11 A2J Author® Training Materials

A2J Author

The A2J Authoring Guide for Version 5.0

The A2J Authoring Guide is an online document that provides instructions for installing the software. It also provides a detailed description of the entire process of interview creation, from accessing the software to uploading a completed interview to the LawHelp Interactive server.

New York State Courts Access to Justice Program, Document Assembly Programs Best Practices Guide for Court System Development and Implementation Using A2J Author® (2013).

This document provides a practical guide on why and how to implement document assembly and A2J services, based upon New York State Courts’ experience in implementing document assembly services for low-income litigants. A2J Author® is featured throughout.

Pay special attention to Part II: Programming Essentials, pages 13-21.

All Inclusive A2J Guided Interview

Visit Law Help Interactive and complete the All Inclusive A2J Guided Interview® to see an illustration of all the features available in A2J Author®. Listen to audio clips, click “learn more” buttons, and experience all the tools at A2J Author’s disposal.

Alternative uses for A2J Author and Guided Interviews

Ronald W. Staudt, All the Wild Possibilities: Technology that Attacks Barriers to Access to Justice, 42 Loyola L.A. Law Rev. 1117 (2009).

Ronald Staudt notes that existing legal services cannot address the bulk of legal problems faced by the poor. With as much as 80% of the legal services needs of low-income Americans going totally unmet, Staudt proposes that software-based automation of basic legal services should be deeply explored as a solution to America’s justice gap. Using software such as A2J Author®, lawyers can build guided internet interviews for prospective clients and pro se litigants, automating some of the basic services that would otherwise never be rendered. Regardless of whether or how A2J Author® is employed by lawyers, such software gives us some perspective on some possible service models of the future, as well as potential solutions to America’s justice gap.

Final Report from TIG 09558: Northwest Justice Project Clear Online

The final report on a project funded by a Technology Innovation Grant (TIG) related to A2J Author.

Final Report from TIG 09478: Utah Legal Services Online Intake

The final report on a project funded by a TIG grant related to A2J Author.

Final Report from TIG 07193: Legal Aid of Western Ohio Online Intake

The final report on a project funded by a TIG grant related to A2J Author.

Two More TIG Recipients Successfully Launch Online Intake and Triage Portals

Reports on recently completed TIG projects “show online intake’s incredible value to the legal aid community, including its capacity to save time at legal aid call centers, lower the volume of data entry into case management systems, and ultimately help providers stretch their budgets further to serve low-income clients more effectively.”

Northwest Justice Project allows users to Get Legal Help through CLEAR*Online

CLEAR is Washington’s centralized intake, advice and referral service for low-income individuals seeking free legal assistance with civil legal problems. Explore this tool to appreciate the experience faced by Washington’s pro se litigants.

ABLE and LAWO Allow Users to Access Their Legal Help Line through the Web in Both Spanish and English

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. provide expanded language support to its users by creating A2J Guided Interviews in both Spanish and English.


HotDocs 10 Developer Installation Guide and Tutorial

This PDF document is broken into lessons designed to be done one at a time. These lessons will take several hours to complete. By completing them, you will become well versed in the use of HotDocs 10 and learn how data collected by an A2J Guided Interview can be assembled into a useful court document. It is suggested that new users start by completing Lessons 1-16 (skip 11, 14, and 17).

Help Topics for HotDocs Developer 10

HotDocs Wiki

Standards and Practices for HotDocs Server Applications in Legal Services by Capstone Practice Systems (2011)

A roughly 30-page resource prepared and maintained by Capstone Practice Systems. This resource addresses template standards, naming conventions, selecting, planning and designing applications, pointed component files, HotDocs versions and other topics relevant to developing templates for deployment in HotDocs Online.

Introduction to A2J Author and HotDocs


Basic HotDocs Training


Parts 1 & 2


Parts 3-9


Basic Training Exercise

Introduction to HotDocs

Example: Order of Protection


Advanced HotDocs Training


Overview & Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4



Part 5


A2J Author New User Training


A2J Author – The Basics


A2J Author – The Interview Tab Features


Importing Variables into A2J Author


Organizing Steps Tutorial


New User Training – Back to Basics – Question Design


New User Training – How to Create Repeat Loops


New User Workshop – Functions

New User Training – Program Variables


New User Training – Simple & Conditional Branching


New User Training: Adding Audio, Video, & Graphics


New User Training – Multiple Choice & Check Boxes


New User Training – Advanced Conditions


New User Training – Exit to Save


New User Workshop – Variable Macros

A2J Author Advanced User Training


Advanced User Forum – Nested Repeat Loops


Advanced User Forum – Let’s Talk About Best Practices


Plain Language


  • Plain Language & Readability


Test Assembly



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

A2J Author Course Kit by CALI is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.