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Remote Legal Services Delivery Using Best Practices and Technology 2021


Speaker(s): Alison L. Paul, Charlie Gillig, Cindy S. Woods, David Bonebrake, Dina Shafey Scott, Jeanne Ortiz-Ortiz, Pat Malone, Phong S. Wong, Shrushti Y. Kothari, Swapna C. Reddy, Toby J. Rothschild
Recorded on: Jan. 11, 2021
PLI Program #: 312711

Alison Paul has been the Executive Director of the Montana Legal Services Association in Helena, Montana, since 2011, and with the program since 1998. Alison attended law school at the University of Kansas, and was in private practice in Chicago, Illinois, primarily advising tax-exempt organizations on tax and corporate issues before moving to Montana.  Alison is a member of the Montana Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, on the Board of Directors of the Montana Nonprofit Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, also serving as Chair of the NLADA Civil Policy Group.


Charlie Gillig is Vice-President of Operations and Legal Technology at Neighborhood Legal Services of LA County (NLSLA), one of California’s largest legal aid providers. Charlie is also an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, where he established and teaches “Artificial Intelligence and Access to Justice” and was. Lecturer-in-Law at UCLA School of Law. At NLSLA, Charlie previously was Director of Legal Technology and Supervising Attorney of the Health Consumer Center.

Prior to NLSLA, Charlie founded a technology social enterprise to prevent predatory practices against consumers in the remittance industry and was a Skadden Fellow at the immigration legal services non-profit Casa Cornelia Law Center. From 2012-2015, Charlie served as a Commissioner on the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Charlie received the Jeffrey Crandall Award, given to the graduating student who most exemplifies the ideals and commitments to legal aid. Prior to law school, he served in the United States Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa.


Cindy Woods is Managing Attorney of the Proyecto de Ayuda para Solicitantes de Asilo (PASA), an initiative of the Asylum Defense Project. At PASA, she provides legal services to vulnerable asylum-seekers subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols with court in Laredo, Texas. Cindy previously served as staff attorney for Proyecto Dilley, where she represented detained asylum-seeking mothers and their child in expedited removal proceedings. Through her work in both of these projects, Cindy has helped developed and lead various remote, volunteer-based, legal service projects. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center.


David Bonebrake is a Program Counsel for Technology at the Legal Services Corporation and is responsible for helping manage LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) Program. TIG funds innovative technology projects that improve quality and access to legal services across the country. David also works on special LSC technology initiatives and regularly speaks on technology-related topics at legal aid conferences. He was LSC’s project lead on the development of the HeartlandFloodHelp.org website, a portal focused on flood issues and recovery in the Midwest, and is currently overseeing a website project that will highlight LSC’s broader efforts in the disaster space. In 2016, David led a national effort funded through the Ford Foundation to evaluate the effectiveness of statewide legal information websites.


Dina is the training and technical assistance manager with the Legal Services Corporation. While at LSC, Dr. Shafey Scott creates, manages and evaluates all organizational training resources and is developing the new Legal Services Corporation learning platform. Dr. Shafey Scott has an M.P.A. and a Ph.D. in Minority and Urban Education, Curriculum, and Instruction from the University of Maryland College Park. Her research focused on the intersectional identities of marginalized populations to better develop strategies for equal access to education. Dr. Shafey Scott has more than 15 years of experience in working with organizations and institutions build a more comprehensive understanding of diversity, access, and inclusion through the creation of equitable training and education resources.


Jeanne is the Pro Bono & Strategic Initiatives Manager at Pro Bono Net, a national nonprofit dedicated to building innovative technology tools for nonprofit legal service organizations and pro bono attorneys. Jeanne develops and builds upon state and national digital initiatives that strengthen the work of legal advocates helping communities with their legal problems. She has presented on a range of topics including technology, language justice, pro bono, disaster recovery, and diversity and inclusion at events hosted by the Pro Bono Institute, the American Bar Association, the Practising Law Institute, the Legal Services Corporation, the Legal Talk Network, and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. 

In the wake of the 2017 major natural disasters, Jeanne served as Pro Bono Net’s Disaster Response Legal Fellow and volunteered as a disaster legal assistance attorney for survivors affected by Hurricane María in Puerto Rico. As a fellow, she organized initiatives to support disaster survivors and assist attorneys working on disaster legal aid. Jeanne also co-authored Touro Law Review’s “Disaster Legal Tech: Strategies for Providing Legal Information to Survivors.”

Before joining Pro Bono Net, Jeanne provided free legal representation and employment discrimination litigation on behalf of low-income LGBT individuals in Puerto Rico. She also worked as a legal fellow at the Central Alabama Fair Housing Center in Montgomery, Alabama, to ensure Fair Housing Act compliance in several counties and support systemic lending investigations.

While completing her law school degree, Jeanne worked for the U.S. Army Reserve Office of the Staff Judge Advocate. She also founded and led an award-winning Ms. JD chapter providing law students with career resources and networking opportunities. Jeanne received an award for her three-year service in her law school’s pro bono program, where she facilitated workshops on reproductive and constitutional rights to communities in Puerto Rico.

Jeanne is a volunteer for the American Bar Association Disaster Legal Services Program, where she helps coordinate immediate and free temporary legal help to disaster survivors across the country.  In 2020, she was appointed to a 3-year term as a member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Disaster Preparedness and Response and became an affiliate of the New York City Bar Association Pro Bono & Legal Services Committee. She is bilingual and admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


Ms. Kothari is the Project Manager of National Disaster Content and Resources and previously served as a Staff Attorney in the Disaster Relief Unit at Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston, TX. She also serves as a Content Manager for DisasterLegalAid.org, the LSC disaster website, and the Disaster Assistance Recovery Tool. Ms. Kothari is a member of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Disaster Legal Services Program, is actively involved in the COVID-19 legal response, and chairs multiple response committees. Ms. Kothari’s areas of legal expertise include disaster, probate, real estate, and title clearing.


Pat Malone is Associate & Legal Director at the Immigration Advocates Network, a project of Pro Bono Net. She has 20 years' experience in immigration law and project management. At IAN, she manages programs, supports staff, and creates training and community education content for IAN's online resources. Pat's expertise is writing plain language legal articles and interactive interviews to help people understand immigration law. Previously, she worked at Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), where she managed local outreach projects, represented immigrants in proceedings, trained and supported immigration practitioners, and recruited pro bono counsel to represent immigrant children. Prior to CLINIC, she worked at Proyecto Libertad in Harlingen, Texas and AYUDA in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law and the State University of New York in Oneonta.


Swapna Reddy is a co-founder and Co-Executive Director of the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP). ASAP is a membership-based organization comprised of tens of thousands of asylum seekers from 130 countries now living in all 50 U.S. states. ASAP works alongside its members to reimagine and build a more humane U.S. asylum system. ASAP provides its members with legal education and legal assistance at a distance, successfully resolving more than 1,800 legal emergencies for its members to date. Swapna’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Today Show, and has won the support of an Ashoka fellowship, an Echoing Green fellowship, and the J.M.K. Innovation Prize, among other recognition.


Phong Wong is the Pro Bono Director at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and has devoted her legal career to helping those in need. At LAFLA, Phong oversees the pro bono program and coordinates the outreach, recruitment and hiring of all volunteers. She works closely with pro bono partners including law firms, law schools, bar associations, incubator attorneys, and community groups to develop and implement pro bono projects and trainings. These projects include technology innovations such as remote videoconferencing clinics and the online Pro Bono Training Institute as ways to expand pro bono service. Before becoming Pro Bono Director, Phong worked on slum housing litigation, subsidized housing, housing redevelopment and access to justice issues. Phong started her career as a Loyola Law School Fellow with the Western Center on Law and Poverty and LAFLA, focusing on reducing access to court barriers and supporting right to civil counsel initiatives.


Toby J. Rothschild is Of Counsel to OneJustice, providing ethics training and counselling to legal services programs in California. He retired after serving as the General Counsel of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles for 13 years. Prior to that, he was the executive director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach for 28 years and Interim Executive Director of LAFLA. He graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1969, and has worked at legal aid programs since graduation. He has been the president of the Long Beach Bar Association and was Vice Chair of the California Commission on Access to Justice. Toby served as a member of the State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, a member of the California Lawyers Association and Orange County Bar Ethics Committees, and as Chair of the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar. He was liaison on access to justice issues to the first commission which drafted the proposed new California Rules of Professional Responsibility, and was a member and vice chair of the second Rule Revision Commission. He also has served as a member of the State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission. He served as co-vice chair of the State Bar Task Force on Access Through Innovations in Legal Services, and is a member of the State Bar Closing the Justice Gap Working Group.