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RFP for Legal Aid Technology Toolkits - Michigan Advocacy Program

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RFP for Development of four ‘Soar Above the Baselines: Legal Aid Technology Toolkits’

Legal Services Corporation TIG #16035; Grantee: Michigan Advocacy Program


The Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) issues this RFP to hire a vendor to create four “Soar Above the Baselines: Legal Aid Technology Toolkits” to help legal aid organizations evaluate and implement specific technology solutions recommended by the LSC Technology Baselines.

The toolkits will help legal services program leaders understand the benefits of specific operations and service delivery technologies, demystify the implementation process, and assist leaders in making smart decisions. They will be available online through the LSNTAP website as well as outlined in a hard copy booklet which will be distributed to all LSC programs.

LSC programs around the country vary widely in their adoption of the technology baselines. With this project, we hope to help programs move above the technology baselines by making it easier to implement them. The LSC technology baselines cover a broad array of areas in which legal services providers can utilize technology to increase access to justice and improve operational efficiency. An ideal use of the baselines is for individual programs to do an inventory of the tools already in place, and develop a plan for implementing others or to improve a system that is not up to par.

However, with limited budgets and limited internal expertise, implementation can be a challenge, and thus these projects often get pushed to the back burner. Leading a large-scale implementation can be daunting and seem—at a gut level—too difficult or costly for small organizations. This is what we hope to change with these toolkits. The toolkits must be delivered in a manner that will cut through the confusion and anxiety and provide clear information that any legal aid organization can use to lead a successful technology implementation project.

By providing the information in a convenient, user-friendly format, we will help legal aid organizations more quickly grasp the value of the technology under consideration and act. The toolkits will also help organizations avoid many of the pitfalls of technology adoption projects that cause delays and additional costs.


The Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) is a non-profit organization that provides free legal assistance to qualifying individuals in thirteen counties in Michigan and farmworkers across the state, and provides administrative services to statewide programs including the Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP), the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, the Crime Victims Legal Assistance Program, and the Michigan Legal Help Program. MAP has been a leader in utilizing technology in a meaningful way, especially through its partnership with MPLP, which provides statewide technology support for legal services programs. MAP seeks to use this LSC TIG to create resources to help other programs expand their use of technology to create efficiencies in serving clients and in general operations.


The goal of this project is to create four toolkits to help legal aid organizations implement specific technology solutions recommended by the LSC Technology Baselines. As described above, the chosen contractor must deliver toolkits that help program leaders understand the benefits of specific operations and service delivery technologies, clearly lay out the implementation process, and assist leaders in making the best decisions for their programs. Each toolkit will serve as a roadmap for any legal aid organization considering adopting the featured technology or seeking to improve/update an older technology or system.

Possible toolkit topics include: online triage portals, document assembly projects, pro bono portals, location-based self-help centers, mobile outreach, modern information security, IT roles and staffing, and accounting/financial systems. Final topic selection will be based on the survey results of LSC-funded programs ranking the topics by priority and suggesting additional topics.

Each toolkit will include a brief explanation of the technology and its benefits. It will also walk through the key decision points organizations face as they move forward with the technology including: goal and requirements definition, defining processes and business rules, hardware and software selection, implementation, managing staff input during the process, training and user adoption, and maintenance planning. The toolkits will include checklists, case studies to provide real-world context, and templates/samples of key documents needed, such as RFPs, sample budgets, best practices, contracts, logic trees, job descriptions, and more.

The contractor will do the work of gathering the information and instructional tools from legal aid organizations with experience implementing the featured technologies, then compiling the information into user-friendly formats, both online and in hard copy. The contractor will interview at least six legal aid organizations with experience implementing each of the featured technologies as part of their research on each topic.

The toolkits will be made available free of charge to LSC organizations and other legal services providers via the LSNTAP website. Booklets outlining the toolkits and explaining their utility will be mailed to all LSC programs. The toolkits will also be promoted through a national conference presentation or webinar and targeted emails. MAP and the contractor will work together on the distribution of and publicity for the toolkits.

MAP will manage the contractor’s progress on the project and provide oversight to ensure that the toolkits are applicable to legal aid organizations and meet the project guidelines.

After the toolkits are final, MAP and the contractor will work together to form a committee of legal services technology experts who will meet bi-annually to review the toolkits and update them for as long as they are still relevant. This work will be done in conjunction with LSNTAP. All changes will appear in the online content as comments attached to the original content and will be made by committee members. The hard-copy booklets will not contain the complete toolkit content and will be designed to drive readers to the online content in the model of content marketing, so they will not need to be updated by the committee.


Proposals are due by 5pm (EST) on 3/7/17 and a vendor will be selected by 3/14/17. Work on this project is scheduled to begin by April 1, 2017 at the latest. Research on all four toolkits, and release of two finalized toolkits, must be completed by 11/30/17; the final two toolkits must be completed by 5/31/18. Training, additional publicity, follow-up with programs using the toolkits, and engagement of volunteers for long-term maintenance of the toolkits must be completed by 11/30/18. See Milestones attached as Exhibit A.

Our maximum budget for this contractor is $109,000. Payment will be made in five installments as agreed-upon milestones are met. Proposals should be “total cost” bids covering all responsibilities for the project as described above.


All work done on this project is “work for hire” and all intellectual property rights shall be owned by MAP, its successors and assigns.

DEADLINE: Proposals must be delivered to Angela Tripp by email at no later than 5 p.m. (EST) on 3/7/17. All proposals must include a statement of authorization to bid signed by a principal of the bidding company. All proposals must use the proposal format outlined in this RFP. Bidders must disclose any relevant conflicts of interest and/or pending lawsuits.


  1. Introduction/executive summary, including your understanding of the project purpose, vision, and objectives and recommendations for how to complete this project most successfully. Familiarity with the LSC Technology Baselines is required.
  2. Describe your approach to fulfilling the requirements of this project - how you would complete the necessary research for these toolkits, what is your approach to designing the toolkits, the booklets, etc. Please provide a 1-2 page outline for a toolkit for one potential subject area.
  3. Detailed timeline to create the toolkits as specified above.
  4. Project Budget Estimates and Cost Projections, including:
    • A breakdown of all costs associated with the project.
    • Identification any additional expenses, fees, etc. that you will require to complete the project
  5. Company or Agency Profile, including:
    • background, capabilities, experience with working with the legal services technology community, experience with preparing instructional guides, knowledge of the needs of the legal services technology community, and other relevant experience/skills
    • customer communication and evaluation procedures
    • Examples of similar instructional materials you have produced in the past (if any)
  6. Provide two (2) references (with phone and email contact) for other similar projects you have completed or participated in.
  7. The selected vendor must be willing to provide the tool as a “work for hire” and to assign all right, title, and interest in and to the tool to MAP. If vendor has employees or proposes to use subcontractors for this project, vendor must affirm that all employees and subcontractors will be bound by this agreement. Proposals should indicate the company or entity’s understanding that this contract is for a “work for hire” and its agreement that vendor’s work product produced in its services and the creation of the tool shall be and at all times remain the exclusive property of MAP; that vendor will not sell, transfer, publish, disclose, or otherwise make the work product available to third parties without MAP’s prior written consent; and that with regard to any works that vendor acquires ownership of from third parties, vendor hereby irrevocably assigns to MAP all right, title, and interest (including any copyright) in such works in perpetuity. Please affirmatively state your willingness to do this.
  8. Provide resumes/CVs for all who will work on the project.


This RFP will be released on 2/14/17. Proposals are due by 5:00 pm EST on 3/7/2017.

Between now and then, we will respond to any questions you may have; please email inquiries to Angela Tripp at Our staff will review proposals, conduct interviews, and select a final vendor by 3/14/17, with work to begin shortly thereafter.

The selected vendor will be expected to enter into a contract with MAP. Vendors whose responses have not been selected for further negotiations or award will be notified via e­mail.


1. Costs of Preparing Responses: MAP will not pay any vendor costs associated with preparing responses submitted in response to this RFP.

2. Responses Property of MAP: All responses, accompanying documentation and other materials submitted in response to this RFP shall become the property of MAP and will not be returned.

3. Proprietary Information/Public Disclosure: To the fullest extent possible, all responses received shall remain confidential.

4. RFP Amendments/Cancellation/Reissue/Reopen: MAP reserves the right to change the RFP Schedule or issue amendments to this RFP at any time. MAP also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP. All such actions will be posted on

5. Minor Administrative Irregularities: MAP reserves the right to waive minor administrative irregularities contained in any response.

6. Inability to Enter Contract: MAP reserves the right to eliminate from further consideration any vendor that MAP is unable to contract with at the time responses are due in accordance with the project timeline outlined above.

7. No Obligation to Enter a Contract: The release of this RFP does not compel MAP to enter any contract. MAP reserves the right to refrain from contracting with any vendor that has responded to this RFP whether or not the vendor's response has been evaluated and whether or not the vendor has been determined to be qualified. Exercise of this reserved right does not affect MAP’s right to contract with any other vendor. MAP reserves the right to request an interview with any vendor and/or a demonstration from any vendor prior to entering a contract.

8. Multiple Contracts: MAP reserves the right to enter contracts with more than one vendor as a result of this RFP.

9. Non­-Endorsement: The selection of a vendor pursuant to this RFP does not constitute an endorsement of the vendor's services. The vendor agrees to make no reference to MAP in any literature, promotional material, brochures, sales presentations, or the like without MAP’s express written consent.

10. Contract Payment Limitations: The contract may provide for periodic payments based on completion of agreed upon milestones. Vendors should anticipate payment at the end of the invoice period in which they provide services or after they submit any deliverable for which a payment is due.

Exhibit A: Contractor Milestones

4/1/17 – 6/30/17

  1. With MAP, survey national legal services community to determine need and prioritization of potential topics for toolkits; select four topics. MAP to obtain LSC approval of topics.
  2. Contractor begins research on two of the topics.

7/1/17 – 12/31/17

  1. Contractor finishes research on all four toolkits.
  2. Contractor finishes development of two toolkits.
  3. Outreach related to first two toolkits is done, and first two toolkits are distributed to the LSC community and made available via

1/1/18 – 6/30/18

  1. Contractor finishes development of two final toolkits.
  2. Outreach related to final two toolkits is done, and first two toolkits are distributed to the LSC community and made available via

7/1/18 – 12/31/18

  1. Conduct follow-up interviews with programs who have used toolkits to plan or implement technology projects to determine the utility of the toolkits, proposed modifications/additions, and other feedback.
  2. Participate in national webinar or conference panel explaining the toolkits and how to best utilize them.
  3. Create and engage volunteer committees for each toolkit for long-term sustainability of project.
  4. Review first two toolkits published for necessary updates and make updates based on input from committee.

Date Posted: Feb 14, 2017