Lawyer of My Own Developing a tool for the planning and management of the legal representation of minors in civil proceedings and for evaluating its outcomes: Pilot findings at T0


The Ministry of Justice’s program for providing legal services to minors – Lawyer of My Own (LOMO) – provides separate and adapted legal representation to minors in civil proceedings. The Legal Aid Bureau sought to further improve the program and contacted the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute’s Outcome Team to help develop a system for planning the intervention and measuring ongoing outcomes. The project is conducted at the initiative of the Ministry of Justice, funded by JDC-Ashalim, in collaboration with the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute.


  1. Help LOMO develop tools for (1) collecting information on the needs, characteristics, prior interventions, and strengths of the minor service recipients; (2) planning the representation by the lawyers; (3) Monitoring outputs and achieving the representation objectives. These tools will also be used by the LOMO administration to formulate a policy and doctrine.
  2. Conduct a pilot to measure the degree to which the tools developed serve their purpose, prior to their implementation as tools for ongoing measurement.


  1. Two instruments were developed, to be completed by the lawyers:
  2. Questionnaire for status evaluation and planning representation strategy (to be completed at T0).
  3. Questionnaire for updating the status evaluation, monitoring activities and evaluating the outcomes (T1).
  4. The T0 questionnaire was piloted using a survey distributed to the 104 LOMO lawyers. Each was asked to complete a personal questionnaire for three of the minors they had represented in the three months prior. The measurement was conducted in two waves: December 2021-January 2022, and August-November 2022.


The pilot mapped the needs and characteristics of the minors represented by LOMO lawyers as well as the desirable outcomes selected for them. It was found that most minors were represented in child and youth cases (61.2%), as well as in family cases (35.5%). More than half (52.9%) had at least one known or suspected disability or deficiency. Most (58.7%) had experienced a difficult parental separation or divorce, and a quarter (25.0%) had experienced a difficult family event. With regard to one third (37.2%), additional legal proceedings had taken or were still taking place. Most (70.2%) had received or were receiving therapeutic, academic and medical support. Finally, note that in only 6.6% of cases, the lawyers did not report that their clients had strengths.

With regard to the minors’ attitudes towards legal representation, two-thirds (65.8%) were supportive, one-fifth (21.5%) were neutral, and only 3.8% were opposed to it. With regard to coping resources, 43.6% had low self-efficacy; 41.6% had difficulty expressing their attitudes and preferences to the lawyer; 26.7% found it difficult to cope with the legal process; and 25.6% lacked knowledge and understanding thereof. It was also found that the minors’ degree of support for legal representation was directly related to the degree to which their social rights were met, and that better coping with litigation was directly related to better relations with the welfare services.

The mandatory result of “Increasing the minor’s participation in the representation process and associated treatment” included the three following outcomes: (1) “The minor is involved in the process and expresses their position and preferences”; (2) “The minor understands the legal process”; (3) The minor affects the process – consideration for the minor’s desires. All three were selected at similarly high percentages (57.8%-63.6%). Only in 14.9% of the cases did the respondents indicate that the minor’s participation was irrelevant due to age, psychiatric status or intellectual disability. Out of the optional results, the leading ones selected were “Adjusting the interventions to the minor’s characteristics and needs” (58.7%), and “Reducing the level of conflicts in the minor’s environment” (53.7%), despite the fact that the Steering Committee and LOMO Administration raised doubts as to including them within the lawyers’ responsibility areas. Finally, it was found that although one of the leading difficulties experienced by the minors had to do with self-efficacy, the relevant result in terms of improving their situation in this area was selected by relatively few (26.4%).

Key Recommendations

  • We recommend examining whether the results “reducing the level of conflicts in the minor’s environment” and “adjusting the interventions to the minor’s characteristics and needs” need to be under the lawyers’ authority, and whether they should be considered mandatory or optional, given conflicts in the minor’s environment that require attention, or if the current interventions provided are unsuitable or insufficient.
  • The future system should retrieve as much data as possible from the outer legal aid system (file details, characteristics) into the customer file in order to reduce the burden experienced by the lawyers in completing the instruments.
  • We recommend that the future system present to the lawyers, after the minor mapping stage, output including the list of needs indicted at a high frequency or to a high degree. This list can help select the needs to be focused on, and adjusting the desirable outcomes. Next to the list of leading needs, an output of the minor’s strengths will also be presented, including interim outcomes of the representation and factors contributing to implementing the intervention (implementing representation strategies). This output will help construct the representation strategy and select the outcomes related to the selected results.

Citing Suggestion: Teper, Y., Sarver, M., &  Arazi, T. (2023). Lawyer of My Own Developing a tool for the planning and management of the legal representation of minors in civil proceedings and for evaluating its outcomes: Pilot findings at T0. S-222-23. Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. (Hebrew)