California Self-Help Center Pilot Evaluation

Status: complete

This evaluation examined the effectiveness of five different self-help center models aimed at providing legal information, assistance, and referrals to self-represented civil litigants. The evaluation investigated the extent to which the pilot programs are implemented successfully; whether the centers influenced self-represented litigants’ willingness to proceed into the legal system; whether the centers resulted in greater court efficiency; and whether litigants received just outcomes. NPC Research partnered with Berkeley Policy Associates to refine the evaluation design and assumed primary responsibility for all evaluation activities for the Los Angeles urban collaboration model and Butte County’s regional model. The study included a detailed process evaluation of self-help centers, administrative and court data collection, and several waves of courtroom observation and court and center interviews with self-represented litigants.

Project Team

Principal Investigator

Michael Finigan, Ph.D.

Lead Evaluator

Sonia Worcel, M.A., M.P.P.

Research Coordinator

Robbianne Cole, M.F.R.

Reports and Publications:

George, R. M., Vickrey, W. C., & Bergeisen, M. (March 2005) Model Self-Help Pilot Program: A Report to the Legislature Judicial Council of California: Administrative Office of the Courts
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