Redesigning Justice Innovation: A Standardized Methodology


Publish Date:
June, 2020
Publication Title:
Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
Stanford University
Place of Publication:
Stanford, California
Volume XVI Issue 2
  • Daniel W. Bernal & Margaret D. Hagan, Redesigning Justice Innovation: A Standardized Methodology, 16 Stan. J. C.R. & C.L. 335 (2020).


Post Turner v. Rogers, courts, advocates, and academics are increasingly investing in access to justice research and development. However, despite many descriptions of how past justice interventions developed, and established methodologies for rigorous evaluation of outcomes, no consensus has yet emerged on which design methodologies produce the best justice innovations. Without an intentional, replicable approach to developing usable and useful justice interventions, interventionists are more likely to create products that few people use, or to waste time and money on expensive randomized trials. To address this need, this Article integrates existing expert-oriented and user- centered approaches and presents a first attempt at establishing a standard methodology for creating and vetting new justice interventions. In addition, to demonstrate the dangers of designing without a comprehensive framework and the difficulties of applying an ideal framework in the real world, we offer a detailed case study of the initial version of Arizona Eviction Help. Ultimately, we argue that just as randomized field experiments have become the status quo in evaluation of justice interventions, a human-centered, participatory approach should become the standard in their design.