Michigan Legal Help Program - Legal Technologist
POSITION: The Michigan Legal Help Program (MLHP) is seeking a Legal Technologist to join its small team of advocates contributing to one of the most innovative self-help websites in the country. MLHP provides legal information to people representing themselves in Michigan as well as tools to create the paperwork they need and step-by-step instructions to handle their legal problems from start to finish. MLHP also created a Guide to Legal Help to provide curated resources for visitors, and a What’s Next Text program that texts visitors automatically to help them at every stage of their legal issue. We recognize the value of data analysis and the ways it can increase the effectiveness of legal assistance we provide. MLHP has been in existence for over ten years, but this is our first legal technologist hire, so this is an opportunity to shape this position. All MLHP staff are based out of the Ypsilanti office with a hybrid in-office/remote work schedule; a 100% remote option is also possible for Michigan residents. This is a unique opportunity to use your data analysis and other technology skills in innovative ways to help people effectively engage in our civil justice system and successfully handle their own legal problems who would otherwise not be able to do so on their own.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: MLHP works with judges, courts, lawyers, bar associations, nonprofits, self-help centers, libraries, and many others to promote coordinated and quality assistance for people addressing their own civil legal problems in Michigan. MLHP is an active participant of the Michigan Supreme Court’s Justice for All Commission and works closely with other stakeholders to achieve the Commission’s goals. Our interactive statewide website is a nationally recognized model that provides legal information, self-help tools, and referrals to the public and to other advocates. Over 63,000 people visit the MLH website per week, and in 2021, people used its Do-It-Yourself Tools to create more than 300 sets of legal forms per day. MLHP supports a Spanish language version of the site at AyudaLegaldeMichigan.org and provides live chat assistance (LiveHelp) for all web visitors between 11am-3pm weekdays. MLHP also develops and supports Self-Help Centers around the state to provide access to public computers and help from trained Navigators. Visit michiganlegalhelp.org for more information.
MLHP is part of Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services (MSAS), a non-profit law firm providing free legal services to older adults and people with low income through several statewide programs. MSAS is administered by the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), which provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through civil legal aid offices and statewide advocacy programs. MAP’s mission is to advance the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions. Visit miadvocacy.org.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Primary Legal Technologist responsibilities include:
- Data collection and analysis: Use the numerous ways that MLH collects data (including surveys, Google Analytics, Drupal back-end, case management systems, Twilio, Google Firebase, and through partners like LawHelp Interactive) to improve the services offered and learn about our impact. Regularly share data with the MLHP team and our partners, build data visualizations, and assemble necessary data for recurrent grant reporting, applications, and communications with partners.
- Implement and use data standards to facilitate data sharing between partners and lead data sharing efforts: MLHP is a critical part of the legal services delivery structure in Michigan, and we hope to increase data sharing with other partners including the State Court Administrative Office, the State Bar of Michigan, the Michigan Bar Foundation, and regional legal aid programs, among others, including some national partners. This will involve researching and implementing data standards for key aspects of MLHP’s data and leading data sharing efforts between partners as part of Justice For All Commission efforts and others.
- Participating in justice community partnerships: Collaborate on national and statewide projects including Self-Represented Litigation Network work groups and Justice for All Commission Technology and Data Sharing Committee.
- Contributing to the overall operations of MLH: Participate in Technology Innovation Grant projects impacting MLHP, such as What’s Next Text and Michigan Legal Help’s website redesign, to ensure easy collection and analysis of key data points; assist with aspects of other projects as needed.
- Usability Testing: Collaborate on designing and executing tests and studies to measure the usability of the MLH website with a group of representative users (in-person or remote tests using a UX Research Platform, such as Optimal Workshop).
- Taking on one of the two following specialty assignments:
- Document Assembly: MLH currently has a library of 50 DIY Tools that self-represented litigants use to prepare their own legal documents. Existing tools use A2J Author, HotDocs, and Docassemble platforms. The Legal Technologist would become familiar with development of DIY tools in these platforms, and along with our contracted developer, be responsible for development of new DIY Tools, testing of all DIY Tools, and maintenance of the library of DIY Tools.
- Social Media and Outreach: including MLH’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as an events calendar listing clinics and other events throughout the state that may be of interest to MLH visitors.
QUALIFICATIONS: A bachelor’s degree in information science or related field, or commensurate professional experience, is required. We value analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as a demonstrated commitment to serving low-income individuals and underserved populations through lived or learned experience. Applicants must be able to effectively manage multiple tasks, set priorities, be detail-oriented, and meet all deadlines. The position requires excellent verbal and written communication skills, a commitment to increasing access to justice for people without representation, the ability to take initiative in the development and completion of projects, and the ability to work successfully on teams. Experience with Google Analytics, Microsoft Office, and Google Workspace is required, as is experience in data collection/analysis and communication of results. Experience with document assembly development is a bonus. Applicants will need access to a reliable internet connection if they intend to work remotely.
BENEFITS: This is a full-time, exempt position with a 2022 salary starting at $47,000 depending on experience and education. MAP offers a generous benefits package including life, short- and long-term disability, health, vision, dental and flexible spending accounts. If staff do not require health benefits, they have the option to take an annual $1,500 payout in addition to the base salary paid over the course of the year. MAP also has a generous leave policy allowing staff to accrue 3 weeks paid vacation the first year and 13 paid holidays, as well as an annual 2% contribution and 2% match to retirement plan subject to board approval for eligible staff. MAP is a qualifying employer for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
TO APPLY: Send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with “MLH Legal Technologist” in the subject line. Applications received by 6/13/22 will receive priority.
The Michigan Advocacy Program is an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.