Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1880078
 
 

References (19)



 


 



How Effective Are Limited Legal Assistance Programs? A Randomized Experiment in a Massachusetts Housing Court


D. James Greiner


Harvard University - Program for Legal Profession; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Cassandra Wolos Pattanayak


Harvard University - Department of Statistics

Jonathan Philip Hennessy


Harvard University - Department of Statistics

September 1, 2012


Abstract:     
We persuaded entities conducting a civil Gideon pilot program in summary eviction cases to allow us to randomize which potential clients would receive offers of traditional attorney-client relationships from oversubscribed legal aid staff attorneys and which would be referred to a lawyer for the day program. We examine outcomes related to whether matters not yet in litigation reached court, possession of the unit, monetary consequences of non-payment of rent cases, and court burden. We find no statistically significant evidence that the Provider's offer of full, as opposed to limited, representation had a large (or any) effect on any outcome of substantive import. We explore several possible interpretations of our results, and we caution against both over-interpretation and under-interpretation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: legal aid, limited legal assistance, randomized experiment, housing, summary eviction

JEL Classification: I38

working papers series


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Date posted: July 8, 2011 ; Last revised: September 3, 2012

Suggested Citation

Greiner, D. James and Pattanayak, Cassandra Wolos and Hennessy, Jonathan Philip, How Effective Are Limited Legal Assistance Programs? A Randomized Experiment in a Massachusetts Housing Court (September 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1880078 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1880078

Contact Information

Daniel Greiner (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Program for Legal Profession ( email )
23 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 496-4643 (Phone)

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Cassandra Wolos Pattanayak
Harvard University - Department of Statistics ( email )
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Jonathan Hennessy
Harvard University - Department of Statistics ( email )
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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