Mirenda Meghelli is the LawHelp Interactive Program Coordinator at Pro Bono Net, where she works as part of a team to support and grow initiatives using LawHelp Interactive, an award-winning national online document assembly platform operated by Pro Bono Net in partnership with legal aid, pro bono and court access to justice programs across the country. Mirenda has been spearheading the LawHelp Interactive rebuild project, along with Doug Carlson, Pro Bono Net’s Director of Technology and Operations.
Each year, Pro Bono Net’s LawHelp Interactive (LHI) hosts a technical summit, a time to meet in-person with various LHI partners, grantors, consultants and stakeholders. The summit provides an opportunity for these stakeholders, who are spread throughout the country, to meet in the same room and dedicate at least a full day to planning and evaluating various aspects of the LHI project. This March was my third year in attendance and we spent a lot of time engaging in strategic planning on LHI and how to support evolving partner needs and uses, as opposed to previous years in which there was a much stronger focus on coordination and planning of the LHI technical roadmap for the year.
Something that struck me about the 2015 technical summit is how partner presence and participation adds color to strategic discussions about LHI’s future. While LHI Program Manager Claudia and I are in regular contact with LHI partners on day-to-day needs, and have an opportunity to review the annual LHI survey where we hear from partners about their experience with LHI each year, this summit allowed us to really discuss what is working and what needs to be improved with a geographically diverse group of LHI power users from Courts and legal aid organizations. To do this conversationally, in-person, and while looking at the big picture, with LHI partners is invaluable. For instance, we had partners from four of LHI’s top 5 states in usage.
With the continued growth of LHI users and uses and fast-approaching launch of the LHI rebuild environment, 2015 will be an exciting year for LHI. The whole team appreciates everyone who attended the LHI summit*, and the broader community of LHI partners and users who make the platform a success and work with us when we face challenges.
On another note, I feel the opposite of appreciation for a certain airline who diverted me to Pittsburgh en route to the tech summit and who misplaced my luggage for a week. But that’s a story for another time.
*LHI tech summit participants were as follows:
- Glenn Rawdon & Jane Ribadeneyra (LSC)
- Josh Goodwin (Southeastern Ohio Legal Services/OSLSA)
- Bonnie Hough (California Administrative Office of the Courts)
- John Mayer (Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction)
- Michael Mills (Neota Logic)
- Dave Lampert (HotDocs Corporation)
- Dora Galacatos (Feerick Center/CLARO)
- Tony Lu (Immigration Advocates Network)
- Kristin Verrill (Atlanta Legal Aid Society)
- Ben Carpenter (Community Legal Services of Mid Florida)
- Rochelle Klempner (New York State Courts Access to Justice Program)
- Angela Tripp (Michigan Poverty Law Program/ Michigan Legal Help)
- Teri Ross (Illinois Legal Aid Online)
- Marc Lauritsen (Capstone Practice Systems)
- Bart Earle (Capstone Practice Systems)
Staff participants included:
- Mark O’Brien, ED
- Doug Carlson, Tech Director
- Claudia Johnson, LawHelp Program Manager
- Liz Keith, Program Director
- Greg Tenzer, Senior Developer
- Alice Pucheu, Project Manager
- Kanchana Hedge, QA Engineer
**Special thanks for Davis Polk for hosting the event.