On November 13, 2009 the Washington State Access to Justice Board adopted the Performance Standards for Legal Aid in the State of Washington [hereafter, Performance Standards] and instructed that they be made available on the Access to Justice website.1 Initial reactions to the Performance Standards have been very positive, but more can be done to publicize their availability and encourage their use by programs and others. This memorandum suggests various way in which 1) the content of the Performance Standards might become better known; 2) how they might be used, and 3) how the Access to Justice Board might encourage their implementation.
There are five categories of ways in which the Performance Standards might be used:2
Educational — Use for the training or orientation of staff and boards within the legal aid delivery system, as well as education of people outside the system;
Evaluative — Use as the basis for evaluation of program operations, including self evaluation by programs and peer review;
Developmental — Use by programs and others as a guide or checklist in the design of systems within their organizations;
Planning — Use as a guide for strategic planning and related activities; and
Defensive — Use an authoritative guide to explain or defend program activities, when necessary.