Evaluation: Evaluation of the Van Nuys Legal Self Help Center - Final Report (California 2001)
In April of 2001, the Empirical Research Group of the UCLA School of Law was commissioned by San Fernando Valley Neighborhood Legal Services and the County of Los Angeles to "design a system, procedure and framework for evaluating the effectiveness of the Self Help Legal Access Center" in the Van Nuys Courthouse (Los Angeles County). Their evaluation aimed to answer four questions:
Does the Center make a difference in the outcomes experienced by litigants?
Do litigants assisted by the Center feel more satisfied with their experience in court as a result of the Center’s services?
Is the Court satisfied with the assistance that the Center provides to litigants?
Are there any demonstrable methods of improving the Center’s services?
The Group used several methodologies to measure the effectiveness and influence of the Self-Help Center, including: examining case files in the offices of various court clerks; placing observers in courtrooms and in the Center; interviewing litigants and court officers; surveying visitors of the Center; and examining Center applications. The Group's findings are presented in this August 30, 2001, report.