Bay Area Legal Services Receives Technology Grant from the Legal Services Corporation

Bay Area Legal Services has been awarded a $138,010 Technology Innovation Grant (TIG) from the Legal Services Corporation to create a firmwide culture of continuous improvement. The firm has designed the TIG project to serve as a national model for legal aid organizations.

Over the next two years, the TIG project will integrate business process improvement (BPI) initiatives and firmwide training to promote the adoption of document assembly tools for delivering high-quality legal services to the Tampa Bay area's vulnerable low-income clients. The project will integrate document assembly software and case management software to more efficiently generate highly accurate, user-friendly client and court documents. The goal: more efficient and effective uses of time by all staff, and less time spent by advocates on administrative tasks, will mean more time to focus on achieving positive client outcomes.

The project's BPI process will enable staff to have a complete understanding of how a targeted task or function is performed at all levels of the firm, allowing all staff to better understand their work independently and as a team, to simplify and improve their own processes, identify new processes to be improved, implement technology to enhance their work, increase adoption of new practices and technology, and reduce costs. Throughout the project's BPI initiatives, advocates and staff will be the ones shaping the improvements and their implementations.

Bay Area Legal Services and Legal Services of Greater Miami Receive Technology Grants from the Legal Services Corporation

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Bay Area Legal Services will receive a $138,010 Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) and Legal Services of Greater Miami will receive a $106,892 grant to improve the organizations’ use of technology in assisting low-income individuals with civil legal needs.

Established in 2000, LSC’s TIG program supports legal aid organizations in developing and replicating technologies that improve efficiency and provide greater access to high-quality legal assistance. 

“LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants support projects that improve the delivery of legal services and information to people who would otherwise have to navigate the legal system alone,” said LSC President Ronald S. Flagg. “These projects use technology to leverage scarce human resources and increase access to justice for low-income individuals and families with critical legal needs.”

Bay Area Legal Services will use the grant to integrate its document assembly and case management software to produce user-friendly client and court documents. Processing more than 58,000 applications every year, the organization will economize its resources across its five-county service area and two statewide legal helplines. 

Legal Services of Greater Miami will use TIG funding to expand the online intake system currently used by five Florida legal aid organizations, including Bay Area Legal Services, to include the Florida Senior Legal Helpline and the Florida Veterans Legal Helpline. The grant will also help Legal Services of Greater Miami add analytics to gather data about time spent on applications and eligibility determinations.

Members of Congress congratulated Legal Services of Greater Miami on the grant.

“I am pleased that the Legal Services Corporation has awarded this Technology Initiative Grant to Legal Services of Greater Miami,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (FL). “This funding will support the expansion of legal services for Florida seniors and veterans, making the online intake system more streamlined and efficient.”

“My team and I have witnessed, first-hand, the invaluable assistance that Legal Services of Greater Miami offers to our community and our constituents,” said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25). “I am a strong supporter of their work, and I am proud of the funding I have secured, and will continue to secure, through my role on the appropriations committee."

The organizations are two of 24 recipients of 2020 TIG funding totaling nearly $4 million.