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Using the IT system - basic

On the date of a new staff member joining the Board, HR will send an instruction to IT to set up a network, a Lotus Notes/email account, and (where applicable) an EOS account for the user.

On arrival in the office a new staff member should contact IT in order to obtain their network and/or Lotus Notes password. Your network password must be changed as soon as possible in order to protect the security of your account. It is also good practice to change your network password on a regular basis. Windows will prompt you to do this from time to time. You should not use your name or anything else which can be easily guessed as your network password.

Your network password must be changed on your first login and afterwards should not be disclosed to anyone else!

You are accountable for all usage of your computer account.

To change your Windows password, hold down the “Ctrl” (control) key and press “F1”. Click the button “Change a password…” and follow the instructions onscreen.

To access the computer network, turn on the computer. Enter your username and password when the login box appears. When Windows has started you should be automatically logged into the Citrix environment. In the event Citrix does not automatically start click “Citrix Login” (if it is not already open, it should be), then click on Desktops and then IE10-Desktop.

Once logged in, the LAB Portal appears. You should only log on using your own network ID. Never log on to the system using another users network ID.

Access to EOS is controlled by your network log-in. You do not need a separate log in for EOS. If you cannot access EOS, contact the IT Helpdesk.

When you are away from your desk for a short period, you must lock the PC to prevent other users accessing it. To lock the PC, hold down the “Ctrl” key and press “F1”. Then press “Return” or “Enter”. To unlock the computer, enter password.

(Note that the normal Ctrl-Alt-Del sequence you may be familiar with from other Windows environments will not work on our system.).

Locking the PC should only be done when you are going to be away from your desk for a short period. In the event that you are going to be away from your desk for a longer absence (of thirty minutes or more), you should log off the system and shut down the PC where appropriate.

For both data integrity and environmental reasons, it is necessary to shut down all PCs daily. Each user should shut down their PC when leaving the premises at the end of the day.

To exit the Citrix client, click Start à Log Off. Once returned to the local Windows installation, click Start à Power, then “Shutdown” to shut down Windows. Most modern PCs will automatically turn off once Windows is shut down. The monitor will not automatically turn off and should be done so manually once Windows finishes shutting down.

You must log out of Windows by using Start > Log off, and the Citrix client will close automatically when you have logged off the Windows server

If you attempt to exit by closing the Citrix client using the Close button or by choosing Control Menu à Close, a dialog box will ask if you are sure you want to disconnect. Click “Cancel”, and then log out via Start à Log Off.

You should not use the Close button on the Citrix client in normal circumstances, as this only closes the Citrix client on your local PC, but does not log you off the Windows server.

Closing the Citrix client without logging off the server first, can lead to loss of data, as IT Unit reboot the servers on a nightly basis. The Citrix client now runs full screen so it is no longer possible in most circumstances to accidently close the Citrix client.

If you have a local printer, you should turn it off manually at the end of the day. The last staff member to leave an open-plan office at the end of the day should turn off the shared printers.

The Portal is a way of accessing common applications in use in the Board.

The portal runs in Microsoft Internet Explorer. It includes:-

  • your last five emails from your Inbox;.
  • links to access the e-library, telephone directory, and commonly used applications; access to shared directories; and,
  • access to your case management system.

As an alternative, Windows Explorer remains available. Click the “Close” button (the “X”) on the Internet Explorer title bar, and the Windows desktop will appear.

The Board uses Lotus Notes both as its email program and also as a host for many of the databases which the Board maintains.

To log into Lotus Notes, click on the “Notes” icon in the LAB Portal or the Windows desktop. The Notes Workspace will appear where you can access your email or other databases.

A shared diary application is provided in Lotus Notes. All appointments, leave, risk register dates, and other significant events taking place in the office should be recorded on the shared diary. In law centres, EOS (the Board’s Case Management System) pushes certain appointments to your Shared Diary automatically, and in certain other cases, you can choose to have an entry in EOS recorded on your Shared Diary.

Applicable to law centres only
Shared directories (folders)

Each law centre has two shared network directories (also called folders, or “network drives”) – “client” and “common”. The common directory for your law centre is usually mapped to the drive letter S: IT Unit will give you access rights to the shared directories for your law centre when your account is set up.

You are also given a personal home directory on the network, usually mapped to the drive letter U: However, all files that you are working on, which are law centre official business, must be stored on the Common drive and not in your personal directory.

All law centre files must be either saved in the Common drive, or where applicable, in the appropriate database.

Users must not save law centre business in their personal directory (U: drive)

The reason for this is that if you are absent from the office for unforeseen reasons, or if you move law centres or leave the Board, other users will be able to continue your work. Only you and IT Unit personnel have access to your home directory.

Organising the shared directory

The shared directory should be organised as follows:-

  • In the root directory, there should be a folder entitled “Clients Archive”. (This folder was formerly named “Clients”.).
    • Within the “Clients Archive” folder, there will be a number of folders to categorise files alphabetically, for example “A-D”, “E-H”, “I-L”, “M-P”, “Q-T”, “U-Z.”
    • Within each of these folders, files should be named “Lastname.Firstname.FileNo.Year”, so for example, a file opened for John Smith in 2009 with number AA1101 would be called “Smith.John.1101.09”.
    • Each of these files should contain separate “Documents” and “Letters” folders.
  • The root directory should also contain a “Law Centre Admin” folder.
  • The Law Centre Admin folder should contain subfolders for the “Risk Register”, “File Management”, “Reports”, “Team Meetings”, and “Other/Misc”.
  • The Returns folder should contain subfolders for “HR”, “Finance”, “Professional Indemnity”, and “Applications record.”
  • The “File Management” folder should contain “File Location” and “Closed Files folders”.

All client related documentation should be created in EOS. There should be no further saving of documents within the “Clients Archive” folder and its subfolders. These folders should be used solely to read and edit documents that have already been created prior to the roll-out of EOS.

 All client related documentation should be created in EOS. The “Clients Archive” folder (and its subdirectories) is for archive purposes only.

Most staff have limited access to the internet, via Microsoft Internet Explorer. A list of approved sites has been drawn up by IT Unit and all other websites are blocked.

To view the list of approved websites, click Favourites à LAB Standard Internet List in Internet Explorer. To have a site whitelisted contact IT Cahirciveen with the URL and the business reason access is needed. The approval of your line manager will normally be needed.

Other applications available include Microsoft Office.  Rules of Court can be found on www.courts.ie

Sample layout for shared directories

Currently the Board uses Microsoft Office 2010 for word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software.

All precedent documentation in EOS is created in the appropriate Microsoft Office format, usually Microsoft Word.

The Board’s Equality and Disability Strategy stipulates the use of a 12 point sans-serif font as the standard font to be used in documents. Sans-serif fonts include Arial and Helvetica.  All precedent documentation in EOS is in Arial 12 point or larger and users should not change the default font.

A Style Guide is a set of standards for writing documents. The aim is to ensure all written communications follow a consistent accessible style.

Our style guide was introduced during 2016 and is available at è Appendix B. It applies to all written communications in the English language, whether internal or external, except for Court documents and correspondence between lawyers.

New staff joining the Board are required to sign the Computer Usage Policy during their induction.

The Computer Usage Policy states that the computer system should be used primarily for official business only and expressly prohibits:-

  • importation and onward transmission of certain identifiable types of files which can physically damage the network (.exe; non virus checked);
  • transmission of text, audio or video material, which can be, construed as sexist, racist, bullying, harassing or discriminatory;
  • allowing others to use your identification;
  • time wasting; and
  • inappropriate use of the Internet. 

A small amount of limited personal use of e-mail and Internet facilities is permitted if such use does not otherwise infringe the policy.

The full computer usage policy is available on iLAB. However it can be summarised as follows:

Network Security

Do Do not
  • Change your passwords when requested.
  • Use a unique password(s), a good password is one that cannot be guessed.
  • Lock your workstation when you leave your desk
  • Log out if you are leaving the office.
  • Change your password if you think it is known to some one else
  • Log on to the network as anyone other than yourself.
  • Share your password
  • Write your password down and leave it where it can been found.
  • Use any disks/media without virus checking them first.
  • Save unauthorised data to the Board’s network
  • Load any unauthorised programs or .exe files etc.


Do Do not
  • Double check the name of the intended recipient before sending
  • Show vigilance by not replying to spam e-mails e.g. providing bank details etc.
  • Keep your e-mail password confidential
  • Send images, videos or junk mail to other people.
  • Send e-mails for political canvassing or selling goods.
  • Use anyone else’s e-mail account or allow anyone else to use yours.
  • Participate in chain mailing
  • Send any material that may be considered offensive or e-mail that could be perceived as derogatory.

World Wide Web

Do Do not
  • Request sites to be added to the standard list of sites, through your line manager if required for business purposes.
  • Report any sites that may cause offence or could be perceived as derogatory.
  • Visit sites that contain obscene, pornographic or offensive material.
  • Allow other people to log onto the Internet under your username
  • Upload data unless business related
  • Download videos, images, audio files etc. unless business related
  • Express personal opinion as being representative of the Legal Aid Board
  • Visit social networking sites such as Bebo, Facebook, YouTube etc.
  • Access the Internet under some one else’s username

Each office must appoint an “IT Superuser” who is responsible for coaching individual staff on basic computer procedures and helping with minor problems with using IT applications. The IT Superuser is the first point of contact where there is a minor (non-technical) issue with a computer programme or application.

IT Unit provides help manuals on the general usage of the computer system. These are available on an “IT Help Manuals” tile on your Lotus Notes workspace.

For more specific and/or technical help, the IT Helpdesk may be contacted. There are three ways to contact the Helpdesk. The preferred method should be to use the Lotus Notes database, if Lotus Notes is unavailable, the web application may be used.

The telephone line option (066 9471076) should only be used where the IT system is itself inaccessible (ie. you cannot log onto the network at all).

Lotus Notes

You can log a Helpdesk support call directly from your Lotus Notes inbox. Just above the list of mails in your inbox you will notice a button called Log Servicedesk Call

By clicking on this button you will be given access to a self explanatory form which when completed and submitted, logs the call on the IT Service Desk database. It is very important that as much information as possible is entered in the description field as this will help IT Unit resolve the call as quickly as they can.  Once the form is complete you should click submit.

Log servicedesk

Once the call has been "picked up" by an IT staff member you will receive an email with a call reference (ticket number) number and a link to the IT Service Desk where you can view your call.

Directly on the IT Service desk application

Open Internet Explorer and go to favourites and click on the link for IT Service Desk. You may be prompted to logon - username = first name surname (eg jane jones) and the password is password. If this doesn't work please contact the IT Helpdesk on 066-9471076.

To log a call, click on “New Call”. Again, the form is self explanatory. It is very important that as much information as possible is entered in the description field as this will help IT Unit resolve the call as quickly as they can. Once you have entered all the info required then click on LOG CALL.  You can save the call as a draft if you don’t have all the info you need at hand to create the call. Once the call has been created you will receive an email with a call reference (ticket number) number and a link to the call on the IT Service Desk where you can view the progress of the call and who the call has been assigned to etc.

Once the call has been resolved by an IT staff member you will receive an email informing you that the call has been resolved. You can then review the call and if satisfied close the call. You will continue to receive emails regarding a resolved call until you close it yourself. If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of a resolved call you can reactivate the call.


The third way to log a call is by phone. The IT Helpdesk has a dedicated number 066-9471076. You should ring this number for all IT related queries and problems. Please do not ring individual IT Unit staff members unless it is following up on an existing assigned call. If you happen to get an answering machine please leave a number and someone will revert to you as soon as possible.