Create your own LawTech with Docassemble

Create your own LawTech with Docassemble

by Matt Pennington

Anson Evaluate in partnership with Tonic Workflows offer an eight week course introducing how the Docassemble platform can be used within law firms to create your own lawTech.

What is Docassemble?

Docassemble is a free, open-source expert system for guided interviews and document assembly. It provides a web site that conducts interviews with users.

Documents can be built using the information gathered (such as word docs or PDF’s) which users can download or e-mail.

Other than document assembly, Docassemble can be used for a wide range of applications – for example they might submit an application, direct the user to other resources on the internet, store user input, interact with APIs, or simply provide the user with information.

You can run a demo here: https://docassemble.org/demo.html

What can you build with Docassemble?

Some examples of Docassemble projects are available here:

MADE: Massachusetts Defense for Eviction

Application Notices (N244) + Witness Statements

MassAccess – Eviction, Domestic Violence, Family Law, Court Fee Waivers

Capturing Electronic Signatures

Prerequisites, Application and Enrollment

We have found that project development such as this works best in a team format, therefore we accept course enrollment applications from teams (a team should consist of around four people).

We will also accept applications from individuals, and will work with other individual applicants to form a team where possible. 

If we are unable to assign you to a team or you do not wish to work within a team, you can proceed with the course on an individual basis understanding that your project development will be solely your responsibility.

You do not need any experience of coding prior to the course, just a willingness to learn (and refer to documentation!).

Course Structure

The course consists of two components:

Group Taught Sessions

The group taught sessions will take place over four weeks. The course structure will briefly consist of:

Session One

  • Creating your first Docassemble interview
  • Populating a PDF Forms, Markdown & Live Chat
  • Creating Word (docx) templates and merging with captured information

Session Two

  • Introduction to coding in Docassemble (Python)
  • Introduction to Interview Logic & Multi-Person Interviews
  • Classes, Objects, Legal Specific Classes, Groups & Functions

*** Team Project planning sessions with each team take place here ***

Session Three

  • Packages, Version Control, Publishing
  • Teams present project outlines
  • Additional content based around the team projects

Session Four

  • Content based around the team projects

Each of the sessions will be 4 hours (including breaks). At the end of each session you will be assigned an optional project to complete within your team before the next session, that will help you apply what you have learned. Mentoring will be available over the course of the week if you need help.

Team Project

Your team will be asked to identify a group project to work on after the taught sessions have completed. The scope of your project is down to your team to decide. It could be to produce something that will enter live use within your business, or just for “fun” to practice and reinforce everything you learned during the taught element of the course.

During the team project sessions, your team will be expected to schedule regular catchup calls with a Docassemble tutor, who will then provide advice and comments on the project you are developing.

Whilst your team will be free (with some guidance from us) to decide on the scope of the project, it must be completed within four weeks of the end of the taught element of the course. It may be that your team chooses to only deliver a small part of a larger project as part of this course (for example you want to automate 100 forms from your firm, but only tackle one now).

At the end of the team project your team will have the opportunity to present what you’ve built at a showcase event – you can invite your colleagues along too!

Group Supported Learning 

Teams will be expected to support and reinforce the learning of their own members between structured taught sessions, as well as to support and mentor their peers through a dedicated course Slack Group.  If certain team members cannot make a given session, it would be up to their team to help them catch up.

When we reach the team project segment of the course – sharing your problems as well as helping your peers solve theirs will enable you to gain exposure to a broader range of docassemble functionality and use cases, increasing your skills and depth of knowledge.

2021 Course Dates

Taught course sessions take place between 9am-1pm each Wednesday.

November Cohort

Taught Sessions

November 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th

Team Projects to be completed by: Wednesday 23rd December

Showcase: Friday 15th January, 2-4pm

January Cohort

Taught Sessions

January 13th, 20th, 27th + February 3rd

Team Projects to be completed by: Wednesday 3rd March

Showcase: Friday 5th March, 2-4pm

Course Costs

£350+VAT per person

Booking Information

To book your place or more information, email us at events@ansonevaluate.com.

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