Legal Aid Qualitative Study

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Legal-Aid is a private, non-profit legal services organization. It is dedicated to one simple belief: that no New Yorker should be denied access to justice because of poverty (cite legal-aid). It is designed to help individuals who are unable to obtain counsel due to their socio-economic status in a range of different areas: the Civil, Criminal, and Juvenile Rights Practices. I was placed in the civil housing practice Brooklyn sub-division of Legal Aid. Unlike the Criminal and Juvenile Rights Practices, which are constitutionally mandated and supported by the government, the Civil Practice relies heavily on private contributions. My division of civil housing court, consisting of 3 paralegals, 12 lawyers, and 3 supervising lawyers, is dedicated…show more content…
In order to assess whether clients feel as though they are being helped emotionally by the Legal Aid Society, I would conduct a study utilizing qualitative interviewing for clients. The questions would be open ended and would allow for the clients to give a complete explanation of their feelings about Legal Aid. This would give an in-depth access into the mindset of clients and their perceptions after speaking with Legal Aid attorneys. The strengths of this study are that it allows for flexibility and in-depth knowledge about the emotional states before and after speaking with these attorneys. It has strong internal validity. While it allows for a thick description of their experiences, the variables can be standardized, so data can be collected and a statistical analysis can be made. The limitation of this study is that the findings are not generalizable, it takes so much time to conduct the interviews and there are various interpretations of the results by researchers and…show more content…
This form of psychology focuses on the influence of physical characteristics of a setting on behavior. This has three main constructs: environmental stressors and environmental design. Environmental stressors are the background stressors that affect the individual psychologically. For the clients, low-income housing (i.e. low-income neighborhoods) and poverty are the largest environmental stressor for clients. This will have long-term effects on these families. Environmental design involves the psychological effects of the architectural and neighborhood design features. Legal Aid offers a welcoming atmosphere when the individuals walk into the office. The architectural design is open, yet confined. There is a space designed for children so that the parents can discuss their cases with the paralegals and attorneys. A social worker in the office spends time with the children in this space that is filled with toys and books. The offices where the parents discuss their cases are modest and welcoming to those who come
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