Week 1 (7/27/09-7/31/09)

Last Monday marked my first day of work at the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition. The office isn't very big, but that suits me just fine since it's easier to become familiar with the area, names, faces, etc. The first day was basically going over office policy, meeting everyone who works here, and then an extremely brief overview of the computer programs I will be working with for the next year.

So far, I have been familiarizing myself with HotDocs, a program developed by LexisNexis for the legal community to help create automated interview forms for court forms and documents. As of right now, I’m still struggling with a form for requesting a legal name change; I’ve been working on it since last Thursday or so. I got off to a slow start at first because the program wouldn’t install properly on the laptop I’m using (I don’t get my own computer/desktop until after the 12th; I’m also sharing my office until then), but it seems that things are in working order now.

As of right now, the challenges I’ve faced have mostly been technical issues with the laptop, but as I mentioned before, I’m still trying to familiarize myself with the scripting language for HotDocs, which is a bit difficult. I was expecting it to be easier since I have knowledge of other programming languages, but it seems that I have to debug ever other line of code that I write. I’ve been reading up on the HotDocs manual and online help guide to address this problem, so hopefully I’ll become accustomed to the program soon.

One thing I'm worried about is the fact that the former VISTA (Kristyn Martin) will only be here until Friday, and I have yet to learn how to use A2J. She's been an invaluable source of information and help with HotDocs, so I'm a little worried about how I'll have to manage and navigate A2J when she's gone.

Comment from Mira Allen on August 31, 2009 - 3:55pm

Sounds like a busy week. Are you fairing A2J okay? Let us know if there are any resources we can get for you to help.