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Managing Pro Bono Advocates' Subjects

LegalServer provides your organization with a convenient way to keep track of the subject areas your pro bono volunteers practice in as well as their level of expertise in each area. Using this feature will make the job of selecting appropriate volunteers for pro bono cases much easier. When used in conjunction with the pro bono opportunities tool, it can even allow pro bono volunteers to select their own cases.

A Note on Subjects and Legal Problem Codes

In LegalServer, it is possible to associate pro bono advocates with both legal problem codes and other generic subject areas specific to your organization. The legal problem codes an organization can use are often dictated by funders. Generic subject areas allow an organization the flexibility to categorize pro bono advocates' involvement in other ways. The screens described below use multi-select lists — usually named "Subjects" — that automatically include both legal problem codes and generic subject areas. To prevent confusion, this document uses "subjects" to refer to both legal problem codes and generic subject areas.


Using the Edit Extra Information Process

If your site is not currently configured to associate a pro bono advocate's level of expertise with his or her subjects, you will manage pro bono advocate subjects using the Extra Information section of the pro bono advocate profile. Skip this section if your site is using the pro bono opportunities tool.

  • Open the profile for the pro bono advocate whose subjects you want to view or edit. For detailed instructions on locating pro bono advocates in your system, please see Viewing the List of Pro Bono Advocates in LegalServer.
  • Scroll down the page to the Extra Information section of the profile.
  • In this section you will see a list of Subjects that this pro bono advocate handles.
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  • To edit the pro bono advocate's subjects, click on Edit Extra Information under the Actions menu. (Actions menu links appear on the right side of the screen in the classic version.)

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  • In the Extra Information edit form, you will see a multi-select list of Subjects.
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  • To select multiple subjects for this pro bono advocate, hold down the CTRL key (or Command on a Mac) while you select the subjects.
    • WARNING: It is possible that this pro bono advocate already has subjects selected, so it is strongly recommended that you hold down the CTRL key before you select any of the subjects in this multi-select list. Otherwise, you might inadvertently delete all of the other selected subjects. If you do accidentally deselect the pro bono advocate's other subjects in the multi-select list, you can just click anywhere other than the Continue button to leave the edit screen without saving any changes.
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  • Click Continue in the lower right corner to save your changes and return to the pro bono advocate's profile.
  • If you scroll down to the Extra Information section of the profile once again, you will see the new subjects you just added.

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Using the Edit User Subjects Process

If your site is configured to associate a pro bono advocate's level of expertise with each of his subjects, you will use the Edit User Subjects process to manage subjects for pro bono advocates. 

The administrative setup for associating level of expertise with a pro bono advocate's subjects is discussed in detail in the Edit Pro Bono Settings and Edit the Level of Expertise Lookup sections of the Pro Bono Opportunities page. The Pro Bono Opportunities page also provides detailed instructions for the setup and use of the pro bono opportunities tool, which can give pro bono advocates the ability to express interest in and/or assign cases to themselves, depending on your site configuration.

  • Open the profile for the pro bono advocate whose subjects you want to view or edit. For detailed instructions on locating pro bono advocates in your system, please see Viewing the List of Pro Bono Advocates in LegalServer.
  • Under the Actions menu, click on Edit User Subjects. (Actions menu links appear on the right side of the screen in the classic version.)
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  • The User Subjects form is divided into two sections. The top section allows you to select new subjects to add to the pro bono advocate's profile. The bottom section lists all of the pro bono advocate's current subjects.

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  • To add a new subject to this pro bono advocate's profile, select it from the Subject multi-select list and select the desired settings in the Level of Expertise and Links to Show for Pro Bono Opportunities fields.
    • NOTE: The Links to Show for Pro Bono Opportunities field will not have any effect on your site unless it is configured to use the pro bono opportunities tool.
  • To add multiple subjects with the same settings, hold down the CTRL key (or Command on a Mac) while clicking the subjects.
    • TIP: If you select a subject that has already been linked to this pro bono advocate, your selections for the Level of Expertise and Links to Show for Pro Bono Opportunities fields will overwrite the existing information.
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  • Click Continue to save your changes.
  • You can also edit and/or delete the pro bono advocate's subjects by using the list in the bottom section of the User Subjects form.
  • Click the Edit icon for the subject you want to edit.
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  • The User Subjects form will reload with the subject selected in the multi-select list and the Level of Expertise and Links to Show for Pro Bono Opportunities fields displaying the settings for this subject.
    • TIP: If you want to apply the settings for this subject to other subjects linked to this pro bono advocate (or to add new subjects), just click on them in the multi-select list while holding the CTRL key.
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  • Click Continue to save your changes.
  • To delete a subject from the pro bono advocate's profile, click on the Delete icon for the subject you wish to delete.
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  • The User Subjects form will reload and ask you to confirm that you want to delete the subject. Click Yes, continue to confirm and delete.

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  • The User Subjects form will reload once again, and the selected subject will be removed from the Subjects list.
  • When you are finished editing the pro bono advocate's subjects, you can click on the advocate's name at the top of the screen to return to his profile.
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Using Subject Area and Level of Expertise to Identify Pro Bono Advocates for Cases

  • Now you can use this new information to help you determine if this pro bono advocate is a good fit for a particular case.
  • Open the profile for a case you want to assign to a pro bono advocate.
  • Under the Actions menu, click on Recommend Pro Bono/Other User. The precise name of the process may differ on your site. (Actions menu links appear on the right side of the screen in the classic version.)
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  • The Pro Bono Users list automatically displays those pro bono advocates who practice in the subject area of this case.
  • If this case is particularly complicated, however, you may want to limit the list to those pro bono advocates who are experts in this subject area. To do this, click on Show/Hide Filters.

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  • Under Categories, select Level of Expertise. (In the classic version, you will find the Level of Expertise filter in the grid containing all of the filters for this list view.)
  • Under Filter Options, select "Expert" from the multi-select list.
  • Click Filter in the lower right corner to apply the new filter.

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  • The Pro Bono Users list will now display only pro bono advocates who are experts in the subject area of this case.

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