Request for Proposals: Technology-focused Consultant to Provide Technical and Educational Assistance to the Legal Services Community

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) 2022 TIG-LSNTAP; Grantee: Michigan Advocacy Program

1. PURPOSE, VISION, AND OBJECTIVES

The Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) issues this RFP to hire a consultant to assist the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Program’s (LSNTAP) mission to help legal aid programs across the country improve and expand their technological capacity. This work will take place between January 2023 – December 2024 (with a possible extension for 2025 if the project is funded is funded for an additional year).

LSNTAP's mission is to empower the legal aid community to improve client services and build capacity through effective and innovative use of technology. The vision for this proposal is to find a consultant to help LSNTAP achieve this mission through technical assistance; a themed webinar series; and technology-focused toolkits.

Organizations understand that technology can be used to improve legal service delivery, but may need training, educational resources, and access to technical assistance to use technology effectively. Collaborating with a consultant will give LSNTAP (and therefore the legal aid technology community) a greater knowledge base and more capacity for providing the needed help to legal aid programs nationwide. This contract that will result from this RFP has three main objectives:

Objective #1: With LSNTAP, provide structured technical assistance to the legal services community. This may include one-on-one technical assistance to programs, more general technical assistance at “office hours” or community meetings, or via information sharing on the LSNTAP email list.

Objective #2: With LSNTAP, create and deliver to legal aid programs a series of webinars and other training modules on technology-based solutions that will help legal aid programs improve client services and program operations. The expectation is a series of ten webinars per year plus at least one more in depth training event a year.

Objective #3: With LSNTAP, create technology-focused toolkits that will equip legal aid programs with the knowledge and tools to increase their technological capacity. The expectation is to create two new toolkits per year.

The overarching goal of this project is to improve the technology capacity of the legal aid community.

2. BACKGROUND OF ORGANIZATION

The Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) is a non-profit organization that provides free legal assistance to qualifying individuals in thirteen counties in Michigan and to farm workers across the state. MAP also provides administrative services to statewide

programs including the Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP), the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, the Crime Victims Legal Assistance Program, the Michigan Legal Help Program (MLH), and the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP). MAP has been a leader in utilizing technology in a meaningful way, especially through its partnership with MPLP, which provides statewide technology support for legal services programs, and its partnership with MLH, which provides statewide services to self-represented litigants through its MLH website.

3. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

MAP took over leadership of the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP) in January of 2021. MAP’s vision is to operate LSNTAP using a hybrid approach of in-house staff plus consultant(s), leveraging the knowledge and connections of a legal services technologist with the expansive technical assistance and training resources of a consultant. Since beginning to lead LSNTAP, MAP has worked to re-engage the legal services community in LSNTAP and worked to review, cull, and organize the website’s (LSNTAP.org) resources, make the website more user-friendly, and cultivate new online resources. MAP has continued the traditional LSNTAP yearly webinar series as well as the provision of high-quality technical assistance to legal aid programs.

MAP’s LSNTAP manager will manage the overall project, engage the community, maintain the web resources, and provide some technical assistance. In addition, the LSNTAP manager will work with the advisory board to identify topics of interest to the community. However, MAP is looking for a talented consultant to collaborate on delivery of training and technical assistance.

The training aspect of this project includes MAP and the consultant collaborating on all aspects of LSNTAP’s community education (training) agenda. This includes planning and developing a free series of robust webinars which draw upon a wide variety of panelists from inside and outside the legal services technology community and highlight topics of common, current interest. In addition to the webinars, the consultant should assist LSNTAP in delivering one or two multi-media trainings which are more in-depth than a webinar and cross-over between technical assistance and training. These trainings should have the potential to create in-depth knowledge bases within the legal aid technology community.

Drawing upon the selected consultant's expertise, LSNTAP will continue providing high- quality technical assistance to programs across the country. Technology now plays a large role in nearly every aspect of service delivery, but programs have varying degrees of in-house technical expertise. LSNTAP helps programs solve technology challenges, plan new technology-related projects, compare technology vendor options

and solutions, and answer other general technology questions. MAP and the selected consultant will collaborate to determine the type and duration of technical assistance

needed and then determine a clear, systematic, and fair approach to providing this assistance.

Finally, the consultant will collaborate with LSNTAP to develop two toolkits per year similar in form to the Project Management Toolkit. Topics of these toolkits will be determined based on the needs of the legal services community. These toolkits fall into both categories of training and technical assistance.

LSC has committed funding support to LSNTAP through the end of 2024 and expects a renewal of funding for 2025; MAP intends to seek funding to continue supporting the project past 2025.

4. BUDGET AND TIMELINE

Proposals are due by 5pm (EDT) on 12/14/22 and a vendor will be selected by 12/31/22. Work on this project should begin by 1/1/23 and all work must be completed according to the Milestones attached as Exhibit A.

Our maximum budget for this contractor is $100,000 per year of service (maximum $300,000 for the period of January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2025). Proposals should be “total cost” bids covering all responsibilities for the project as described above and vendors should be prepared to commit to all three years of work.

5. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

All work done on this project is “work for hire” and all intellectual property rights shall be owned by MAP, its successors and assigns.

DEADLINE: Proposals must be delivered to Shellie Reid by email at sreid@lsscm.org no later than 5 p.m. (EDT) on 12/14/22. All proposals must include a statement of authorization to bid signed by a principal of the bidding company. All proposals must use the proposal format outlined in this RFP. Bidders must disclose any relevant conflicts of interest and/or pending lawsuits.

6. FORMAT FOR PROPOSALS

  1. Provide an Introduction/Executive Summary that includes your understanding of the project purpose, vision, and objectives as well as any recommendations for successfully completing this project.
  2. Describe your approach to fulfilling the requirements of this project. Please provide a high-level outline for a themed webinar series or an outline for a technology toolkit directed at legal services organizations to demonstrate your ability to achieve these objectives.
  3. Provide a detailed timeline to execute the project according to the deadlines in Exhibit A.
  4. Provide project Budget Estimates and Cost Projections, including:
    • A breakdown of all costs associated with the project
    • Identification of any additional expenses, fees, etc. that you will require to complete the project
  5. Include a Company or Agency Profile, including:
    • background, capabilities, experience working with the legal services technology community, experience with preparing instructional guides, experience with delivering online training modules, experience providing technology based technical assistance, and other relevant experience/skills
    • customer communication and evaluation procedures
  6. Provide two (2) references (with phone and email contact) for other similar projects you have completed or participated in.
  7. The selected vendor must be willing to provide all training materials, documentation arising from technical assistance, and toolkits as a “work for hire” and to assign all rights, title, and interest in and to the tool to MAP. If a vendor has employees or proposes to use subcontractors for this project, vendor must affirm that all employees and subcontractors will be bound by this agreement. Proposals should indicate the company or entity’s understanding that this contract is for a “work for hire” and its agreement that vendor’s work product produced in its services and the creation of the tool shall be and at all times remain the exclusive property of MAP; that vendor will not sell, transfer, publish, disclose, or otherwise make the work product available to third parties without MAP’s prior written consent; and that with regard to any works that vendor acquires ownership of from third parties, vendor hereby irrevocably assigns to MAP all right, title, and interest (including any copyright) in such works in perpetuity. Please affirmatively state your willingness to do this.
  8. Provide resumes/CVs for all who will work on the project.

7. EVALUATION PROCESS

This RFP will be released on 11/21/22. Proposals are due by 5:00 pm EDT on 12/14/22.

Between now and then, we will respond to questions; please email inquiries to Shellie Reid at sreid@lsscm.org. Our staff will review proposals, conduct interviews, and select a final vendor by 12/31/22, with work to begin shortly thereafter.

The selected vendor will be expected to enter a contract with MAP for two years (2023- 2024) with a provision that the contract automatically renews for an additional year (2025) if LSC fully funds LSNTAP for 2025. Vendors whose responses have not been selected for further negotiations or award will be notified via email.

8. THE SMALL PRINT – MISCELLANEOUS OTHER TERMS

  1. Costs of Preparing Responses: MAP will not pay any vendor costs associated with preparing responses submitted in response to this RFP.
  2. Responses Property of MAP: All responses, accompanying documentation and other materials submitted in response to this RFP shall become the property of MAP and will not be returned.
  3. Proprietary Information/Public Disclosure: To the fullest extent possible, all responses received shall remain confidential.
  4. RFP Amendments/Cancellation/Reissue/Reopen: MAP reserves the right to change the RFP Schedule or issue amendments to this RFP at any time. MAP also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP. All such actions will be posted on https://miadvocacy.org/get-involved/employment-opportunities.
  5. Minor Administrative Irregularities: MAP reserves the right to waive minor administrative irregularities contained in any response.
  6. Inability to Enter Contract: MAP reserves the right to eliminate from further consideration any vendor that MAP is unable to contract with at the time responses are due in accordance with the project timeline outlined above.
  7. No Obligation to Enter a Contract: The release of this RFP does not compel MAP to enter any contract. MAP reserves the right to refrain from contracting with any vendor that has responded to this RFP whether or not the vendor's response has been evaluated and whether or not the vendor has been determined to be qualified. Exercise of this reserved right does not affect MAP’s right to contract with any other vendor. MAP reserves the right to request an interview with any vendor and/or a demonstration from any vendor prior to entering a contract.
  8. Multiple Contracts: MAP reserves the right to enter contracts with more than one vendor as a result of this RFP.
  9. Non-Endorsement: The selection of a vendor pursuant to this RFP does not constitute an endorsement of the vendor's services. The vendor agrees to make no reference to MAP in any literature, promotional material, brochures, sales presentations, or the like without MAP’s express written consent.
  10. Contract Payment Limitations: The contract may provide for periodic payments based on completion of agreed upon milestones. Vendors should anticipate payment at the end of the invoice period in which they provide services or after they submit any deliverable for which a payment is due.

 


Exhibit A: Contractor Milestones

Deadline: 6/30/2023

  1. Assist LSNTAP manager in determining theme for 2023 webinar series.
  2. Assist LSNTAP in setting topic of two technology focused toolkits for release in 2023.
  3. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least five training webinars.
  4. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least one in-depth assistance/training event.
  5. With LSNTAP Manager, create and publish one technology-focused toolkit.
  6. In collaboration with LSNTAP Manager, provide technical assistance as needed to members of the legal aid community.

Deadline: 12/31/2023

  1. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least five training webinars.
  2. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least one in-depth assistance/training event.
  3. With LSNTAP Manager, create and publish one technology-focused toolkit.
  4. In collaboration with LSNTAP Manager, provide technical assistance as needed to members of the legal aid community.
  5. Assist LSNTAP manager in determining theme for 2024 webinar series.
  6. With LSNTAP Manager, determine topic and begin drafting two additional technology-focused toolkits for release in 2024.

Deadline: 6/30/2024

  1. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least five training webinars.
  2. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least one in-depth assistance/training event.
  3. With LSNTAP Manager, create and publish one technology-focused toolkit.
  4. In collaboration with LSNTAP Manager, provide technical assistance as needed to members of the legal aid community.

Deadline 12/31/24

  1. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least five training webinars.
  2. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least one in-depth assistance/training event.
  3. With LSNTAP Manager, create and publish one technology-focused toolkit.
  4. In collaboration with LSNTAP Manager, provide technical assistance as needed to members of the legal aid community.
  5. Assist LSNTAP manager in determining theme for 2025 webinar series.
  6. With LSNTAP Manager, determine topic and begin drafting two additional technology-focused toolkits for release in 2025.

Deadline: 6/30/2025 (contingent on funding)

  1. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least five training webinars.
  2. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least one in-depth assistance/training event.
  3. With LSNTAP Manager, create and publish one technology-focused toolkit.
  4. In collaboration with LSNTAP Manager, provide technical assistance as needed to members of the legal aid community.

Deadline 12/31/2025 (contingent on funding)

  1. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least five training webinars.
  2. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least one in-depth assistance/training event.
  3. With LSNTAP Manager, create and publish one technology-focused toolkit.
  4. In collaboration with LSNTAP Manager, provide technical assistance as needed to members of the legal aid community.
  5. Assist LSNTAP manager in determining theme for 2025 webinar series.
  6. With LSNTAP Manager, determine topic and begin drafting two additional technology-focused toolkits for release in 2025.

 

Date Posted: 
Monday, November 21, 2022