Evaluating Legal Advocacy: A How-To Guide for Evaluators, Funders and Advocates

Published: August 2016

Type: Publication

Jared Raynor
Deepti Sood

The ever-changing environment of the advocacy field makes it of particular interest to many evaluators, and over the years, various resources for advocacy evaluators have been developed. These include the American Evaluation Association’s Topical Interest Group (TIG) on Advocacy and Policy Change along with materials developed by independent organizations. But, there has been much less emphasis on how evaluators can best evaluate legal advocacy as a specific strategy.

Legal advocacy refers to advocacy that uses the legal system (e.g., the judiciary, the courts, regulations) to achieve goals of interest. While legal advocacy evaluation can pull on some similar tools from advocacy evaluation, its unique use of the system of law creates an opportunity for evaluators to develop new methods, outcomes, and approaches.

This brief introduces an evaluation framework for legal advocacy, along with information about how legal advocacy evaluators can use various approaches to evaluate these strategies.

This resource was part of the Atlas Learning Project, an initiative to draw on the considerable experiences and insights of The Atlantic Philanthropies as its grantmaking came to a close. The Atlas Learning Project was a three-year effort coordinated by the Center for Evaluation Innovation to synthesize and share lessons from advocacy and policy change efforts that Atlantic and other funders have supported in the U.S., with the goal of helping push philanthropy and advocacy in bolder and more effective directions.


Other Resources on Legal Advocacy