Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date

9-2011

Abstract

The Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston was contracted to conduct a statewide needs assessment for the MSLAP. As agreed upon by the MSLAP Advisory Board, the focus of this assessment was to analyze the demand for services Massachusetts legal service providers have experienced recently as a means to understanding the legal needs of Massachusetts elders (age 60 and older). A second needs assessment was conducted by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. That needs assessment surveyed home care workers and other elder agency personnel to gauge their assessment of elders’ legal needs in Massachusetts. Read together, the two assessments provide some insight into the legal needs of elders in Massachusetts.

Client data from the Legal Advocacy and Resource Center (LARC), Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), and six other regional legal service programs (MetroWest Legal Services -MWLS, Massachusetts Justice Project -MJP, Merrimack Valley Legal Services - MVLS, Neighborhood Legal Services -NLS, South Coastal Counties Legal Services-SCCLS, and Western Massachusetts Legal Services-WMLS) were combined into one data file. (Data from Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts, which services the Worcester area, were not in a readily accessible format; thus, those data are not included in the assessment.) The sample includes all cases of clients 60 years of age and older that were closed in 2010. Full service and brief service cases are included. Not included are calls that were not recorded as cases and therefore not entered into the data base. Data fields used in this report include client characteristics, presenting legal problems, length of service, and case disposition. The combined sample of cases includes 6,713 unique Massachusetts client cases.

 
 

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