Docassemble Toolkit FAQ

General

Expert systems like Docassemble are types of software that help users make decisions, get advice, or just relay information. Although the name focuses on creating "documents", Docassemble is a flexible expert system that can be leveraged across a wide range of different use cases -- including assembling documents like pleadings, filing applications, storing or transmitting user inputs, or generating recommendations. Whether you're building the next Turbotax or just trying to speed up work at your firm, an expert system could be the solution for you.

The best place to start is at the source: the Docassemble website. The Docassemble website has extensive documentation -- covering everything from setup to scalability. We recommend you also check out the Docassemble slack channel or this tutorial on how to create a simple interview.

No. All credit is due to creator Jonathan Pyle and the community of contributors who have been working on the Docassemble open-source project for the last several years. What Community.lawyer created is an independent application called "Docassemble Toolkit". Docassemble Toolkit is a set of services that are aimed at supporting and growing the impact of Docassemble.

Answers

Answers is a place where you can easily store, view, and download responses you receive to interviews created in Docassemble. To use the service, just create a Docassemble Toolkit account and then use this guide to configure your interviews.

The first 1,000 answers you store in your Toolkit account each month are hosted for free. If you exceed the 1,000 responses/month limit, you'll either have to delete some of your old answers or contact us about a high-volume subscription. There is no lifetime cap on the number of answers you can store.

You own your data. Community.lawyer only has the limited rights needed to host and troubleshoot any technical issues.

Servers

Docassemble is free, but before you can start using it, you have to set it up -- a process that requires deploying a Docker container and configuring servers or cloud hosting. For security purposes, users should also encrypt their Docassemble instance using SSL.

If that process sounds overly technical, then Docassemble Toolkit may be right for you. Our service fully automates the setup process and manages cloud hosting -- letting you focus on authoring your guided interview or document assembler.

Even for users who may be comfortable with the technical aspects of the setup process, Docassemble Toolkit could be a helpful service. That's because, in many cases, hosting through the Toolkit costs about the same as (or less than) paying for cloud hosting directly through providers like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

The Docassemble Toolkit provides a service for deploying and maintaining a Docker container running Docassemble on an Amazon Web Services ECS cluster. The service also provides your Docassemble instance with its own S3 bucket, with up to 10GiB of storage. Containers share an EC2 instance as a host, with up to 2GiB of memory accessible per container. Our service also configures SSL web traffic encryption for your Docassemble instance using Amazon ACM. If you need to run Docassemble using a different set of specs, feel free to reach out and we'll see if Docassemble Toolkit can be used to help.

Docassemble Toolkit takes the security and privacy of user data extremely seriously. The team behind Docassemble Toolkit -- Community.lawyer, P.B.C. -- has deep experience building applications to securely transmit and store data for large legal organizations, and built the Toolkit using industry-standard encryption and security measures, including SSL encryption. Docassemble Toolkit utilizes Amazon Web Services for cloud hosting and Stripe for payment processing -- trusted, industry-leading services in their respective fields.

Leads (beta)

Yes. We don't charge developers a dime to receive notifications about projects. In some cases, though, we may receive compensation from the potential client for services we're providing.

Community.lawyer operates a national platform that's used by a diverse array of organizations -- including bar associations, legal incubators, and law firms. The kind of projects we source through our network are as diverse as our partners -- from small, internal projects for law firms to large, public-facing projects for referral services or legal aid organizations.

Just let us know you're interested in the project, and in most cases, we'll connect you directly with the potential client. The two of you can then decide if you want to work together.

For a small number of projects, our team might also be involved to provide project management services or additional technical help.