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OLA still going strong, SOAP shows promise

Posted on: Wednesday, March 12 /2008

If you're a lawyer who is still not using not using the Online Lawyer Acknowledgement portal (OLA), it might be time to ask yourself why.

With almost 4,500 legal aid certificates already acknowledged online through OLA -- one of LAO's latest web service initiatives for lawyers -- the popularity of the easy access portal continues unabated just a few months into its launch.

OLA acknowledged 4459 certificates online and 706 individual lawyers used the system portal between the launch in December 2007 and March 7, 2008.

The new upgrade allows lawyers to submit certificate acknowledgements electronically online through the lawyers' portal.

OLA version 2.0 - which includes translation of the feature to French - is currently complete and awaiting transfer to production.

LAO is continuing to consider what other features could be added to OLA to improve use of the portal, and encourages anyone who wishes to contact us with any ideas for improvements.

Meanwhile, testing of a new online application and eligibility process for clients who meet certain criteria is continuing in the Toronto area office.

The Simplified Online Application Portal (SOAP) is designed for easier access to legal aid for clearly eligible clients and to make the most efficient and effective use of LAO resources.

According to recent statistics, testing of SOAP continues to show a clear benefit in spending less time to process these clearly eligible clients.

From January 28 to March 7, a total of 464 client certificates were processed using SOAP and 139 hours of employee time was saved, or a 62 per cent reduction in the amount of time spent on these applications.

The testing will continue with training and demonstrations over the next month or so.

SOAP: Simplified Online Application Portal