Excel Attorney Directory

Organization Name
Chelan Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services
Mission Statement

The mission statement of the Chelan Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services (VAS) is “Achieving Justice in our community by helping low income people with civil legal problems through high quality, free legal services.”

City & State
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: The attorney directory was a handwritten hard copy of contact information including areas of practice and last time served. This hampered the scheduling of attorneys as well as matching attorneys for full representation cases. VAS is required to track pro bono hours, and strives to contact attorneys with fewer hours, while also tracking full representation cases. It was impossible to look at a list of only family law attorneys, or only those attorneys who haven’t served yet. This also compromised recruitment due to lack of appropriate matching of attorneys to cases. Services were slower because it took longer to find the appropriate attorney. Appointments were rescheduled because the attorney couldn’t advise them. This prolonged the client’s cases and frustrated the volunteer attorneys.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: I used Microsoft Excel in my marketing experience at Cherry Creek Radio where Excel was required for submission of budget and sales reports. I implemented Excel for an Attorney Directory. The laptop that is used at home in the evenings has Microsoft 2007, while the desktop computer at my office has Microsoft 2003, which presents some challenges. Once established, VAS had access to any list needed. The directory contains each member of the Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan County Bar Association, including: name, title, assistant’s name and email, attorney’s email (further enhancing Excel’s usefulness because an email can be sent through Microsoft Outlook right from the directory), and all the information needed pertaining to areas of practice as seen in the submitting supporting work.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: 4. With this new directory I can now filter the list by any one of the above data types. This has greatly enhanced services at VAS as well as the recruitment of attorneys. I can now filter the list to show which firms accepted the most full representation cases, or which attorneys did family law clinics last, or which attorneys handle both family law and real estate and who haven’t yet taken a full representation case. When scheduling a client for clinic, we can refer to the directory to determine if the attorney can assist with their particular case. There are fewer rescheduled appointments because cases are better matched, and attorneys are taking more full representation cases because of better matching which maximizes their legal efforts and results.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: Prior to the implementation of the Excel Directory, there was on average 7.3 volunteer attorneys per month, and since the Excel Directory, there is now an average of 12.3 volunteer attorneys per month. More attorneys are willing to volunteer for VAS because both their time and legal skills are maximized resulting in a more rewarding volunteer experience. Additionally, there have been more cases taken for full representation, prior to the Excel Directory, there was an average of 2.3 cases taken per month, and now the average is 5.6 cases each month. Over the course of a year, the implementation of this Excel Directory is projected to result in additional 40 cases per year receiving pro bono full representation, and increased participation of Bar Association members.

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