Helping a Civil Rights Organization Utilize Data for More Effective Pro Bono Outreach
February 21, 2023DownloadsDownload Case Study
The United States Refugee Act, passed in 1980, allows for people fleeing persecution of any kind to enter the country and not be forced to return to their home country.1 Although this law remains critically important as more people are forced from their homes due to conflict, violence and human rights violations, the process for seeking asylum is a complex and lengthy bureaucratic challenge, which cannot be navigated without legal support.2 The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (“LCCRSF”), one of the oldest civil rights institutions on the West Coast of the United States, brings pro bono volunteers and resources to community-based movements advancing racial, economic and immigratory justice. Through free legal services, impact litigation and policy advocacy provided directly to those in need, LCCRSF helps builds more equitable and inclusive solutions.
As part of this work spanning four decades, LCCRSF’s longstanding Asylum Program has provided legal support to hundreds of individuals fleeing persecution and violence in their home countries. The individuals are connected with pro bono representatives at law firms throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to have their lawful claims to asylum fully and fairly considered. To pair pro bono resources more effectively with individuals who need support, LCCRSF called on the expertise of FTI Consulting’s Forensic and Litigation Consulting segment to analyze years of pro bono asylum case data.
- FTI Consulting contributed more than 200 pro bono hours meeting with stakeholders, cleaning and standardizing data and transforming it into a meaningful format for LCCRSF to gain helpful insights.
- The team developed consistent methods for determining unique identifiers, uniform status codes and accurate staff and hour counts for all cases, particularly those involving multiple clients.
- By using these methods, FTI Consulting developed a data pipeline with automated scripts, manual review and metric calculations for each firm. This pipeline will ensure that LCCRSF’s analysts can swiftly update the tool with new data in the future, which is all viewable through an interactive dashboard.
With the use of the dashboard tool, the organization can now understand and assess the relative performance of law firms over time, allowing LCCRSF staff to adjust their outreach for future cases accordingly. The tool also provides a visualization of case opening and closing trends for each firm.
For the first time, LCCRSF can identify those law firms that have shown the greatest commitment to the organization’s pro bono asylum efforts. LCCRSF staff can use this information to share positive feedback with these top-ranking law firms and strategically develop its partnerships, thus motivating continued pro bono engagement in the future.
1: Refugee act of 1980: https://www.archivesfoundation.org/documents/refugee-act-1980/
3: American Immigration Council: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/sites/default/files/research/access_to_counsel_in_immigration_court.pdf