Presentation on theme: "MINNESOTA CLIENT ACCESS, BARRIERS AND SOLUTIONS (MN-CABS STUDY) A study of Minnesota’s disproportionally underserved legal services clients and proposed."— Presentation transcript:
MINNESOTA CLIENT ACCESS, BARRIERS AND SOLUTIONS (MN-CABS STUDY) A study of Minnesota’s disproportionally underserved legal services clients and proposed responsive strategies
Identify disproportionately underserved groups of legal services- eligible clients around Minnesota, Describe the barriers they face to obtaining legal services, and Develop strategies for overcoming those barriers.
Begun by MSBA’s LAD Committee in 2006 - Intent was to develop reliable, credible information to inform program development and resource allocation decisions. RFP issued in 2008 - Three proposals submitted. The accepted proposal was the most comprehensive and cost-effective. Funding secured in 2010 - Funding sources (to date): ◦ Minnesota State Bar Association ◦ Minnesota Legal Services Coalition ◦ Otto Bremer Foundation ◦ Minnesota State Bar Foundation ◦ Legal Services Advisory Committee
Select four regions for intensive study. The selection criteria will include: ◦ client demographics ◦ service patterns ◦ program experience Conduct an intensive community listening process in the selected regions. Analyze community listening results to identify: ◦ isolated or disproportionately underserved low-income populations ◦ barriers experienced by members of identified communities to accessing legal services, addressing problems that keep them impoverished Develop strategies to address barriers.
Factors to consider in making the selection: ◦ Mix of urban and rural ◦ Distinctive population clusters (ethnicity, language, age, etc.) ◦ High poverty rates ◦ Low levels of legal services provided (proportionate to poverty population) ◦ Significant economic, demographic shifts ◦ Medically underserved ◦ Low educational levels ◦...etc.
Structured, open-ended interviews of eligible clients ◦ Interviews conducted by legal aid and pro bono staff, who will be trained by the Center for Survey Research Interviews with legal aid and pro bono staff, others who have regular contact with low-income individuals, and community members On-line survey of judges and other stakeholders
Identify client groups in the study regions that are disproportionately underserved Ascertain their levels of knowledge and interaction with legal services and pro bono programs Identify significant problems facing the identified client groups Determine reasons for lack of access and service
Broadly collaborative Build on experiences of programs in Minnesota and nationally, including identification of best practices. Consider: ◦ Innovative ways to enhance access/use of technology ◦ Building additional capacity, skills within programs (including cultural and linguistic competency) ◦ Adjusting substantive direction of advocacy ◦ New problem-solving strategies – multi-disciplinary efforts, new collaborations, community-building ◦ Using traditional legal tools (e.g., litigation, policy advocacy, grassroots advocacy, transactional support) to address emerging issues
Hannah Lieberman (Project Manager) ◦ 16 years of legal aid experience ◦ Designed and implemented innovative client needs assessment in Maryland John Tull ◦ 40 years of legal services experience ◦ Former LSC staff member ◦ Extensive experience developing standards and best practices for client service Rosanna Armson ◦ Director, Univ. of Minnesota Center for Survey Research ◦ Extensive experience with quantitative and qualitative information gathering
The advisory committee will oversee the study, offer feedback to the research team, and approve project deliverables The committee includes representatives from stakeholders in Minnesota’s ATJ community Members: ◦ Peter Knapp (William Mitchell College of Law, Chair, Legal Services Planning Committee) ◦ Jean Lastine (Central Minnesota Legal Services) ◦ Sue Pontinen (Volunteer Lawyers Network) ◦ Nick Slade (Barry & Slade, Legal Services Advisory Committee) ◦ Staff support provided by Steve Hirsh (MSBA) and Bridget Gernander (MN Supreme Court)
April 2010 – Project starts with demographic data gathering and research June 2010 – Focus groups with legal services providers around the state; selection of regions for focus of study August 2010 – Train interviewers in selected regions Fall 2010 – Conduct client and third party interviews December 2010 – Preliminary analysis of interviews January 2011 – Focus groups with stakeholders; identify best practices to overcome identified barriers March 2011 – Final report
Regular updates on the study’s progress: http://www.mncourts.gov/?page=3995 http://www.mncourts.gov/?page=3995 Steve Hirsh: email@example.com@mnbar.org (612) 278-6322 Bridget Gernander: Bridget.Gernander@courts.state.mn.us Bridget.Gernander@courts.state.mn.us (651) 284-4379