Get involved in CLEO’s Evolving Legal Services Research Project

How and when does legal information improve access to justice for people in Canada experiencing legal problems? This is the question that CLEO’s Evolving Legal Services Research Project (ELSRP) examines. A three-year study funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, ELSRP studies the role played by public legal education and information (PLEI) in supporting meaningful access to justice for people with family law problems, as well as people with legal problems in the areas of housing and human rights and discrimination.

The research is being conducted at five sites (four in Ontario and one in BC) that provide PLEI and other services in these areas of law. We are seeking input on a research tool that we have drafted to seek the views of participants in the study about the process and outcome of their family law problem journey. If you have experience and thoughts on what makes for meaningful access to justice for people with family law problems, we would welcome your feedback on our draft tool.

Some background on the research

We are conducting the research relating to people with family law problems at a Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) in Ontario and at the provincial call centre of the Legal Services Society (LSS) in BC. To date, about 180 participants have been recruited into the study at the FLIC and 170 at the LSS call centre. On entering the study, participants are asked questions relating to the nature and complexity of their family law legal problem, the extent to which they accessed PLEI, their personal characteristics and circumstances, and their goals.

They’ll be tracked for 18 months, at which point they’ll be asked a series of questions about the outcome of their legal problem, their sense of the fairness of the process and the outcome, and the role played by legal information in assisting them or supporting them in their legal journey. We are doing this through a survey we’re conducting that is called an outtake survey.

What we are looking for from you

Are you a legal professional, policy-maker, academic, or front-line worker familiar with family law problems, and have you views on what makes for effective access to justice in this context? If the answer is yes, we are asking for your thoughts and feedback on the draft outtake survey by Monday, October 31, 2016.

You can find the draft outtake survey here.

Background information on the project and more information about the outtake survey and our online questionnaire is here. Please take a moment to read this information before completing the online questionnaire.

And finally, you can find the online questionnaire here.

If you have any questions about the outtake survey, or about the ELSRP project in general, please contact Joanna Birenbaum at, or Les Jacobs at

Thank you very much for your participation!

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