Measuring the Impacts of Representation in Legal Aid and Community Legal Services Settings: Considerations for Canadian Research

  • Sarah Buhler
  • Michelle C. Korpan


There is currently a gap in Canadian empirical research examining the impacts of legal representation in legal aid and clinic settings. This article advocates for addressing the research gap and suggests how such research could be pursued. Empirical data is crucial to making the case for ongoing investments in publicly funded legal assistance and to ensuring the effectiveness of such assistance. Yet current research, mainly from American studies, tends to focus narrowly on litigation outcomes. This leaves many aspects of the impact of legal representation unclear, particularly regarding service delivery for vulnerable and marginalized clients. Research must examine clients’ own experiences and perspectives of legal processes so as to better reflect the complex relationship between legal representation and justice.