Access to justice education largely focuses on existing solutions to close the justice gap. But what if those solutions are not doing what we hoped they would? In this talk, we will discuss the importance of coupling access to justice education and solutions generation with rigorous evaluation and data analysis. We will see examples of surprises, successes, and disappointments on the journey to know what works and what doesn’t in access to justice. These examples, and others like it, can serve as a tool for incorporating teaching about evaluation, iteration, and stakeholder engagement in existing or new courses and experiential learning opportunities focusing on access to justice. Our goal: to arm students with the tools to move the needle as practitioners in the field.
Justice system data is a challenge to work with, to say the least, but at what point is it unethical to not know that what we’re putting out into the world works?