User Account Administration

User accounts are created for anyone who needs to login to LegalServer, and also for a person like a pro bono advocate who may not login, but needs to be assigned to cases or have time recorded in their name.

In this Article:

Adding a New User

Add a new user account by going to the Users tab in the navigation bar, then Actions menu > Add New User (the link name can vary).

LegalServer has a default process to add new user accounts, however the User module is dynamic, meaning site administrators can customize the process.

The default process to create a user account includes the following steps:

  • System Information: Includes the login name, office, program, advocate type, and user/system role, and other optional fields.
  • Contact Information: Includes the person's full name and email address, and other optional fields. A Contact record is automatically created for each new user account.
  • Extra Information: For staff and pro bono advocates, you can specify the subjects the person handles, counties they work in, and languages spoken. This information is used when recommending a pro bono or staff person for a case.
  • Setup User Password: You must create an initial password for each user account. You also have the option to require the person to change their password upon first login.
  • Organization Affiliation: If the organization or law firm the person works for has been defined in the Organizations part of LegalServer, you can associate the person with that organization here.
  • User Profile: summary profile of the user.

For more detail on what many of the fields on user records mean, and what effect various options have, see Important Fields for User Accounts below.

Resetting a Password

If is setup on your site, you can send a password reset link from the user's profile.

If not, Actions menu "Change Password" from the user's profile.

You can't see user passwords, only reset them.

Terminating a User's Access Quickly

Setting a user's account to Login Active = No will immediately end any session they have open and prevent them from logging in.

There is no requirement to also change a user's password, but it isn't a bad idea. That way if someone accidentally sets the account back to Login Active = Yes, and the former user tries again, they will still not be able to login.

Blocking Logins from No Longer Used Accounts

The Admin > Site Settings page has a "Deactivate users which have not signed in for 1 year" setting:

  • It flips the Login Active field to No.
  • Only works on accounts where the user has signed in at least once.
  • Happens at roughly midnight local time.
  • If a site administrator can't sign in to their demo site, this may be why.

Finding a User Record

User does not appear on the main User page (top level tab or Admin > Users)?

  • Remove filters to see more users
  • Use the search box in the filter bar -- user's last name is usually the best search text
  • Use the red Search menu, Contacts option. All users have a contact record. If you find someone this way, the name link will display the contact record.

Important Fields for User Accounts

User accounts are created and edited on the Admin > Users page.

Users are assigned to an Office and a Program (sometimes called Project or Unit), and are given an Advocate Type and a User Role. These fields, together with the permissions you grant various User Roles, determine what a user can see and do in LegalServer.


Sometimes labeled as Login. Usernames must be unique. They are not case sensitive when creating new users. If an rsmith account exists you will not be able to create an RSmith account. Usernames are case sensitive when logging in. If you create an RSmith account, that person will need to login as RSmith; rsmith will not work.

Office and Program

Office and Program can be used to organize users, help with grant and reporting needs, and to restrict access to cases.

Office is generally used to reflect the physical office where someone works, but can represent any grouping of users an organization wants it to. It might make sense, for example, to have more than one Office in LegalServer for a large physical office.

Program is generally used to reflect the functional unit a person works in. Programs often transcend physical offices. For example, an advocate may work in the Downtown Office in the Housing Unit. Another advocate is also assigned to the Housing Unit, but works in the Suburban Office. This allows an organization to, among other things, report on all Housing Unit cases across all offices.

Office and Program can also be used to restrict access to cases by using the Restricted Offices/Programs feature.

Advocate Type

Legal Server is configured with two default advocate types: Staff and Pro Bono Advocate. You can add additional advocate types through Admin > Lookups > Advocate Type.

Advocate Type determines which users appear in certain lists and report filters.

For example, when assigning a primary advocate to a case, Pro Bono Advocate users will not appear in the list of users. When adding a pro bono assignment to a case, the only users that will appear by default are those with the type Pro Bono Advocate.

Site administrators can allow pro bono users to appear for primary and other assignments by enabling the "Display "Include Pro Bono Users" checkbox in the Additional Assignments section of the static Assign Case page" setting on the Admin > Process Settings page. This setting is off by default.

Most report filters based on user accounts have a checkbox for each advocate type, allowing the list of users displayed to be limited or expanded.

Additional advocate types a site administrator creates will function like the Staff type.

Note: The advocate type previously also determined whether a user could see the top level navigation tabs. This is now controlled per User Role.

Note: If a site allows selecting multiple Advocate/User Types (not recommended), selecting Pro Bono Advocate and any other type does not allow that user to appear in both 'staff' and 'pro bono' lists. The user will be treated as a pro bono user.

User Role

This feature allows you to give groups of users different permissions.

The roles for a site are on the Admin > User Roles (Permissions) page. Administrators can add new roles through Admin > Lookups > User Roles.

Clicking on a role displays a list of permissions. Check or uncheck the box next to each role to grant or deny that permission. See User Roles and Permissions for more information.

The page for each role also displays a list of all top level tabs. Check or uncheck the box next to each tab to show or hide it from users assigned that role. The selections made here can be overridden by the settings on the Admin > Top Level Navigation Bar. If a tab is not enabled on that page, it will not appear even if selected for a particular role.

Every site has an Administrator role that will usually be granted all permissions, a User role that will be given permissions such as "Add Client Time", but not "Edit System Settings", a Volunteer role with no permissions (except possibly Login), and a Pro Bono Restricted Access role with no permissions (except possibly Login).

Other common roles are Pro Bono Coordinator with the "Users: Add/Edit" permission to allow adding pro bono advocates as users, and Report Manager with the "Report Management" permission to allow editing reports.

User Presence Controls

Login Active: Controls whether a user can login.

  • There is a Login permission in each User Role, that must be enabled if a user assigned to that role should be able to login.
  • On Time and Attendance pages, a user will not appear in the selector unless Login Active = Yes.

Current: Controls whether a user shows up in various dropdown lists, such as when making case assignments, and in report filters.

  • In reports, a user with Current set to No will not appear in report filters based on users, but their name will still appear in report data, for example if they are assigned to a case.

Login Active and Current are independent. It is not uncommon, for example, for pro bono users to be Current, so they can be assigned to cases, but have Login Active set to No so they cannot login to the site.

Contact Active: Each user account automatically has a corresponding contact record. This field primarily controls whether the user will show up in search results in Recipients boxes when emailing notes, and when using features like Add Case Contact. This field can also be set on the user's contact record.

The Recipients box search can be limited by an Admin Setting. A common use case is to limit the search to email addresses matching the organizations email domain name.

End Date

User accounts can automatically go inactive the day after the End Date if "Inactivate User Accounts on User End Date" is enabled on the Admin > Site Settings page.

A common use for this feature is programs that setup user accounts for students and interns. When creating the accounts, enter the semester end date to automatically have these accounts go inactive.

"Go inactive" means the Login Active field is set to "No", to prevent the user from logging in. The Current and Contact Active fields are also set to "No".

NB: Your user forms must use the system End Date field. This feature does not work with a custom field, even if it is named "End Date".

Edit Multiple Users Simultaneously

LegalServer provides the ability to update certain fields on several user accounts at once. This link will appear in the taskbar (or Actions menu) of the Admin > Users page if a user's role has the related permission enabled in Admin > User Roles. 

The page provides a list of users and the ability to filter on several fields to refine the list of users to change. Each user account has a checkbox to provide further flexibility in selecting which accounts to change.

NB: The list does not include the user doing the update. The list may silently exclude all users who have the role Administrator. 

The value of one or more of the listed fields can be changed for each account selected. Note the warning that will appear above the list of fields: Changes made cannot be undone. To cancel and not make any changes, just navigate to another page without clicking the Continue button.

Mass Assignment Update

Related to maintaining user accounts, the Mass Assignment Update feature is helpful, for example to move cases from a departing user to another user.

Mass Calendar Update

Like the assignment update feature, the Mass Calendar Update feature is particularly helpful when a user leaves.

Common Questions/Scenarios

Can a user be assigned to more than one office?

No. But an advocate can be assigned to cases in other than his or her user office.

However, you can add the Additional Offices and/or Additional Programs fields to your user form(s).

Jane has moved from the NY office to the NJ office. If I change her office to NJ will all of her NY cases be changed to NJ?

No. Changing a user's office does not change the assigned office on existing cases. A user's office is just the default on the assignment pages. This will affect reports that filter on the user's office. Jane may think her cases have disappeared if she runs a report filtered on Office = NJ office. None of the NY office cases will show up.

We're hiring Bob, who is currently a pro bono user on our site. Do I just change his Advocate Type from Pro Bono to Staff?

Up to you. Many programs create a new staff account and deactivate the pro bono account so they preserve the historical "pro bono" information separately from the work as a staff advocate. Particularly for reports that are filtered on "pro bono users" or "staff users". There is nothing wrong with using the same account. Switching a user's type does not retroactively change any existing data. If Bob is currently a pro bono assignment on cases, switching his type to Staff does not change those assignments in any way.

I was spelunking through the user list and noticed there are some users like 'anonymous', 'Cron User', 'Import User', etc. What are those? And can I rename them and use them for other things?

Those are system users used for various internal database maintenance tasks. Don't rename or otherwise change them. Please.

Are users locked out after multiple failed login attempts?

Failed login attempts are delayed by 1 second for the first 9 attempts. Beginning with the 10th attempt, the delay is increased to 10 seconds. We do not lock out accounts after a certain number of failed attempts since this would allow anyone reaching the site to lock out a user (including a site administrator) by attempting to login repeatedly.

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