Public opinion research on how to talk about civil legal aid

These are report and videos to help advocates understand how to talk about civil legal aid.

2017 Public opinion research of likely voters

The 2017 round of research, Building a Civil Justice System that Delivers Justice for All,  was conducted in June by Celinda Lake / Lake Research Partners and made possible by generous support from the Public Welfare Foundation as part of its Civil Justice Reform initiative.  The results comprise responses from 800 likely November 2018 voters (i.e., engaged citizens), plus 278 “activists” – advocates and supporters of civil legal aid. Cognitive linguist Anat Shenker-Osorio (ASO Communications) contributed to crafting the messages we tested. Here are four products incorporating the results:

Building a Civil Justice System that Delivers Justice for All,  2017 Voices research, conducted by Celinda Lake and Anat Shenker-Osorio

“The Latest Messaging Research” by Voices for Civil Justice (article published in Management Information Exchange Journal, Winter 2017)

Anat Shenker-Osorio’s language analysis report: Prosecuting Our Pitch: An Analysis of Language on Civil Legal Aid (March 2017)

Audio of Celinda Lake and Anat Shenker-Osorio presenting the findings, July 19, 2017

2013 Public opinion research of likely voters

In 2013 the Public Welfare Foundation and the Kresge Foundation commissioned a study to assess knowledge of civil legal aid among voters, and to develop messaging that can be used to build awareness and support. The report includes messaging recommendations for building awareness of the important role of civil legal aid. Lake Research Partners and the Tarrance Group jointly conducted the research, which was presented Nov. 7, 2013. Below are the PDF of the report and two video versions of its presentation.

25-page PDF of Powerpoint presentation

Video: Celinda Lake presenting these research findings (28 minutes; Celinda only).

Video: Alternative version with introductions and remarks by NAWJ President Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and Voices for Civil Justice Executive Director Martha Bergmark (42 minutes).

Voices for Civil Justice on Vimeo.

2014 Opinion research of lawyers on how to communicate about Civil Legal Aid

In summer 2014, Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group researched opinions of lawyers about civil legal aid. The research included one‐on-one interviews and a subsequent online nationwide survey among lawyers. This research is an expansion on research conducted in 2013 by Lake Research Partners and the Tarrance Group among likely voters.
70-page PDF of Powerpoint presentation


2017 National Association of IOLTA Programs (NAIP), Key Observations from a Series of In-depth Interviews with Philanthropic Leaders on Civil Legal Aid

Voices welcomes suggestions for items we should consider adding here. Please contact us.

May 2000 Opinion research on civil legal services (Historical interest only)

On May 1, 2000, Belden Russonello & Stewart delivered a report “Developing a National Message for Civil Legal Services: Analysis of National Survey and Focus Group Research.” This old information was a valuable precursor to current efforts, and may be of interest for certain purposes.
90-page PDF report
Background information about this document.