Amsterdam’s Women’s Legal Advice Center Provides Digital Access to Justice

Vrouwenrechtswinkel and BRYTER

The Vrouwenrechtswinkel (the first Women’s Legal Advice Center in Amsterdam) and BRYTER are excited to announce a new partnership that automates many of the Vrouwenrechtswinkel’s time-consuming operational tasks, allowing them to focus on what matters: expanding their reach to women in need of legal support. This move is expected to save the organization many hours each month, allowing for the opening of two additional centers planned for September 2022.

Providing access to justice

The Vrouwenrechtswinkel was founded by the Amsterdam Law Hub (University of Amsterdam), Bureau Clara Wichmann and the Municipality of Amsterdam in September 2021. Their mission is to provide free legal advice for women in the workplace, domestically, in social issues, rental law, immigration law, and other categories.

For the center, access to justice for women is paramount — but as a lean organization with fewer than 20 members (primarily law student volunteers, and two Chief Advisors who oversee cases and provide legal review) and hundreds of monthly requests, it’s a challenge to meet the demand for help. Each request takes a few hours to resolve, and it quickly becomes a struggle to balance the organization’s day-to-day administration with the volume of new requests.

Going digital

In the organization’s first months, the team relied on a mixture of manual tasks to manage cases and distribute workloads to each student advisor, like assigning cases by WhatsApp and using HubSpot Deals to track meetings, record drafts and keep notes. Half an hour per case was spent finding and passing on the right case via WhatsApp so one of the chief advisers could approve the advice.

To address these inefficiencies and expand their services to more women, the team has adopted workflow automation using BRYTER, a platform valued by legal teams for its ease of use, power, and flexibility. They’ve used the platform to build digital applications that save critical hours each month on tasks like checking student availability and tracking workloads. The tool provides analytics about how many cases each student is managing, as well as insight into demand from each legal area the center services, which will also be reported back to the City of Amsterdam to help officials understand the types of cases for which women are seeking assistance so resources can be allocated effectively. This also allows the center to more efficiently distribute cases and make plans to service the present and future needs of their clients.

Of the partnership, Susan Leclercq, Project Leader at the Vrouwenrechtswinkel, says: “We have had to dedicate hours of precious work time to the admin of the center time that should be spent using our team’s legal expertise. Going digital with BRYTER gives us back time to achieve our mission: providing access to justice for women.”

Frances Singleton-Clift, Research and Innovation Manager, agrees: “As a non-profit women’s rights clinic, it is essential we maximize the hours our volunteers can spend helping vulnerable women in Amsterdam. BRYTER helps us get more done, better, by reducing time lost through case and resource management tasks so we can get back to helping people. It also supports us in building a better picture of the challenges facing women, to improve our services and scale as an organization. We can’t wait to see how BRYTER can help us grow.”

“Dozens of hours have been spent on administrative tasks instead of work that contributes to the mission of the women’s rights center. We are thrilled to see how effectively the Vrouwenrechtswinkel have implemented this solution,” adds Jasper van Son, Account Executive and Regional Lead at BRYTER.

The upgrade will enable the Center’s plans to scale as the organization opens two more legal assistance centers in other parts of Amsterdam this year due to overwhelming demand.

Enquiries to: communications@bryter.io

About the Vrouwenrechtswinkel

The Vrouwenrechtswinkel was founded by the Amsterdam Law Hub (University of Amsterdam), Bureau Clara Wichmann and the Municipality and is the capital’s first free legal advice clinic for women. The Vrouwenrechtswinkel offers free legal clinic services for women for any legal issue. A team of legal advisers (law students of the University of Amsterdam and Free University Amsterdam) examine the legal issues the clients put forward and are being supervised by a paid inhouse lawyer who safeguards the students’ work. An extensive network of advocates and women’s organisations support the Vrouwenrechtswinkel. Consultations take place in a community centre and are freely accessible with or without appointment. Advisers address clients in many different languages and further a gender sensitive and inclusive work culture. As such, the Vrouwenrechtswinkel provides a safe space for women to talk about their situation and receive expert legal advice to enable them to get justice. www.vrouwenrechtswinkelamsterdam.nl

About BRYTER

BRYTER is the workflow automation platform that enables business experts to build digital applications . The no-code app builder gives enterprise teams the tools to build self-service apps to provide faster, more accurate services to their colleagues, without programming. BRYTER is especially geared to professionals in law, compliance, accounting and finance, who use the no-code software to automate complex, recurring decisions and scenarios. Global brands from consumer industries (McDonald’s), through financial services (ING) to professional service firms (Deloitte, PwC and KPMG), use BRYTER to deliver legal operations and a broad array of services digitally. BRYTER is a remote-first company with offices in New York, London, Dublin, Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin. www.bryter.com

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