Economic Impact Study

Whether general legal aid or immigration assistance, civil legal help not only provides social benefit, but also provides economic gains to clients and the community.

Based on 2018 case work, the Oregon Law Foundation commissioned CSACO to produce social return on investment (SROI) studies of the two largest areas of OLF funding. One study focused on the benefits of funding full-service civil legal aid organizations, and the other focused on the benefits of funding immigration legal help. Learn about the need for legal help in our 2018 Civil Legal Needs Study.

What it SROI?

SROI, social return on investment, analysis measures the financial value created by an organization’s activities.  This analysis measures both direct outputs, like the market value of services delivered, and the outcomes from those services, like long-term reduction of costs or increased economic activity, and compares those results to the cost of delivering services.   Potential negative outcomes are also factored into the analysis in order to produce a net return on investment.

Key Findings

Civil Legal Aid

For every $1.00 spent on legal aid, Oregon receives $3.43 of financial benefit to individuals and to the community.

Immigration Legal Help

For every $1.00 spent on immigration legal help, Oregon receives $4.94 of financial benefit to individuals and to the
community. The economic benefits from immigration legal services significantly outweigh the potential for costs
associated with medical care, support, public safety, and education which were considered in this study.


Civil Legal Aid