Land of Lincoln Legal Aid

Community Needs Assessment

Land of Lincoln Legal Aid logo

Project Date
January 2019 – August 2019

Type of Evaluation
Needs Assessment



Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, incorporated 1972, provides low-income and senior residents with free civil legal services in order to obtain and maintain their basic human needs. They provide services in 65 counties in central and southern Illinois, through five regional offices.

Land of Lincoln Legal Aid commissioned a needs assessment to determine whether the current services match the needs of their target population in civil legal matters, and partnered with Brown School Evaluation Center to lead the effort between January and August 2019.

Project Description


Land of Lincoln Legal Aid identified four counties within each regional office area. These counties were selected based on a number of criteria, including: high poverty rates; whether the area was urban or rural; concentration of minority populations; availability of data collection sites for surveys and focus groups. In total, there were 20 counties.

Main methods of data collection included:

  • Survey of current clients and community members (non-clients, income and asset eligible)
  • Focus groups of community members

The results from the needs assessment were synthesized to inform Land of Lincoln Legal Aid’s decision-making process for service delivery and organizational resource allocation to better serve their target population.

Evaluation Activities

  • Provided guidance on data collection approach, including selection of data collection sites
  • Developed survey instruments (online & paper) and administration protocol
  • Trained survey administrators to conduct the survey in 20 counties
  • Designed a focus group guide
  • Conducted 9 focus groups with community members
  • Managed and analyzed survey and focus group data
  • Developed a data-visualization rich snapshot for board members
  • Developed a comprehensive final report of the findings

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