U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

National Evaluation of the Legal Assistance for Victims Program, Executive Summary, Part 2

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2005
14 pages
This is the executive summary of the final report on the national evaluation of the Federal Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) grant program, which is intended to increase the capacity of local organizations to provide free or low-cost, comprehensive civil legal and advocacy services to victims of domestic violence.
The evaluation examined the program's implementation and outcomes for 1998 through 2000. Grantees' were expected to provide legal assistance and representation with protection orders and other family-law matters; advocacy services that addressed victims' safety, health, and other needs; and legal services to resolve other matters that were critical for clients' safety and well-being. The process evaluation involved site visits to interview grantee agency and partner agency staff who were working on LAV cases and others involved in providing civil legal services to domestic violence victims in the grantees' service area. The impact evaluation included some before-after analysis of caseload and a satisfaction survey of clients. Twelve LAV projects were included in the evaluation. Overall, the LAV program was successful, as it enabled grantees to provide needed civil legal services to more victims of domestic violence who could not afford a private attorney. In addition to expanding the availability of legal services, the program has promoted the delivery of high-quality, comprehensive services by encouraging collaboration and cross-training among legal services organizations and domestic violence victim services programs; however, although the accessibility and quality of services has improved, there is still a chronic unmet need for attorneys and other personnel to provide services for domestic violence victims who cannot pay legal fees. Recommendations for continued improvement are offered.

Date Published: January 1, 2005