The NCCRC strongly supports pilot projects that measure the effect of providing counsel in various kinds of civil cases. In fact, the NCCRC co-authored a manual with Washington Appleseed for organizations wanting to start such work.
Below are some of the pilots that are in progress or that recently completed their work (many of which have been assisted by the NCCRC):
- In California, the Sargent Shriver legislation established the most comprehensive set of civil right to counsel pilots to date. The NCCRC's comprehensive bibliography has a whole section on the California pilots, and it includes media coverage. There was also a housing pilot project in San Francisco and a housing study in a California trial court.
- In D.C., a pilot began in 2015 that provides representation to tenants in eviction cases involving subsidized housing. The pilot is a collaboration between Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, Bread for the City, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center. The pilot received over $300,000 in initial funding through the D.C. Bar Foundation, using money appropriated by the D.C. City Council.
In Iowa, a collaborative pilot between the University of Iowa and Iowa Legal Aid focused on the impact of providing counsel for women in protection order, custody, child support, and marriage dissolution cases. The study report is now available.
- In Massachusetts, advocates led by the Boston Bar Association's Task Force on Expanding the Civil Right to Counsel completed a comprehensive eviction pilot in 2012, and has nearly completed a second round with money provided by the Massachusetts Attorney General. The NCCRC's comprehensive bibliography has a section about the Massachusetts pilots, which includes links to the various reports coming out of the first round of pilots as well as some law review articles about the pilots.
- In Minnesota (Hennepin County) a pilot has been running for sometime and gathering significant data on the impact of counsel.
- In Mississippi, parental representation pilots are operating in 4 counties and are measuring the impact of providing counsel to parents in child welfare cases. There is a report on some of the preliminary data that was produced by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, as well as an article by the Clarion-Ledger about the search for sustainable funding (the pilots are primarily funded by Casey Family Programs, although several of the counties are now providing some funding as well).
- In New York, an innovative program is providing universal representation to all detained immiggrants in the City.
In Wisconsin, a pilot started in 2015 in Winnebago County to provide representation to DV victims in family law cases.