Virginia Legal Aid Assessment

Last registered on March 19, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Virginia Legal Aid Assessment
Initial registration date
March 17, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 19, 2024, 5:23 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


Primary Investigator

Yale University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Yale University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Free legal assistance is available to income-eligible tenants facing eviction in Eastern Virginia through a regional legal aid provider. This organization is contacted by a small fraction of eligible clients. They hypothesize that low service take-up is due to a lack of awareness about the availability of services. This project is conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess whether mailing letters to tenants facing eviction about their impending court date and about legal aid increases service inquiries and service take-up, and whether it affects court outcomes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Humphries, John Eric and Winnie van Dijk. 2024. "Virginia Legal Aid Assessment." AEA RCT Registry. March 19.
Sponsors & Partners

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Inquiries: Requests for legal aid (via phone, online, or in-person).
2. Take-up. Receipt of:
a. Brief legal advice
b. Resource referral
c. Full legal representation
3. Court outcomes.
a. Judgments in favor of plaintiff(s)
b. Default judgment at first hearing (as a proxy for failure to appear)
c. Duration of the court proceedings
d. Money ordered to pay by the judge
e. Eviction enforcements
f. Continuations of cases
g. Case is appealed
h. Appealed case judgment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We employ a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the impact of receiving a letter about an upcoming Unlawful Detainer hearing date and potential eligibility for free legal aid on service inquiries, service take-up, and court outcomes. Participants are randomly assigned to either the treatment group (receiving the letter), or the control group (with no intervention).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization into treatment (receiving a letter) or control (status quo) is executed using an Excel spreadsheet.
Randomization Unit
Case numbers for hearings 21 days away are collected and randomized daily.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
600 case numbers
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 case numbers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
300 cases numbers treatment, 300 case numbers control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Yale University Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials