Veterans Legal Services (VLS) of Boston Massachusetts needed a cloud based legal case management system to serve veterans in multiple off-site locations and report on the impact of their work in real time.

Organization:

Veterans Legal Services (VLS) promotes self-sufficiency, stability, and financial security for veterans through its comprehensive and accessible legal services and is the leader in providing free legal advice and representation to homeless and low-income veterans in the greater Boston area. By locating legal clinics at homeless shelters and soldiers’ homes, VLS reaches veterans who are often reluctant to seek legal help. VLS serves over 450 clients per year at its legal clinics and provides assistance on a wide variety of legal issues

Challenge:

Because VLS works remotely at multiple off-site shelters and homes, all case tracking and files were in paper format. VLS also had a legacy FileMaker Pro database which served as a final outcomes data repository, but did not allow VLS to track case notes and case status’ in real time. Additionally, VLS tracked fundraising activities primarily via paper as well and needed the ability to relate grant funding to case outcomes.

Solution:

In 2016, VLS engaged with Swift River to build out a robust legal case management system in Salesforce.

  • After a thorough business analysis, SRC leveraged Salesforce Cases to track the case management process: Intake, Counter Parties, Case Notes, Outcome (change in clients’ situation as result of legal case resolution) and related Funding.
  • SRC configured Salesforce to connect Clinics, Legal Volunteers, Staff Attorneys, Counter Parties and Client/Cases together for sophisticated cross-referencing and reporting.
  • Using NPSP, SRC configured Opportunities to track fundraising activities and relate grant funding directly to unwritten cases.
  • Using Encrypted Salesforce field types and formula, able to keep sensitive data private while still using parts of the data to search on (like last 4 of Social Security number).
Benefits:
  • Through Salesforce reporting, can easily create metric and outcome reports to the Board and funders on the impact of their Services.
  • All Case Notes and Action steps are entered and tracked in a single/searchable format.