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Legal Needs Assessment
A Tool for Getting More Dollars and Delivering More and Better Services

In today's highly competitive fundraising environment, access-to-justice communities are seeking ammunition to make the case that legal aid is both critically needed and highly effective. Many are exploring the benefits of producing a legal needs assessment as a cornerstone of that case.

An effective needs assessment does not need to be expensive. The Resource makes comprehensive needs assessments affordable, bringing the insights, feedback, and direction provided by this powerful tool within reach of programs that had previously considered needs assessments to be a once-a-decade process.

A needs assessment can provide critical input for legal aid programs, informing a broad array of strategic decisions about program management and resource deployment -- from the types of services that are provided, to case acceptance priorities, to the development and implementation of new projects and partnerships to meet changing needs in the client population.

A well-designed needs assessment will engage the full range of program stakeholders, including the client community, partner organizations, the private bar, the judiciary, government agencies, and the program's own staff and board. By using a combination of focus groups, facilitated work sessions and analysis of already-existing needs survey and population data, The Resource makes comprehensive needs assessments more affordable than ever before.

The Resource presented a workshop on this topic at the November 2009 NLADA Annual Conference in Denver, entitled Legal Needs Assessment...Great Ideas for Conducting an Assessment & Actually Using the Results. Our co-presenter was Gai Lorenzeen, Managing Attorney, Legal Action of Wisconsin.  

PowerPoint slides used in our presentation: Handouts.pdf

A sample report from a legal needs assessment we produced for a regional legal aid program in New Jersey: Sample.pdf

About The Resource for Great Programs

Now in our 26th year, The Resource for Great Programs is a consulting firm based in Michigan that assists civil legal aid programs and their funders across the nation.

Our services concentrate on points of leverage in our client organizations where small-dollar investments can deliver big gains in impact.

Our president Ken Smith, our IOLTA Project Manager Kelly Thayer, and the remainder of our staff are experts in data analysis, policy and demographic research, program evaluation, and leadership disciplines, supported by our main office in Traverse City, Michigan. In addition, we can extend our reach as needed via a growing network of other firms and consultants with whom we collaborate as opportunities arise for producing extraordinary outcomes for our clients.


The Resource's IOLTA Staff, led by Ken Smith & Kelly Thayer, would be pleased to answer your questions and help your program increase revenues. Contact us today!

Maximizing IOLTA revenue & pursuing Full Access across America since 1984.

About The Resource for Great Programs





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