Texting for Outcomes Toolkit
The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland created this toolkit to support programs that want to use text messaging to gather outcome data following limited scope legal services. Legal service providers, statewide websites and court self-help centers offer self-represented litigants (SRL) help in a variety of ways with a wide range of problems. These limited services include advice at clinics, help filling out forms, and recommendations about enforcing rights and responsibilities. Limited services relate to family law, landlord/tenant matters, debt collection and other civil legal problems. Limited scope services help address the justice gap in the United States, but the legal community knows very little about when and how limited scope services effectively resolve problems.
Cleveland Legal Aid created a text message system to collect outcome data following limited scope services. The lessons learned through two Technology Initiative Grants over a period of five years inform the suggestions that follow. Other programs, such as Michigan Legal Help and Ohio LegalHelp, have started using texting to collect outcome data from website users. The goal for this toolkit is to encourage legal services providers, statewide websites, and court self-help centers to incorporate texting for outcome data from clients, users and litigants following receipt of services.
The full toolkit is available below.