The Denver-based Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System announced it will carry out a nationwide survey of a broad swath of U.S. residents and businesses to find out what their legal needs are and how the country’s legal system can be reformed.
IAALS is teaming up with the Netherlands-based Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL), which has carried out similar justice needs surveys in 18 countries, including Nigeria, Lebanon, Ukraine and Indonesia.
The two-year study, which launched earlier this month with a kick-off meeting at the IAALS headquarters, is funded by the Bohemian Foundation in Fort Collins, which offers grants to community arts and civic organizations.
IAALS and HiiL will be working with a company to help them administer the computer-based survey to make sure the study covers people from all around the country with a mix of urban and rural respondents and representation from all ages, genders, ethnicities and income levels.
While she was reluctant to make too many predictions about what the survey might find, Brittany Kauffman, a senior director at IAALS, said that based on the trends the organization has found in its other work, she suspects family law and debt collection will be prominent issues among U.S. respondents.
“I also think in addition to low-income [people], we’re going to find that people who are in the middle-income bracket, as well, are really facing legal needs and struggling with how to get resolution and access to our system,” Kauffman said.
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