January 2013

Report: Legal Capability for Everyday Life Evaluation Report
Report commissioned by: Lisa Wintersteiger, Law for Life
Report author: Liz Mackie, The Gilfillan Partnership


1.5 Project participants

The project participants were recruited through the partner agencies from among their service users. Around 45 people participated in the PLE courses, although the number who completed all sessions is probably closer to 30. Not all participants  who attended the first sessions completed the course and other participants joined the course in the second or third sessions.

In total, 43 participants completed evaluation forms; 12 participants from Paiwand, 10 from Community Links and 21 from Attend/DLS. Thirty two people completed the before questionnaire and 32 people completed the after questionnaire. However, there are only 21 matched pairs; that is, instances where the same individual can be identified as completing the before and after questionnaires.

Table III: Before and after questionnaires completed by project participants

Total number of participants
who completed either before
or after questionnaires
Paiwand 12 10 12
Attend/DLS 12 15 21
Community Links 8 7 10
Total 32 32 43


Some information about the characteristics of the people who took part in the project is available for the 32 participants who completed the baseline questionnaires. Of these 32 participants, slightly more than half (55%) were female. Forty four per cent were White British and 56 per cent from Black, Asian or other ethnic minority groups. Almost half of all participants (44%) had a disability. The great majority (88%) were aged 25 to 59, with only one younger and three older participants.

1.6 Report structure

The evaluation findings are presented in Section Two, conclusions are in Section Three and recommendations in Section Four of this report. The findings and conclusions are presented under the following headings: Improving individual legal capability (sections 2.1 and 3.1) considers the project aim of improving the levels of legal capability of participants and the associated outcome that learners will be enabled to cope with the law in their everyday lives by improving their ability to deal with common law-related issues and situations. Testing the conceptual model of legal capability (sections 2.2 and 3.2) considers the project aim of testing the conceptual model of legal capability and the associated outcome that partners will have a better understanding of the domains and elements of legal capability and how they apply to different groups of learners. Developing delivery of public legal education within the advice sector (sections 2.3 and 3.3) considers the project aims of implementing and testing the PLE evaluation framework in the context of advice agencies, and improving advice agencies abilities to undertake PLE within their local communities, and the associated outcomes that the PLE framework will be tailored to advice agencies and that advice agencies will better understand the skills and methodologies that are suited to delivering PLE in their communities.

Measuring the impact of public legal education (sections 2.4 and 3.4) considers the project aim of beginning to assess the potential wider socio-economic benefits of PLE projects and the associated outcome of developing more rigorous data collection to evaluate the socio-economic impact of legal capability.