We’re excited to announce a new collaborative venture on the Rhode Island Triage and Eviction Study (“RITES”) team. Five outstanding students at the Roger Williams University School of Law have joined the project to conduct summary eviction court observations and interview unrepresented tenant-defendants who are experiencing the eviction process themselves. These raw data, so to speak, will give everyone working on the project a better understanding of the current system and inform ongoing study design. For example, information about what tenants would have liked to know before their hearings will enhance the self-help materials designed for the evaluation.
In addition to this unique learning experience, their participation strengthens the project’s connections within the Providence community. These dedicated students—under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Gutoff; Director of the Feinstein Center for Pro Bono & Experiential Education, Laurie Bannon; and Director of Pro Bono & Community Partnerships, Eliza Vorenberg—will bring important new perspectives and added capacity to the growing RITES field organization.
This partnership is an exciting one for us at the Lab. One of our core missions is to work with the next generation of legal practitioners and scholars and cultivate dedication to making the law an evidence-based profession. Having those future leaders actively participate in all phases of a Lab study is the most effective way for us to do just that.
We also prioritize having multiple partners work together on RCTs to maximize their impact. Having RWUSOL join us and the Rhode Island Center for Justice as we study the latter’s triage process for assigning representation in eviction cases will only improve our work. We all will benefit from each other’s perspectives, ideas, and insights into the understudied process of distributing scarce legal resources.
Stay tuned for more on this venture!