State Comparison

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.

High-Quality Legal Representation for Parents in Child Welfare Cases Results in Improved Outcomes for Families and Potential Cost Savings

This article describes three parent-representation programs: New York City’s Center for Family Representation; Detroit’s Center for Family Advocacy; and Washington State’s Office of Public Defense Parent Representation Program. The article also provides recommendations for evaluating and expanding programs like these.

The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods

Two investigative journalists for ProPublica analyzed debt in collections by neighborhood tract. They find that debt is concentrated in neighborhoods that are majority black and that the average balance for which a balance was sued varies by race; white residents were sued for higher amounts, suggesting that they are better able to resolve smaller debts.

Evaluation of the QIC-ChildRep Best Practices Model Training for Attorneys Representing Children in the Child Welfare System

This program evaluation of the QIC-ChildRep training for attorneys representing children in child welfare cases finds that children assigned to attorneys who underwent the intervention’s training were more likely to experience permanency within 6 months when compared to attorneys who did not participate in the intervention. Attorneys who participated in the intervention met with their child client more frequently, spend more time on cases, contacted more parties, spent more time developing the theory of the case, and had more contact with foster parents and substitute caregivers.

State Legal Needs Studies Point to Justice Gap

The nine state legal needs studies released 2000-2005 indicate that the findings of the 1993 ABA study concerning the gap between the legal needs experienced by low-income people and the services they receive from private attorneys and legal aid programs remain valid today.