Redesign of the Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder - RFP

Community Legal Aid seeks to contract with one or more UX and/ or UI experts to design an upgraded Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder, www.masslrf.org, the civil legal aid triage portal for Massachusetts.

 

1. PURPOSE AND DESCRIPTION:

1.1. Background and Purpose:

The Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder (LRF), www.masslrf.org, launched in 2014 as a result of funding from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). It was one of the first legal services userbased online triage tools in the country. The LRF continues to see high usage, with 2,500-3,000 searches for legal help per month. It is the most comprehensive online directory of civil legal services for low income people in Massachusetts, with over 80 civil legal aid, pro bono, non profit, government and court based programs or projects included in the database. With nearly 600 legal issues catalogued in the database, the LRF offers users a one stop resource to locate relevant and available legal resources in their community.

With funding from LSC, Community Legal Aid (CLA), in partnership with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), is undertaking an upgrade of the LRF to improve the user experience for the public who are seeking legal help and for social service providers who are assisting those with legal needs, as well as for the administrators at the legal services programs who are responsible for maintaining the individual program listings. We are also developing a new endpoint to be added to the LRF results - a “legal checkup tool” to help people identify whether the financial problem they are experiencing may have a component that can be addressed with legal remedies.

The current LRF is part of www.masslegalservices.org, which uses the Drupal content management system. As part of the upgrade, we are moving the LRF to its own Drupal 8 website.

In the current site, those seeking legal help enter their location, income, age and then select their issue from a list of almost 600 specific issue areas, which are organized by topic and uses branching logic. The upgraded site will keep this branching logic, but will add an additional field to allow users to describe their issue using natural language.

At the back end, there is a record for each legal help provider which includes very granular information about which of the almost 600 legal issues they can assist with, and the specific geographic, financial and age requirements to get service for each issue. The upgraded site will likely include some additional demographic factors such as whether the person seeking help is a victim of crime, a veteran, or has a disability.

1.2. Goal

The overall goal of this project is to improve the LRF by adding enhancements that will make it easier for users to identify their legal problem and locate appropriate and available legal help, and for administrators to maintain and update their resource listings. This will be achieved through a number project objectives including:

• Adding an Artificial Intelligence powered interface to the LRF so that users can start their search using natural language

• Adding a legal check-up tool to the LRF that will enable users to more comprehensively identify financial problems which have legal implications

• Redesign the search results display and related views so that users can more easily locate and navigate the variety of legal resources available to them

• Improve the user interface for participating program administrators who maintain LRF listings so they can more easily interact with the site to update their listings

1.3. Scope of Work and Deliverables

● Recommend what, if any, changes are needed to the existing pathway that users follow when performing their search for legal help, and designing these changes as needed.

● Design an intuitive interface for the results page so that users can easily determine which of the many resources available to them are most appropriate for their own unique situation and constraints. Right now, users are presented with a long list of varied types of resources, including legal information, full representation from lawyers, telephone hotlines, court clinics, and more. We anticipate that this redesign might include additional ways of sorting or identifying results based on type of service provided (representation, advice, forms), manner of accessing the service (phone, online, in person) or both.

● Design a form or interface that will allow the legal help providers use to input and update complex information about their programs’ eligibility criteria in an intuitive and streamlined way. The current form is cumbersome, particularly for those programs that have multiple services or offices with differing eligibility criteria.

● Design the mobile responsive website that will house the LRF. The website will primarily consist of the legal help search, but will also include a sortable/filterable display of the directory of legal help programs that are part of the LRF.

● Design the legal check up tool interface. This tool will be an additional end point for LRF search results, but can also be used separately from the LRF.

We require a mobile-optimized layout of the website for mobile, as well as quality layouts for desktop and tablet devices. All designs must implement UI/UX best practices including but not limited to use of WCAG 2.1 guidelines. We require the website to be 508 compliant.

The consultant(s) will complete the following tasks:

● Discovery: Review existing site and meet with the LRF project team to discuss scope, project requirements, design needs, needs of target audience, and basic navigation. Review similar sites. Perform and document a user experience analysis (users include both those seeking legal help, and program admins).

● Design: At a minimum, provide templates as an Adobe photoshop file, for both a mobile and desktop design for the new website, including the home page, the legal help search pathway pages, the results pages, the legal check up tool, the directory displays, the program administration form and all required website elements. Icons should be delivered as PNG files as well. Delivering a prototype of the designs so that users can interact with them at the initial testing stage is preferred.

● Documentation: Documentation of all designs so they can be implemented by a Drupal programmer, including but not limited to: style guide that includes all colors (including hex and RBG values) and font styles (font, size, weight) for headings (H1 to H5), and body elements. Designs should indicate which style is used on what element. Any interactions that are not visually obvious in the design should also be documented

● User testing (stage one) of the new designs prior to programming the site. (Users include both those seeking legal help, and the legal provider admins who will be maintaining program listings.) Modifying designs as needed (up to two times) based on the testing and feedback from the LRF project team.

● User testing (stage two) of the site once the design is implemented into a development site. Modifying designs as needed (up to two times) based on the testing and feedback from the LRF project team.

Items not included in the scope of work:

● Technical implementation of design

1.4 Budget:

The funding for this project derives from an LSC TIG, and the budget allocated for this portion of the project is not to exceed $22,000.

1.5 Timeline for Completion:

As per the RFP schedule, the successful vendor should be available to begin work as soon as feasible after the contract is signed. We desire to have certain deliverables completed as follows:

● Initial design of the administration form: May 22, 2019

● Initial designs of the other interfaces: June 21, 2019

● Final designs: September 1, 2019

● User testing of site once programmed: To be determined but no later than June 30, 2020

All work to be completed by June 30, 2020.

1.6 Payment: Payment will be made in installments as agreed-upon milestones are met. Proposals should be “total cost” bids covering all specifications. All proposals must be fixed bid with a not-to-exceed amount.

2. RFP ADMINISTRATION AND INSTRUCTIONS TO VENDORS:

2.1. RFP Coordinator:

Upon release of this RFP, all vendor communications concerning this acquisition must be directed to the RFP Coordinator listed below. Any oral communications will be considered unofficial and nonbinding on CLA. Only written statements issued by the RFP Coordinator may be relied upon. Gordon Shaw, Director of Client Access Community Legal Aid 20 Hampton Ave, Suite 100 Northampton, MA 01060 Email: gshaw@cla-ma.org Telephone: 413-727-7104

2.2. RFP Schedule:

RFP released – March 8, 2019

Responses due not later than 11:59 pm ET on April 1, 2019

Successful vendor announced – April 8, 2019

Contract signed and work commences – April 19, 2019

2.3. Vendor Questions:

 Vendors may contact the RFP Coordinator at the address and/or numbers listed in Subsection 2.1 above with any questions concerning this RFP. All questions must be received prior to the response due date and time listed in Subsection 2.2 above. Written questions are preferred and should be submitted by email to ensure receipt and timely response.

2.4. Response Format:

 The proposal must be sent electronically via email in Microsoft Word 97 or newer version, RTF, or Adobe PDF format to the RFP Coordinator designated in Section 2.1 of this RFP. The email subject should be clearly marked “Massachusetts LRF Proposal ”.

Vendors should allow enough electronic delivery time to ensure timely receipt of their proposals by the RFP Coordinator. Vendors assume the risk for any email delay problems.

2.5. Response Requirements and Content:

Vendors must respond to each question/requirement contained in Exhibit A, Vendor Response. In preparing their response, vendors should restate each requirement and then give their response.

2.6. Costs of Preparing Responses:

CLA will not pay any vendor costs associated with
preparing responses, submitted in response to this RFP.

2.7. Responses Property of CLA:

All responses, accompanying documentation and other
materials submitted in response to this RFP shall become the property of CLA and will not be
returned.

2.8. RFP Amendments/Cancellation/Reissue/Reopen:

CLA reserves the right to change the
RFP Schedule or issue amendments to this RFP at any time. CLA also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP. All such actions will be posted on CLA's website.

2.9. Minor Administrative Irregularities:

CLA reserves the right to waive minor administrative irregularities contained in any response.

2.10. Inability to Enter Contract:

CLA reserves the right to eliminate from further consideration any vendor that CLA, because of legal or other considerations, is unable to contract with at the time responses are due in accordance with the schedule contained in Subsection 2.2 above.

2.11. No Obligation to Enter a Contract:

2.11.1. The release of this RFP does not compel CLA to enter any contract.

to this RFP whether or not the vendor's response has been evaluated and whether or not the
vendor has been determined to be qualified. Exercise of this reserved right does not affect
CLA's right to contract with any other vendor.

2.11.3. CLA reserves the right to request an interview with any vendor and/or a demonstration
from any vendor prior to entering a contract with that vendor. If a vendor declines the request
for an interview or demonstration for any reason, the vendor may be eliminated from further
consideration.

2.12. Multiple Contracts:

CLA reserves the right to enter contracts with more than one vendor as a result of this RFP.

2.15. Non-Endorsement: The selection of a vendor pursuant to this RFP does not constitute an
endorsement of the vendor's services. The vendor agrees to make no reference to CLA in any
literature, promotional material, brochures, sales presentations, or the like without the express
written consent of CLA.

2.16. Contract Payment Limitations: Vendors should anticipate payment at the end rather than
the beginning of the invoice period in which they provide services or after they submit any
deliverable for which a payment is due.

3. RFP EVALUATION:

3.1. CLA and MLRI’s Evaluation Team (Team) of at least two (2) persons will evaluate the
responses to this RFP. The Team may also consider past contract performance and check
references beyond those listed in the vendor’s response.

3.2. As part of the evaluation process, at the discretion of the Team, vendors may be asked to
clarify specific points in their response and may seek to interview the vendor by telephone.
However, under no circumstances will the vendor be allowed to make changes to the
response.

4. POST EVALUATION

4.1. Notification of Selection of Apparently Successful Vendor: Vendors whose responses have
not been selected for further negotiations or award will be notified via email.

4.2. Contract Award/General Terms and Conditions: Vendors selected to provide application
services will be expected to enter into a contract with CLA.

EXHIBIT A - VENDOR RESPONSE

Responses must contain the following information in the following format. Please restate the
requirement or question and number your responses to correspond with the information
requested here.

1. Vendor’s Name, address, federal tax identification number or Social Security Number (SSN),
Uniform Business Identifier (UBI) number, and a description of the vendor’s legal status, e.g.,
corporation, sole proprietor, etc.

2. Vendor contact’s Name, telephone number, fax number and email.

3. A statement that guarantees that the response constitutes a firm offer valid for sixty (60) days following receipt and that CLA may accept any time within the 60 day period.

4. A statement on whether the vendor or any employee of the vendor is related by blood or
marriage to a CLA employee or member of its Board of Directors or resides with an CLA
employee or member of its Board of Directors. If there are such relationships, list the names
and relationships of said parties. Include the position and responsibilities within the vendor's
organization of such vendor employees.

5. State whether the vendor has been a party in any litigation during the past five (5) years, all such incidents except employment related cases must be described, including the other parties'
name, address, and telephone number. Present the vendor's position on the matter.

6. Provide at least two (2) references for same or similar services you have completed for other
programs in the last five years. Please include a phone number or email address of the
referenced individual so he/she may be contacted.

7. Provide 3 work samples of similar projects or links to a design portfolio

8. Please provide a Statement of Interest and Understanding which includes a description of your
approach to completing the Scope of Work and Deliverables along with a project timeline and
detailed project budget.

9. Please state your total cost for completing this work

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