Introduction and Overview to Using LegalServer
LegalServer is a web based case management system, allowing you to access it with your web browser without needing to install any additional software, and anywhere you have an internet connection.
LegalServer supports the current version of the major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, etc.), but will work with most modern browsers, on the desktop, tablet, or phone.
For folks using Microsoft's browser(s), Edge is working well. Internet Explorer 11 is on life support, and even Microsoft recommends not using it. We will eventually drop support for it completely.
Each organization using LegalServer has a unique site. The web address is typically the organization's acronym followed by legalserver.org, such as abc.legalserver.org.
There are a series of short videos for new users on our Youtube channel.
Customized by Each Organization
LegalServer offers an extensive set of features that allows each organization to change how it looks and functions. You might notice that some of the screenshots shown in the help documents do not exactly match your organization's site. Each organization has one or more staff designated as site administrators who customize the site and can provide help using LegalServer.
Your organization's LegalServer database holds confidential information about your clients, so there are mechanisms in place to help protect that information.
You cannot sign in to LegalServer without being issued a login name and password by an administrator. You should treat this information with care and not share it with others. Administrators have the option to force passwords to be changed on a regular basis.
LegalServer can only be accessed over a secure internet connection, encrypting the information that passes to and from each computer and the server running LegalServer.
See Security and Backups for more details.
Moving around in LegalServer
Logging in to LegalServer takes you to your home page, which displays information specific to you. The home page may list cases that are assigned to you, tasks assigned to you, and intakes you are working on. What appears depends on your site's configuration.
Any cases, intakes, or tasks listed on your home page will be clickable blue links. Click on a case number, for example, to view that case. In general, any blue link you see in LegalServer is clickable.
A common element for all instances of LegalServer is the top row of navigation tabs, shown here with the Cases tab selected:
The navigation tabs always appear at the top of every page. They provide a quick way to access different features, such as Cases, Timekeeping, and Reports. Site administrators at each organization decide which tabs appear, the order of the tabs, and the labels.
Tip: You can open multiple browser tabs or windows to see different information. For example, from your home page you can right click the Timekeeping tab, open it in a new browser tab, and switch back and forth. You can have multiple cases open in separate browser tabs, and so on.
In the top right area of every page in LegalServer are several links:
The My Time and Timer options may not appear on your site. Putting your mouse cursor over your name will display links to your information, as well as your System Preferences where you can set personal preferences. The + menu (if enabled) provides a quick way to enter notes and time from anywhere in LegalServer. The Search menu is covered in more detail later.
Another common element of all instances of LegalServer is the Actions menu.
The Actions menu provides links that are specific to the page you are on. On the home page, for example, the Actions menu will display links to start any prescreen and intake processes defined on your site. If you are in the Timekeeping section of LegalServer, the Actions menu will show links for creating timeslips. If you are viewing a specific case the Actions menu will show information about that case and the options available to work on cases.
Searching for Information
The Search menu provides a way to search for people, cases, and other information in LegalServer. (Video)
The search options depend on a site's configuration. In addition to searching for Clients/Parties, you can search for Client Organizations, Contacts, by Case ID number, for Other Organizations, Notes, by Court Case ID number, and so on.
If you choose to search by Case ID, for example, a popup window prompts you to enter a case number:
If you enter a valid case number, clicking the search button will take you directly to that case.
If you search for a name, like a client's name, you get a list of search results that are possible matches:
The search results include sounds like and looks like results. If you put your mouse cursor over the Score stars, a small window will popup showing you what matched for each result. LegalServer can also be configured to match nicknames, like Maggie for Margaret.
Exact name matches are shown in bold type. Each result also lists the case number, if any, the person is associated with, the Type of person they are (Client, Adverse Party, Contact, etc.) and several additional columns of information depending on a site's configuration.
Despite the name, the "Clients" search searches for clients, adverse parties, family members, non-adverse parties on cases, and contacts.
Lists and Filters
LegalServer displays information in lists: lists of cases, timeslips, tasks, and so on. Lists have filters that let you look at a subset of information: only cases that are currently open, for example, instead of all cases.
An example of a list is the Cases tab under the top level Cases navigation tab:
You can often sort the information in a list by clicking on a column heading. In the example above, the list is sorted by Name, as indicated by the triangle next to the heading.
Most lists can be filtered and have default filters applied. In the example above, the list is not showing every case that has been entered in LegalServer (which could be hundreds of thousands of cases). Only cases with a disposition of Open are displayed.
You can temporarily change the filters on a list by clicking the Filter icon at the top right of a list.
Apply as many filters as needed then click the Filter button at the bottom right (not shown). In the example above, a case will be listed only if it is assigned to the Main Office, is Open, and has the legal problem code "37 Domestic Abuse".
Some lists have a Reset icon that lets you quickly switch back to the default filters for that list. If a list doesn't have a Reset icon, use your browser's refresh page command (F5, Ctrl+R, etc.) to reset to the default filters.
Most lists have two export icons at the top right of the list. One exports the list in Excel format, the other in CSV format (comma separated values). This will export the contents of the list in a format that can be opened in most spreadsheet programs. The CSV option does not include formatting, and is more of a 'raw data' format.
Lists display the number of records in the upper left corner of the list. When a list contains many results, you see "Viewing 1-20 of X" followed by a clickable "View All" link, where X is the total number of records that match the filters. The default in LegalServer is to show you the first 20 results in a long list, along with the View All link. It will also display page numbers and a Next link at the bottom of long lists. You can change the default number of results to show in a list in your personal preferences (put your mouse over your name in the upper right corner of any page in LegalServer, then click the System Preferences link).
Overview of Application Workflow
Each site customizes the process for entering information about people who apply for its services. A common application workflow is:
Prescreen – An optional step in starting a new application, not used by all sites. Collect initial information, usually enough to make a determination of whether an applicant is potentially eligible for services (lives in your service area, has the type of problem you might handle, etc.). When the prescreen is complete, either begin the intake process or reject and optionally refer the applicant to other sources of help.
Intake – Collect as much information as desired to determine whether to open a case. If information was entered in a Prescreen, it will appear in the intake. Intake typically includes a conflict check on the applicant, collecting contact and demographic information, may include collecting financial information and determining percentage of poverty, and may include brief or detailed information about the applicant's legal issue. When the intake is complete, set it to be a pending case, or an open a case, or reject and refer.
Case – Record notes, time, upload documents, etc. Close the case, or optionally reject.
The top level Cases tab in LegalServer often reflects this flow of information by displaying separate lists of Cases, Incomplete Intakes, Prescreens, and Rejected Matters.
LegalServer tracks the disposition of a record as it moves through these steps. If a prescreen is entered for an applicant, that record has the disposition of Prescreen until it is either rejected (the disposition will change to Rejected Matter) or the intake process is started. Once the intake process is started, the disposition changes to Incomplete Intake. An intake can be rejected (disposition will change to Rejected Matter) or marked as a pending or open case (disposition will change to Pending or Open). If a case is opened, the disposition will stay Open until the case is either closed (disposition changes to Closed) or the case is rejected (disposition will change to Rejected Matter).
Disposition is also displayed for search results and during conflict checks. So if you see a record with a disposition of "Matter: Incomplete Intake" in a search result, you know that someone has started intake on that person, but hasn't completed it for some reason.
Overview of Cases, Timekeeping, Outreach, Calendar, and Reports
The attached PDF has an overview of cases, outreach, reports, etc. Each organization can customize these features, or may not implement some, so the document is a general overview of the major points for each feature.