Researchers analyzed the impact of interdisciplinary representation (i.e., having a legal team which incorporates other professionals for parents in child welfare proceedings. They found that when parents received interdisciplinary representation, children spent an average of 118 fewer days in foster care during the four years following the abuse or neglect case filing. Children whose parents received interdisciplinary representation achieved overall permanency, reunification, and guardianship more quickly.
Researchers and Academics
Qualitative Research Exploring Experiences and Perception of Unbundled Legal Services
This study looked at unbundled legal services in England from the consumer, provider and judicial perspective.
Aging, Women and Poverty in California: We Must Do More
In 2016, the CA Commission on Aging joined with the California Women’s Law Center and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to host the first statewide convening focused on older women in poverty through the lenses of retirement options, elder justice, food insecurity, and health access. This article provides evidence that the relationship between legal services and Adult Protective Services (APS) and the Long Term Care Ombudsman should be strengthened in order to expand and improve elder justice resources.
Stopped, Fined, Arrested: Racial Bias in Policing & Traffic Courts in California
This report describes the role that racial bias plays in the practices of police and traffic courts in California. Using records collected from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, U.S. Census, and a host of police departments, the authors offer evidence that a disproportionate number of license suspensions and arrests related to unpaid fines and fees exacerbate poverty among low-income populations. The discussion also includes true accounts of such experiences as well as recommendations for alleviating issues related to the criminal justice system’s handling of traffic infractions.
Five Evils: Multidimensional Race and Poverty in America
The Brookings Institution presents a report outlining a multifaceted view of poverty in the United States. Researchers expand traditional definitions by highlighting the impacts of household income, education, poverty related to area of residence, health insurance, and employment, with focus on racial inequity. Trends in census data as well as implications for policy change are discussed.
Partnerships Between Health Care and Legal Providers in the Veterans Health Administration
Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs) offer a unique union between legal aid and health care services. Focusing on the operations of Veteran Health Administration (VHA) medical centers in Connecticut and New York, this report describes MLP development and application in the context of veterans’ needs. After discussing the critical needs of the veteran population, the authors conclude with steps regarding how to go about establishing an MLP.
Law as Healer: How Paying for Medical-Legal Partnerships Saves Lives and Money
This report explores a large body of empirical evidence showing that increased access to legal services via medical legal partnerships can substantially improve health outcomes. Built on the merger of legal aid and health care providers, the medical-legal partnership (MLP) approach provides a more holistic model for addressing social and health related issues among low income populations. The author offers several policy recommendations to develop sustainable funding for MLP programs that pursue legal resolutions to health-harming social risks.
Empirical Studies of Law and Social Change: What is the Field? What are the Questions?
This article looks at the role of empirical research in understanding the relationship between the law and social change. While discussing the law’s power to inform political reform, this article describes several ways in which lawyers can become involved in social activism.
Rubber Stamp Justice: US Courts, Debt Buying Corporations, and the Poor
Incorporating over 100 interviews as well as relevant literature and empirical data, this Human Rights Watch article develops a comprehensive assessment of practices that fail to serve equal access to justice in debt buying cases. Additionally, it describes potential solutions to alleviate inequality in the courts through reform legislation and increased funding for legal aid programs focused on serving low-income clients.
Legislating Forgiveness: A Study of Post-Conviction Certificates as Policy to Address the Employment Consequences of a Conviction
A criminal record poses a variety of challenges to becoming a productive, law-abiding member of society. Certificates restoring eligibility for employment and certain licenses possess the potential to help individuals with a criminal record overcome such obstacles to achieve successful reentry. This study indicates that while the value of these documents often goes unrecognized by courts and employers, evidence suggests that legal aid providers can act as powerful advocates for expanding access to and successful implementation of certificates, ultimately facilitating stable employment.