Essential Skills for Hotline Supervisors

Skillful supervision and management are essential ingredients of a high-quality, effective legal services delivery system. Essential Skills for Hotline Supervisors provides an introduction to the organizational systems and skills necessary to oversee and guide the work of hotline program staff.

Offered through Shriver's online campus, the course consists of a pre-training week and then three weeks of web-based activities. To learn more, see a sample course syllabus and calendar in the 'sample resources' section.



Faculty Bios

Haydee AlfonsoHaydée Alfonso, Managing Attorney of Bay Area Legal Aid’s Legal Advice Line, has been dedicated to serving the low income and disadvantaged communities in the Bay Area for over 15 years. Ms. Alfonso earned a joint JD/MBA from Santa Clara University’s School of Law and School of Business in 1993. After graduating, Ms. Alfonso joined Gordon & Rees, a nationally recognized private law firm, where she worked as a business attorney. After three years in the private sector, she was presented with a unique opportunity to develop a community-based project which utilized both her business acumen and legal expertise. Ms. Alfonso joined the Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP) of the Bar Association of San Francisco. At VLSP, she developed and managed one of the nation’s first business law projects serving community-based organizations with their legal needs. In 2008, Ms. Alfonso joined Bay Area Legal Aid -- the largest regional provider of free civil legal services in the Bay Area region. She now manages the region’s only free civil legal advice hotline serving over 16,000 callers annually.

Jan ChiarettoJanice Chiaretto is a 1988 graduate of Northeastern University School of law. She has devoted the majority of her decade-plus years practicing law as a legal services attorney in programs including the San Antonio Community Law Center and the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts.   She played a formative role in the creation and development of the Massachusetts Justice Project, a legal aid hot-line program, where she managed the Worcester office from 1997 until 2003.  Currently she is the Executive Director of the intake and advice hotline for all of Connecticut, Statewide Legal Services of Ct, Inc.


 Tom Garrett has practiced law in Vermont for more than 30 years, as a Chittenden County Deputy States Attorney and as a staff attorney and project director at Vermont Legal Aid. Most of his work has been on behalf of Vermont individuals and families who have low income or are disabled or elderly. Since 1996, he has been Executive Director of Legal Services Law Line of Vermont, a non-profit law firm that specializes in community education, counsel, advice, and brief service to low income Vermonters. He got his undergraduate education at the University of Chicago and his legal education at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Away from the world of law, Tom has a master's degree in philosophy from Hunter College, City University of New York, and is a film maker and adjunct professor of cinema studies at Burlington College. Tom lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife, Barbara Murphy.

Ellen Hemley brings over 30 years of experience in the equal justice community to her role as Vice President of Training Programs. Prior to joining the Shriver Center, Ellen served as executive director of the Center for Legal Aid Education, which provided training and leadership development programs to equal justice advocates nationally. Previously, Ellen was Director of Training at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute where, among other things, she oversaw CLAE's predecessor, the Legal Services Training Consortium of New England. She also served for many years as an independent consultant; her clients included the American Bar Association, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the Florida Bar Foundation, the Washington Access to Justice Commission, the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants, and scores of other legal aid networks, bar foundations and justice-related programs across the country.