osten, its authors, are known for providing high quality content.
I hope that this gives you a handle on what technology planning involves and a few resources to get your plan started. - K
"Faced with increased demands for legal assistance from low-income Americans, several representatives of legal aid groups will appear before a congressional panel later today to help make the case for additional funding." More here.
LSC President, Helaine Barnett, and Board Chairman, Frank Strickland, last month testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee to present the case for a $471 million budget request for FY 2009, including $5 million for the Technology Initiative Grants Program (TIG). The full FY 2009 budget request is available here. -M
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
Iowa Legal Aid received the NLADA Innovations in Equal Justice Award at the 2008 Equal Justice Conference. technola is thrilled that ILA has been recognized for using technology to effectively serve low-income communities. As stated in this week's LSC Updates, "Iowa Legal Aid has long been a leader in the use of technology, pioneering the use of a statewide web-based case management system, launching a project to place internet-connected computers in senior citizen centers, and launching a statewide legal assistance web site in 2003." Kudos! - K
Good news! LawHelp.org earned a Webby nomination again this year. Webby awards are bestowed upon the best of the Net as determined by both the public and a panel of judges. Last year, LawHelp.org won the Webby Award for the Best Law Site in 2007 and came in close behind the winner of the People's Voice award.
An inside source told me that the Pro Bono Net team is pretty excited to be up for a Webby a second time. And they need your help. Help them capture the People's Voice award this year at the People's Voice website. In the famous words from Chicago: "Vote early - and often." And vote here. - K
Do you work with a great law librarian? Well, take a few minutes to recognize him or her. The Spirit of Law Librarianship Award Committee is looking for law librarians who have made a meaningful contribution to a social or charitable cause or concern. The award will be presented at the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting. Nominations are due by June 1. - K
Google presented at the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) and came with the expected information about Google's projects and priorities. But unexpectedly, they also announced a benefit for NTEN members - expedited review of Google Grant applications. You can read all about it on the NTEN site.
And a personal "woot, woot" to Joyce Raby and Liz Keith who live tweeted the NTC for those of us who couldn't attend. It was great getting live news from the sessions you attended. - K