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

Legal Services Corporation TIG #21001; Grantee: Michigan Advocacy Program

1. PURPOSE, VISION, AND OBJECTIVES

The Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) issues this RFP to hire a consultant to help legal aid programs across the country improve and expand their technological capacity through the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Program (LSNTAP). This work will take place between June 2021 – December 2022.

The vision for this project is for a consultant to help LSNTAP improve the technical capacity within the legal aid community through technical assistance; a themed webinar series; and technology-focused toolkits.

This project has three main objectives:

  • Objective #1: With LSNTAP, provide structured technical assistance to the legal services community.
  • 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.
  • Objective #3: With LSNTAP, create four technology-focused toolkits that will equip legal aid programs with the knowledge and tools to increase their technological capacity.

The overarching goal of this project is to improve the technology capacity of the legal aid community. Organizations understand that technology can be used to improve legal service delivery, but many 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.

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 farmworkers across the state, and 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, 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, 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. MAP has been working to re-engage the legal services community in LSNTAP through targeted outreach and a kick-off conference in early 2021. MAP has also been working to review, cull, and organize LSNTAP.org’s resources, make the website more user-friendly, and cultivate new online resources. MAP will continue the traditional LSNTAP yearly webinar series and continue to provide high quality technical assistance to legal aid programs through traditional as well as innovative delivery systems. MAP will increase LSNTAP's support of national technology projects and boost the visibility of other programs' replicable technology projects. 

MAP’s LSNTAP manager has an innovative vision and expertise in the needs of the legal aid community; she will manage the overall project, engage the community, manage the web resources, and provide some technical assistance. MAP is looking for a talented consultant to collaborate on two of its deliverables: training and technical assistance.

The training aspect of this project includes MAP and the consultant collaborating on all aspects of LSNTAP’s training agenda. This includes planning and developing a robust free webinar series of at least ten webinars per year, continuing to draw a wide variety of panelists from inside and outside the legal services technology community and highlighting topics of common, current interest. MAP is engaging a LSNTAP advisory board with representatives from legal aid programs across the country to engage in a small strategic planning session to develop goals for the next few years. Through this process, MAP will work to identify an annual theme and develop several of the webinars around that theme. In addition to the webinars, MAP aims to develop live or on-demand, multi-media trainings similar to the User Design and Experience trainings that are happening now with TIG 19039. These trainings are a cross-over between technical assistance and training, and have the potential to create in-depth knowledge bases within the legal aid technology community. 

LSNTAP must continue to provide high quality technical assistance to programs across the country with the assistance of the selected consultant. Programs have varying degrees of in-house technical expertise, and technology now plays a large role in nearly every aspect of service delivery. Under MAP’s leadership, LSNTAP will continue to provide assistance to programs encountering technology challenges, planning new technology-related projects, comparing technology vendor options and solutions, and other general technology questions. MAP and the selected consultant will collaborate early on to determine the type and duration of technical assistance needed and then determine a clear, systematic, and fair approach to providing this assistance. MAP hopes to offer additional innovative ways of delivering technical assistance services such as “LSNTAP Office Hours” and informal small group chats at a designated time, where individuals can sign up for advice on a particular topic, and others can join if they are interested.

Finally, the consultant will collaborate with LSTNAP to develop four toolkits similar to the Online Intake and Call Center Kits. Topics of toolkits to be determined based on the needs of the legal services community. These toolkits fall into both categories of training and technical assistance.

MAP has funding to support LSNTAP through the end of 2022 but intends to seek funding to continue supporting the project past that date.

4. BUDGET AND TIMELINE

Proposals are due by 5pm (EST) on 06/04/21 and a vendor will be selected by 06/18/21. Work on this project should begin by 06/30/21 at the latest and all work must be completed according to the Milestones attached as Exhibit A.

Our maximum budget for this contractor is $120,000. Payment will be made in three installments as agreed-upon milestones are met. Proposals should be “total cost” bids covering all responsibilities for the project as described above.

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 LaDierdre McKinney by email at lmckinney@lsscm.org no later than 5 p.m. (EST) on 06/11/21. 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. Introduction/executive summary, including your understanding of the project purpose, vision, and objectives and recommendations for how to complete this project most successfully.
  2. Describe your approach to fulfilling the requirements of this project. Please provide a high-level outline for themed webinar series or an outline for a technology toolkit directed at legal services organizations.
  3. Provide a detailed timeline to execute 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 any additional expenses, fees, etc. that you will require to complete the project
  5. Include a Company or Agency Profile, including:
    • background, capabilities, experience with 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 and best practices report as a “work for hire” and to assign all right, title, and interest in and to the tool to MAP. If 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 05/14/21. Proposals are due by 5:00 pm EST on 06/11/21.

Between now and then, we will respond to any questions you may have; please email inquiries to LaDierdre McKinney at lmckinney@lsscm.org. Our staff will review proposals, conduct interviews, and select a final vendor by 6/25/21, with work to begin shortly thereafter.

The selected vendor will be expected to enter a contract with MAP. 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: 12/31/2021

  1. With LSNTAP, draft two technology focused toolkits.
  2. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least five training webinars.
  3. Provide technical assistance as needed and as agreed to in collaboration with LSNTAP.

Deadline: 6/30/2022

  1. Assist LSNTAP manager in determining theme for 2022 webinar series.
  2. Publish two technology focused toolkits; with LSNTAP, begin drafting two additional toolkits.
  3. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least five training webinars.
  4. Provide technical assistance as needed and as agreed to in collaboration with LSNTAP.
  5. Assist LSNTAP manager in planning at least one in-depth assistance/training event.

Deadline: 12/31/2022

  1. With LSNTAP Manager, plan and deliver at least five training webinars.
  2. Assist LSNTAP manager in hosting at least one in-depth assistance/training event.
  3. Finalize and publish two additional technology-focused toolkits.
  4. Provide technical assistance as needed and as agreed to in collaboration with LSNTAP.
Date Posted: 
Friday, May 14, 2021