Launching the First State Plan Collaboratory

Implementation of the State Plan is underway! Organizations in the Alliance for Equal Justice are working on implementing various strategies outlined in the State Plan. To support the Alliance and advance the goals of the State Plan, the Access to Justice Board’s State Plan Action and Resource Committee (SPARC) is launching the first State Plan Collaboratory in May.

First, what is a State Plan Collaboratory? The Collaboratories are a space – virtual or in-person – for people to learn from each other, share challenges, and collaborate around new approaches and innovations. The following are the launch months for the State Plan Collaboratories:

  • May – Reaching Underserved Communities (Goal 3)
  • June – Holistic Client Services (Goal 4)
  • September – Systemic Advocacy (Goal 5)
  • October – All Goals Featured at Statewide Legal Advocate Training (Oct 9-11)
  • November – Education and Outreach (Goal 2)
  • Year-Round – Race Equity (Goal 1) (see note below)*


noun col·lab·o·ra·to·ry \ kə-ˈla-bə-ˌra, tȯr-ē \

An open space, creative process where a group of people work together to generate solutions to complex problems. Fusing two elements, “collaboration” and “laboratory”, the word “collaboratory” suggests the construction of a space where people explore collaborative innovations where action learning and action join forces.

The Reaching Underserved Communities Collaboratory Launches in May!

As this collaboratory rolls out, we are focusing on two of the three strategies in Goal 3 of the State Plan.

Strategy 1: Work with data, community-based partners, and communities to identify underserved and underrepresented communities on an ongoing basis and provide targeted legal assistance.

Strategy 2: Leverage innovative models and technology to increase the provision of the full range of legal services to low-income clients in underserved and underrepresented communities.

Check out the following training and resource-sharing opportunities!

Working More Closely with Community Partners

Session One – Pathways Forward to New Community Partnerships

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 – 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. – Webcast and In-Person at WSBA
Reserve your spot here!
This session will start with stories from a collection of leaders from diverse organizations sharing the surprising lessons learned from their experiences working closely with community based organizations. It will also include an overview of a model to help people design and plan projects to take their own work with community partners in new directions.

Session Two – Design Your Own Plan to Connect with Community

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 – 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. – Webcast and In-Person at WSBA
Reserve your spot here!
This is a working session for legal aid providers. Participants will bring ideas for new community connections they want to incorporate into new or existing program delivery. They will be guided through a step-by-step process to develop a plan tailored to their work. At the end of the session each person will have take time to identify manageable next steps to put their goals into action.

Session Three – Putting it into Action

Thursday, June 21, 2018 – 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Registration details TBD
A few weeks after the design session, we will host a follow-up call to hear what is working, where people got stuck and problem-solve ways to overcome barriers that cause setbacks.

Leveraging Innovation and Technology

Northwest Justice Project and Legal Services Corporation are hosting a series of free technology trainings open to any. Here are some highlights below and click here for full calendar:

Webinar: New Video Resources

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 – 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Reserve your spot here!
If you create print publications to inform your communities about their legal rights and responsibilities, videos can amplify your educational outreach efforts. This guide will help you start making and field-testing videos within a few weeks and with minimal cost.

Webinar: A Whirlwind Tour of User Experience Techniques on a Shoestring

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 – 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Reserve your spot here!
The emphasis on “customer” and “user experience” in the corporate world has resulted in a host of techniques that are directly applicable to legal aid technologies at every stage in a project. What can you easily do to better understand what will work for your own “customers”—whatever users you’re trying to serve– without blowing out your budget? Using examples from both the corporate and the legal aid world, potentially including the recent Ohio website planning phases and Florida portal user testing, we’ll show how you can improve the user experience on your own site on any budget.

Stay tuned for more resources and opportunities for the Reaching Underserved Communities Collaboratory!


A Note about the Race Equity Collaboratory

Our community’s work to advance race equity is ongoing and opportunities are being offered throughout the year. Here are some opportunities you can engage in now:

Join the Race and Equity Justice Initiative

All are invited to become a part of the Race Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI). If you or your organization would like to sign onto the Race Equity & Justice Initiative Acknowledgments & Commitments, participate in upcoming REJI meetings, join the listserv, share upcoming events and resources, or learn more, please contact Omid Bagheri, JustLead Washington’s Director of Equity & Community Partnership, at Please also take a look at REJI’s Race Equity Resources & Tools page, which will include a comprehensive Organizational Race Equity Toolkit soon.

WSBA Legal Lunchbox – “Hiring, Retention and Advancement of Underrepresented Groups in the Legal Profession”

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 –12:00 to 1:30 p.m. – Webcast Only
Reserve your spot here!
This webcast brings together panelists from private practice, government, and community organizations to share and evaluate best practices and real-world strategies in implementing programs for hiring, retaining, and advancing underrepresented groups in the legal profession. The moderator is Ada Shen-Jaffe and panelists include Lionel Greaves IV from the Washington State Office of the Attorney General and Michelle Majors from Columbia Legal Services.



Contact Diana Singleton