AND Digital helps DLA Piper deliver legal support for Ukrainians


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Working with DLA Piper

Collaborating to
provide support

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, life as Ukrainians knew it came to an overnight halt. With immediate safety now the number one priority; government, charities and volunteers sprung into action to help protect the country’s people.

Among those volunteers was a group of immigration lawyers, keen to offer their expertise and advice for the mass number of refugees seeking asylum. Supported by leading law firm DLA Piper, the team set out to guide and support Ukrainians to safety, easing the stress of language barriers, complex paperwork and information overload.

To reach as many people as possible and drive positive impact at pace, the team would have to streamline their manual process significantly. That’s when digital delivery experts AND Digital came into the picture.

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The Challenge

Delivering legal
advice at pace

Modernising a manual referral process

When crisis took hold in Ukraine, DLA Piper were receiving up to 250 requests for advice per day, all via a rudimentary landing page with a simple email function. Manually gathering information and progressing each email conversation to the stage of advice or referral was a long, laborious process, made more complicated by language barriers and difficulty of communication for refugees on the move.

With time of the essence, the team needed help automating their information-gathering process - so they could:

1. Point people in the right direction as early as possible
2. Signpost other resources if legal advice wasn’t the best solution
3. Pair refugees with lawyers in a timely manner
4. Keep up with the mounting number of calls for aid and help as many people as possible


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A modern, intuitive advisory process

Cutting hours of correspondence and time to referral

AND Digital worked with DLA Piper to identify the key information they needed up front, to progress enquiries directly through to advice or referral stage - ultimately cutting hours of correspondence. This information was then used to build clear, user-friendly forms, using React to ensure refugee data could be automatically processed and integrated with third parties as needed.

Data captured via forms was then directly integrated with third party platform Legal Connection, which works to pair those in need with legal help, in a timely manner.

Forms were hosted on a user-friendly Wordpress site, forming part of a broader information resource for refugees. Whilst DLA Piper had lots of helpful content to offer, it was previously difficult to navigate and ascertain relevancy. We reworked the content for ease of understanding, and then split this into separate tabs depending on the refugee’s current situation - ie. for those already in the UK, versus those still in Ukraine. 

Finally, we ensured those resources could be accessed and understood as widely as needed, introducing language-switch to incorporate English, Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.

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Upskilling DLA Piper

As with all of AND Digital’s partnerships, digital products are built as a collaborative team. That meant that, with our team’s digital expertise and DLA Piper’s authority in immigration, we could build a critical product quickly, that not only functions well for users and administrators, it considers the journey and needs of refugees in crisis.

The co-building process gave DLA’s team the opportunity to learn invaluable skills on a real-world project, now having experience in discovery and usability testing, content management and React development. Long term, they’re set up with a content management system they can update as and when new information becomes available, digital forms that can be applied to future crises, and a digital platform they can continue to use indefinitely.

The Result

How AND Digital and DLA Piper evolved the legal process

As a collaborative team of volunteers, AND Digital and DLA Piper were able to revolutionise the legal process for refugees seeking aid. They took a rudimentary, admin-heavy system and reimagined its user experience, process flow and data handling, to deliver advice and legal support to thousands of refugees, at pace.

Streamlined time to referral

Eliminated hours of correspondence by consolidating required information into an intuitive digital form - ensuring Ukrainians could access legal advice as quickly as possible

Third party integration

Integrated captured data with third party Legal Connection, streamlining the process of pairing refugees with lawyers

A key resource

Hosted crisis support information and a legal advisory process on an optimised Wordpress CMS, with an upskilled team ready to evolve content as the situation unfolded.


Find support
and legal advice

We’re proud to have had the opportunity to support DLA Piper and the team of volunteers on this project, and we stand with Ukraine.

If you or your family are seeking aid, head to DLA Piper's Ukraine Advice Project for free legal advice. 

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