Designing the Competition: A Future of Roles beyond Lawyers? The Case of the USA

This report canvasses a number of approaches to "nonlaywer assistance programs" operating in the United States as at autumn 2015. These programs have varying levels of training - as well, some rely on volunteers while others rely on paid non-lawyer staff. The report notes that many jurisdictions have started to experiment with models to help unrepresented people, given the fact that most American civil justice problems do not involve the use of lawyers, resulting in a justice gap.

The report canvasses the challenges faced when establishing these programs. The researchers discuss two frameworks for evaluating the operation and impacts of programs designed to help unrepresented people:

  • identification of elements on which any such program should be evaluated, focusing on the key challenges of appropriateness, efficacy, and sustainability
  • identification of "key choice points" that are likely to affect programs’ success at meeting the three key challenges