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Our Public Understanding of Law Survey is in the field!

February 24th 2022

We’re thrilled to announce our Public Understanding of Law Survey (the PULS) has hit the field! It’s a huge step for the VLF and all of those striving to make evidence-based access to justice policy in Victoria and beyond.

Fieldworkers from Roy Morgan, Australia’s longest established fieldwork company, have begun speaking face-to-face with 6000 respondents from across Victoria. It’s a huge endeavor, and will yield a huge dataset, capable of driving bottom-up access to justice policy, focused on our communities, their needs and their capabilities. In addition, and in line with our commitment to open science, our methods and data will be shared in full – so great news for my fellow access to justice data nerds…!

Generously funded by the Victorian Legal Services Board and Victoria Legal Aid, the PULS will improve our understanding of the everyday legal problems Victorians face, and how they navigate them. It will provide better measures of (unmet) legal need and conceptualise people’s problem experience and responses in new ways. And by integrating cutting-edge legal capability work with OECD/Open Society Foundations guidance, the PULS model will give legal needs surveys a much needed shove forwards!

Many thanks to Professor Pascoe Pleasence and Professor Rebecca Sandefur and many people at Roy Morgan (particularly Chris Owen and David Norrish) for getting us this far. Thanks also for valuable input from Victoria Legal Aid, Dispute Settlement Centre Victoria, Consumer Action Law Centre, Job Watch, Legal Services Board, Catrina Denvir, Emily Taylor Poppe, our steering and advisory groups, and many others for helping us get underway.

Join us on the journey. Learn more about the PULS on our website.

Professor Nigel J. Balmer

Research Director