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MINNESOTA CLIENT ACCESS, BARRIERS AND SOLUTIONS (MN-CABS STUDY) A study of Minnesota’s disproportionally underserved legal services clients and proposed.

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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:

1 MINNESOTA CLIENT ACCESS, BARRIERS AND SOLUTIONS (MN-CABS STUDY) A study of Minnesota’s disproportionally underserved legal services clients and proposed responsive strategies

2  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.

3  Begun by MSBA’s LAD Committee in Intent was to develop reliable, credible information to inform program development and resource allocation decisions.  RFP issued in Three proposals submitted. The accepted proposal was the most comprehensive and cost-effective.  Funding secured in Funding sources (to date): ◦ Minnesota State Bar Association ◦ Minnesota Legal Services Coalition ◦ Otto Bremer Foundation ◦ Minnesota State Bar Foundation ◦ Legal Services Advisory Committee

4  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.

5  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.

6  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

7  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

8  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

9  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

10  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)

11  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

12  Regular updates on the study’s progress:  Steve Hirsh: (612)  Bridget Gernander: (651)


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