Roles beyond Lawyers: Summary, Recommendations and Research Report of an Evaluation of the New York City Court Navigators Program and Its Three Pilot Projects

Rebecca L. Sandefur, Thomas Clarke

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

Roles Beyond Lawyers (RBLs) encompass a range of service models for civil legal assistance that draw upon personnel who have not received full formal legal training. These programs attempt to achieve the goals of increasing access to justice and ensuring consumer protection. The Roles Beyond Lawyers research project explores these models, both as currently implemented and as opportunities to be realized.

This report presents the findings of an independent evaluation of the New York City Court Navigators program and its three pilot projects. The three Navigator pilot projects differ in important respects, but all involve the same core capacities: providing to unrepresented litigants the services of information, moral support, and accompaniment to negotiations with the other side’s attorneys and into courtrooms. Navigators are authorized to respond to questions from court attorneys and judges and to prompt litigants to provide additional information. The evaluation uncovered evidence that assistance from appropriately trained and supervised individuals without formal legal training is associated with changes in a range of outcomes, including both legal and real-life outcomes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages57
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 11 2017

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abstract = "Roles Beyond Lawyers (RBLs) encompass a range of service models for civil legal assistance that draw upon personnel who have not received full formal legal training. These programs attempt to achieve the goals of increasing access to justice and ensuring consumer protection. The Roles Beyond Lawyers research project explores these models, both as currently implemented and as opportunities to be realized.This report presents the findings of an independent evaluation of the New York City Court Navigators program and its three pilot projects. The three Navigator pilot projects differ in important respects, but all involve the same core capacities: providing to unrepresented litigants the services of information, moral support, and accompaniment to negotiations with the other side’s attorneys and into courtrooms. Navigators are authorized to respond to questions from court attorneys and judges and to prompt litigants to provide additional information. The evaluation uncovered evidence that assistance from appropriately trained and supervised individuals without formal legal training is associated with changes in a range of outcomes, including both legal and real-life outcomes.",
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