Resources for Performing and Using a Legal Needs Assessment

A. Why Do a Legal Needs Assessment?

CLICK HERE to read how one program leader used the results of a needs assessment to grow and diversify his program's funding at a time when others were facing drastic cuts.

B. Overview of Methods and Applications for Legal Needs Studies

  1. CLICK HERE for an overview presentation by The Resource of the rationale, methods, and applications for legal needs assessments by civil justice advocates.
  2. CLICK HERE for a summary by The Resource distributed at our recent session at the NLADA Annual Conference.

C. Sample Legal Needs Study Reports

  1. "Perspectives on Poverty & Civil Legal Need in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, & Montgomery Counties. A 2009-10 Assessment for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania. March 2010." By The Resource for Great Programs.
  2. "Ocean-Monmouth Legal Services - 2009 Legal Needs Assessment." By The Resource for Great Programs.
  3. New York - "Findings of Lake Research Partners on Civil Legal Needs Among Low Income New York State Residents," November 2010.
  4. "State Legal Needs Studies Point to 'Justice Gap.' Recent studies validate findings of 1993 ABA study regarding lack of access by low-income people." Dialogue Magazine, Summer 2005, pg. 32, 34-35. By Robert Echols, State Support Consultant for the ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives.

D. Other Resources

  1. The Resource for Great Programs
  2. The ABA Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid (August 2006):
  3. ABA Access-to-Justice Support Program:
    1. ATJ Web Page
    2. ATJ Support Library - (Click the "Legal Needs" check box.)
  4. National Legal Aid & Defender Association's E-Library: (Search "legal needs" and "needs assessment.")
  5. Legal Services Corporation 45 CFR Part 1620:
    1. Priorities in the Use of Resources
    2. Compliance Requirement and Suggested Audit Procedures
  6. LSC Performance Criteria (2007 Edition)
  7. LSC Resource Library
    1. Program Resources: Legal Needs Assessments
    2. Needs Assessments
  8. LSC - Documenting the Justice Gap in America (September 2009)
  9. Demographic data & statistics
    1. U.S. Census
    2. American Factfinder