ELC News

External evaluation of ELC's first year of operations completed

Tim Roberts & Associates Consulting has completed an external evaluation of the Everyone Legal Clinic, based on interview feedback from 18 articling clinicians, 44 individual clients and 13 lawyer clients who engaged with the Clinic in its first year of operations.

The independent Evaluation Report describes total feedback received from clinicians and clients as "substantially positive", and lists ten recommendations for operational improvements (at page 32).

Tim Roberts is the principal of Tim Roberts & Associates Consulting, a Duncan-based research firm. Roberts co-founded one of BC’s first Community Law Offices, and went on to direct research and evaluations for federal, provincial and territorial governments, non-profit organizations and foundations for over 25 years.

After analyzing feedback on how well the Clinic met the needs and expectations of its three main stakeholder groups, Roberts concludes:

"Taken as a whole, the feedback from clinicians, clients and lawyer clients about the ELC has been substantially positive. In the course of one year, clinicians received considerable online training and direct experience with law firms and clients, law firms were able to use clinicians for a range of tasks in their settings, and clients received legal advice and guidance concerning cases in which they were involved. The clients rated the clarity of clinician answers to their questions very highly."

As an accompaniment to Roberts' evaluation, the Clinic has issued its own Continuous Improvement Report that describes its ongoing efforts to improve the user experiences of its articling clinicians and their clients.

The Clinic has adopted an experimental, iterative and user-focused approach to its development as a pilot. It is clinician-centred, and fosters a legal practice mindset that is client-centred. Its development relies on continuous assessment (internal and external) of user feedback, and continuous refinement of its training, support and service delivery systems.

Among 40 major system improvements made over the course of its pilot phase, the Clinic has integrated client service much earlier in clinicians' learning semester, and has opted to down-size future clinician cohorts to offer each clinician a baseline income of $40,000/year (and the opportunity to earn much more by way of client service) to better support their income security.