VLA is an independent statutory authority funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments to provide legal aid in the most effective, economic and efficient manner to the Victorian community.
VLA provides services to over 80,000 clients each year and have over 400 staff involved in direct legal services. These services are provided to VLA clients from 14 offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria. VLA lawyers represent their clients in all court jurisdictions throughout Victoria.
When VLA embarked on a legal template automation project in the middle of 2013 the extraction of data from multiple applications was a key consideration. VLA had a number of existing applications which contained information, which ideally the new template system could access and include in the legal document.
VLA was also looking for a web based document automation system that staff can easily access from various work locations across various devices.
Victoria Legal Aid
Provide a user-friendly, web-based interface for the generation of hundreds of types of legal documents by geographically-dispersed personnel, and integrated with grants, HR, and case management systems.
A successful three-month Proof of Concept project enabled VLA to prove the automation of a number of key templates and the integration of ActiveDocs with their existing applications. In the following 18 months VLA have automated over 3000 Templates in the integrated deployment.
The solution provides automated Templates to VLA’s 300+ lawyers, allowing the daily generation of more than 400 accurate, content-approved, legal documents with an average production time of two seconds. Integration with VLA’s SharePoint Case Management System (SharePoint Online / Office 365) using the ActiveDocs SharePoint Module has significantly improved usability for end-users.
“The ActiveDocs application together with the hard work of the project team was the core reason for the excellent outcome. The ability of ActiveDocs to easily integrate with our key data sources and our SharePoint Case Management System has established it as a key integration tool.”
– Hans Wolf, CIO
VLA went to market for a system which would provide a user-friendly, web-based interface to enable legal documents to be produced wherever the VLA staff were operating. The system also needed to be capable of integrating easily with the VLA’s other applications including the Atlas Grants System, Human Resources, and SharePoint for Case Management (SharePoint Online / Office 365).
After an assessment process VLA elected to initiate a 3 month Proof of Concept (POC) using ActiveDocs. The POC enabled VLA to automate a selected number of document templates to determine the practical use of ActiveDocs as an automation tool and to determine whether it would deliver their project objectives.
At the conclusion of the POC, VLA confirmed its order for ActiveDocs from ActiveDocs’ Victorian Reseller i2 Management and during the intervening 18 months have created and deployed over 3000 automated templates which integrate with the Atlas Grants System, VLA’s new SharePoint Case Management System (SharePoint Online / Office 365), and VLA’s HR system.
Hans Wolf, VLA’s Chief Information Officer, is delighted with the success of the project. “The ActiveDocs application together with the hard work of the project team was the core reason for the excellent outcome. The ability of ActiveDocs to easily integrate with our key data sources and our SharePoint Case Management System has established it as a key integration tool. We anticipate using its capabilities in other areas of VLA in the future. Our ActiveDocs reseller i2 Management were very supportive during the project providing application expertise as we required it and effective communications with the ActiveDocs support group.”
Templates are designed and managed in ActiveDocs Designer by VLA personnel, with optional approval workflows on specific content.
Approved Templates are released into the VLA Production system where lawyers can access them to create legal documents on a permissions-controlled basis.
Templates are automatically rendered as simple question-and-answer sessions in the ActiveDocs document wizard, using data supplied or selected by the user in combination with data sourced directly from VLA’s other applications including the Atlas Grants System, HR, and Case Management.
Generated documents are routed seamlessly to VLA’s SharePoint Case Management system and are associated automatically with cases.
Web-based wizard-driven end-user interface allows permissions-controlled generation of documents using data from user and other systems by lawyers working in and out of their offices across the state.
Integration capabilities of ActiveDocs allow seamless user experience, use of existing data for document generation, and document routing.
The project has achieved VLA’s objective to provide ActiveDocs automated templates to their 300+ lawyers. Use of the templates has grown as more templates have been released; on a typical day 150 of those lawyers are producing over 400 documents. Performance has been impressive with the average document production time sitting at around 2 seconds.
The SharePoint interface provided by the ActiveDocs SharePoint Module enabled VLA to deliver automated templates and Case Management within the SharePoint Neighborhood, significantly improving the usability for end users.