Data Reporting Matters!

By Michael Walters, Legal Hotline Managing Attorney, Pro Seniors, Inc. and Project Specialist, CERA.

???????????????????????????????????????As an attorney, I enjoy talking to clients and providing legal advice. Preparing reports? Not so much.

Yet, once a year, Pro Seniors gathers our data for CERA to use as part of the Senior Legal Helpline Annual Report. Every year, when I browse the data, I am proud of what our attorneys have accomplished. For example, in 2014 we helped 5,503 unduplicated clients with 5,974 separate legal problems. We helped those clients with an average cost per case of less than $40.

I know from the feedback I receive from clients that we help clients. I know the attorneys who help on our hotline are dedicated and provide skilled and compassionate legal help to our clients. But it always helps to quantify what we do. I am immensely proud of the attorneys who serve on our hotline. Most of the hotline attorneys have other jobs, ranging from teaching law, to working in the prosecutor’s office, to clerking for a Federal judge. Several volunteer their time and others are compensated at a very modest pay rate. The attorneys give part of their valuable time here because they love helping seniors.

It’s nice to be able to see the numbers to know just how effective legal hotlines can be. I know hotlines around the United States effectively help seniors at an extremely low cost. It’s important to be able to see the effectiveness of legal hotlines in quantifiable terms. I may not enjoy collecting data, but I am always gratified when I report the data.

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