Legal Services Corporation

Legal Services Corporation Baselines: Technologies That Should Be in Place in a Legal Aid Office Today (Revised 2015)

In LSC’s Strategic Directions 2006-2010, adopted by the LSC Board of Directors in January 2006, LSC committed to “develop a strategic vi-sion for technology” as part of its commitment to enhancing the quality of civil legal services. As a major part of that vision, LSC defined the technology capacities that its grantees should have in place or have available to them through a vendor or a partner by issuing Technologies That Should Be in Place in a Legal Aid Office Today (also referred to as the LSC Baselines) in November, 2008. The document was drafted at an LSC-sponsored conference of technology experts from the private bar, foundations, the judiciary, academia, Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Ac-count programs, and LSC-funded programs.

Five years later, at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) Technology Section meeting during the 2013 Equal Justice Con-ference, a project was proposed to update the LSC Baselines: Technologies That Should Be in Place in a Legal Aid Office Today. Following that meeting, LSC’s Technology Initiative Grant program staff began working with the NLADA Technology Section. We invited a group of legal aid stakeholders from both LSC-funded and non LSC-funded organizations to a half-day meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, in January 2014. We en-gaged Idealware, a nonprofit organization that provides impartial and accessible resources about software to help nonprofits make smart software decisions, as a consultant. Idealware coordinated input leading up to the stakeholders meeting, including posting the original Base-lines for public comment and through a community webinar in January, 2014 hosted by NLADA. Laura Quinn, Idealware’s Executive Director, facilitated the detailed review of the 2008 baselines by those attending the meeting in Jacksonville.

Idealware reviewed all of the input from the legal aid community and the stakeholders meeting and provided proposed revisions to the Base-lines document. LSC and the NLADA Technology Section worked together to review the suggested edits and to make further modifications, and provided a draft of the revised Baselines for stakeholders’ review and input in May 2014. Following a two-month comment period, LSC and the NLADA Technology Section made final revisions and clarifications to the document.

The technology capacities described in these Baselines are intended for any legal aid office that provides a full range of legal services.