ITC staff attended the Legal Services Corporation’s “Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) Conference” in Austin, Texas last month. Highlights of the conference included an unveiling of the National HotDocs online server, which should be fully operational by April. The ITC’s Todd Pedwell has been working on this project for the past year, developing software that allows legal services staff to integrate HotDocs forms into statewide legal services websites. Todd is passing off his work to the folks at Kaivo, who will be managing the national server in conjunction with Ohio Legal Services. Also at the conference the ITC’s Lisa Colpoys led a day of training for TIG grantees working on Pro Se projects. Ten states participated, including legal services programs from Maryland, Iowa, Montana, Colorado, Ohio, California, Minnesota and New Jersey. During several sessions at the conference the ITC and Illinois legal services were extolled for the innovative work we are doing incorporating technology into the delivery of legal services in Illinois. It’s nice to be recognized by your peers!
Many people have come together to make March 1st the official kickoff for the Self-Help Web Center located on the 6th floor of the Daley Center in Chicago. Sponsored by Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Hon. Timothy Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Chicago-Kent College of Law Advice Desk, and the Illinois Technology Center, the Self-Help Center will house two computer work stations which will be available for public use. The Center will be supported by an onsite law student who will not only answer computer users’ questions, but will also provide screening to determine if visitors qualify for free face to face assistance from the Chicago-Kent Advice Desk, located on the same floor. At the Self-Help Web Center visitors will be able to access online self-help resources via IllinoisLawHelp.org, such as an interactive form module for Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage, referrals to free and low-cost legal services, multimedia training, and legal information in 18 areas of law.
Visitors to IllinoisLegalAid, IllinoisLawHelp, and IllinoisProbono.org have been giving us feedback for about a month now, by rating content through a 5-star rating system at the bottom of each web page. We have gotten some great feedback and will be incorporating some suggestions into the websites, such as a specific web page for forms. Because the five star ratings method is familiar to so many people we think it is very conducive to inviting feedback. Our content authors across the state should be very proud of the countless 4 and 5 star ratings we have received, including:
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