• Cherry Yang

Justice At Last: Airtable Database for a Legal Non-Profit

Introduction

Justice At Last is a non-profit law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area that gives free comprehensive legal services to survivors of all forms of human trafficking. Over the last year, AirOps Consulting has been working with Justice At Last to improve their operations. By reimagining the workflow and implementing an Airtable case management database, AirOps Consulting helped Justice At Last improve their data entry processes, simplify workflows, and provide real-time data reporting. We met with Carolyn Kim, the managing attorney of Justice At Last, to understand how the customized Airtable database has improved processes for their team’s workflow.


"The organization’s goal is to be able to help survivors of human tracking and give them a voice to be able to define justice on their own terms."

Carolyn Kim, Managing Attorney, Justice At Last




The Problem

Before using Airtable, Justice At Last had been using a non-centralized system incorporating a variety of different formats from paper files to spreadsheets to track data. The various data tracking formats made it difficult to ensure everyone was on the same page as to where the most current data was being kept. The organization did not have a single source of truth, increasing time spent to compile data for internal analysis as well as prepare grant reports for funders.


Discovering Airtable

When Carolyn learned about Airtable, she thought that it could help the organization and staff organize and effectively analyze the data being collected. Before meeting with AirOps Consulting, she had tried to use the free Airtable templates that were available. Unfortunately, none of the templates perfectly suited the process Justice At Last needed. Furthermore, the complexity of the modifications needed for the templates to work for Justice At Last was a daunting task that Carolyn did not believe she could do on her own.



The Solution

AirOps consulting helped Justice At Last clarify their needs by first dedicating time to understanding the client’s workflow and designing the database within Airtable. The second step was to implement and configure the database. The Airtable database allowed one member of the team to input data for all incoming requests and calls from potential clients in an organized way. After the initial screening, if the potential client met the eligibility requirements for services, the potential client would then get assigned an attorney for further legal intake and processing. Once the case begins, the team is able to contemporaneously log case notes, track work progress, next steps, while also logging their time to ensure all aspects of the legal case are being tracked.


Now, Justice At Last has a single source of truth for their client data and a well-defined workflow that supports initial requests, lengthy intake processes, and active case management. Through capturing information into one database, Justice At Last is able to track their client information in one place, have the team use one system, and pull reports to analyze data within a fraction of the time.


“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to transform our paper and data into something that is more robust and looks like an expensive legal database management system for a fraction of the cost. Because of AirOps, I now understand how much more we can do with the use of Airtable.”

Carolyn Kim, Managing Attorney, Justice At Last


Better Processes

Airtable has strengthened Justice At Last’s processes including workflow processes across the board, allowing them to develop uniform processes for a variety of different tasks that are essential components to the work that Justice At Last does. This includes collecting information from initial callers, managing intake processes, tracking time, and logging case notes. When building a database, the client is able to look at their process to clearly define the different steps in the workflow. Now, the team at Justice At Last has more clarity on their processes, hand-offs, and knows where to find data from different stages of the workflow.


“Airtable is at the heart of what Justice At Last does, capturing every process from start to finish”

Carolyn Kim, Managing Attorney, Justice At Last


Better Reporting

As a non-profit, Justice At Last is required to complete grant reporting on a quarterly basis (for CalOES, SC17, and the board of directors), where they provide information on client demographics, services offered, and outcomes. This requires Justice At Last to continuously collect data. Before implementing the Airtable database, it would take an entire day to sort through and compile the raw data and pull reporting. However, it took less than 30 minutes with the Airtable case management database!


Better Communication

The case management database has made communication far easier because the database is customized to Justice At Last’s workflow. Team members can quickly see what stage each case or potential client is at, and what each team member has contributed. As a result, less time is spent trying to figure out what others have done in a case, allowing Justice At Last to devote more time to the impactful and important work of representing their clients.



Experience Working with AirOps Consulting

When Carolyn was looking on the Airtable Community Forum, AirOps Consulting stood out due to a podcast Cherry had done about how she had worked with other nonprofits.


“During our first one-on-one consult, Cherry just understood what I was saying even before I completely understood what I was saying. We were just on the same page and she seemed to read my mind, so I knew that this is the person and consulting group that I needed to go with.”

Carolyn Kim, Managing Partner, Justice At Last


Carolyn describes AirOps Consulting as a detail-oriented and thoughtful partner in achieving their goals. AirOps consulting was able to interpret, translate, and build what Carolyn needed in a timely manner.


The custom case management database that AirOps Consulting built for Justice At Last has been instrumental in developing processes for data collection, information sharing, and reporting. The team at Justice At Last has been able to increase their efficiency and communication with one another.


Contact Us

Are you a legal services business or non-profit organization that needs help with client management, project management, or reliable data reporting? Please book an initial consultation with AirOps Consulting. We would love to enable your team and organization to focus on doing your best work, rather than spend valuable time struggling with data management.









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