Press Clips On Civil Legal Aid


Long Form (NATIONAL)

No Money, No Lawyer, No Justice – The vast, hidden inequities of the civil legal system

June 22, 2020 | New Republic
This is a sweeping investigative piece on “the vast, hidden inequities of the civil legal system.” With a focus on the lack of legal representation for those who need it, journalist Kathryn Joyce shows the nightmare of civil legal problems through the eyes of those who have experienced them.
Tags: Access to Justice | Benefits of Legal Aid | Civil Right to Counsel | Consumer Protection | Debt Collection | Domestic Violence | Funding: Federal | Housing: Eviction | Poverty
News Story (NATIONAL)

Vast Federal Aid Has Capped Rise in Poverty, Studies Find

June 21, 2020 | New York Times (NYT)
Evidence suggests that the programs Congress hastily authorized in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have done much to protect the needy, a finding likely to shape the debate over next steps at a time when 13.3 percent of Americans remain unemployed. But researchers caution this does not mean low-income families are escaping hardship. And they ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Hunger | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (NATIONAL)

‘They Just Dumped Him Like Trash’: Nursing Homes Evict Vulnerable Residents

June 21, 2020 | New York Times (NYT)
This incredibly powerful story describes how nursing homes across the country are kicking out less-profitable residents to make room for a new class of customers who would generate more revenue: patients with Covid-19. Legal aid attorneys and other advocates for nursing home residents are fighting to protect their rights.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Disability Rights | Housing: Eviction | Medicaid | Nursing Homes
News Story (Georgia, NATIONAL, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia)

Tenants behind on rent in pandemic face harassment, eviction

June 14, 2020 | Associated Press (AP)
“Every day, they tried to basically get us out of there. It was basically like a game to them.”
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | eviction | Housing: Eviction
Investigative (Arkansas, NATIONAL, New York, STATES)

Capital One and Other Debt Collectors Are Still Coming for Millions of Americans

June 8, 2020 | ProPublica
ProPublica spoke with three New Yorkers who struggled to address seizures of their pay after the pandemic hit. Although all three managed to eventually halt the garnishments with the help of a legal aid attorney, the cases show how such suits can hang over people’s lives for decades.
Tags: Consumer Protection | CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Debt Collection
Op-Ed (District of Columbia)

Ariel Levinson-Waldman: With COVID debt cases expected to rise, DC should fully fund civil legal services

June 3, 2020 | The DC Line
The author, Ariel Levinson-Waldman, sits on the DC Access to Justice Commission and is the founding director of the nonprofit organization Tzedek DC. In this op-ed he calls for increasing resources for civil legal help, protecting defendants against wrongful default judgments, and ensuring more accountability concerning debt collection practices in DC.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Funding - State and Local
News Story (California, Florida, NATIONAL, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia)

State Eviction Moratoriums Are Ending, and ‘It’s Going to Be a True Nightmare’

June 1, 2020 | VICE News
By the end of this week, about half of all U.S. states will have no eviction protections — even though people are still grappling with the lack of income that made paying rent impossible in the first place. Legal Aid attorneys across the country, who have already been fighting illegal evictions since the pandemic began, ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (California, Florida, NATIONAL, New York, Washington)

Millions of freelancers still wait for coronavirus unemployment benefits

May 29, 2020 | CNN
Unemployment benefits have been broadened during the pandemic to assist self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors and others affected by the coronavirus. But this change required states to reprogram their antiquated technology to accept these new categories of filers, leaving millions of jobless Americans waiting weeks to receive payments.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (NATIONAL, Texas, Virginia)

What Happens When the Eviction Bans End?

May 29, 2020 | CityLab
States are reopening courts to eviction hearings even as coronavirus-driven job losses continue, setting the stage for “a housing crisis of unparalleled magnitude.”  
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Florida, NATIONAL)

‘Still Catching Up’: Jobless Numbers May Not Tell Full Story

May 28, 2020 | New York Times (NYT)
Unemployment claims exceed 40 million since the start of the pandemic, with 2.1 million added last week, but a backlog may be leaving many uncounted.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Unemployment Insurance
Op-Ed (New York)

Commentary: Suspending bed-hold policy will save lives during pandemic

May 26, 2020 | Albany Times Union
Legal aid attorney Allison Green writes about the decision – and exorbitant expense – to protect her mother by bringing her to temporarily live with her in her home during the pandemic, while holding on to her place in the Medicaid/Medicare-funded adult care facility in Westchester County. “We are among the lucky ones grappling with this dilemma,” ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Nursing Homes
News Story (California, NATIONAL, Virginia)

Landlords Can’t Evict Their Tenants, So They’re Shutting Off Utilities and Threatening Them Instead

May 21, 2020 | VICE News
“It’s anything from wrongly telling someone you have to go, and this person doesn’t know they have a right to remain, to levels of harassment, knocking on the door, fake notices, threats, to cutting off utilities,” said Oliver Ehlinger, a Solano-based attorney with Legal Services of Northern California. “We’ve seen examples of all of those.”
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction

What to know about your leave options if you’re not ready to return to work

May 21, 2020 | CNBC
Can you refuse to go back to work and still claim unemployment benefits? The answer will depend on your situation and how Covid-19 has affected you personally, you may have options to remain on leave and not return to work in-person, at least temporarily. Here’s what to know.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Employment | Unemployment Insurance
Audio, News Story (California, Georgia, NATIONAL, Ohio)

‘We Can’t Take Your Call’: Uber Drivers, Other Gig Workers Struggle For Unemployment

May 19, 2020 | National Public Radio (NPR)
While millions of people who make a living from gig work are now temporarily eligible for unemployment benefits, these workers face especially long waits that are leading to other problems, such as threats of eviction.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Unemployment Insurance
Column, Op-Ed

Kennedy’s Civil Gideon is a Human Right

May 17, 2020 | WBSM (New Bedford, MA, talk radio)
Opinion piece by New Bedford, Massachusetts attorney who represents indigent defendants in criminal matters, in support of “Civil Gideon” resolution ensuring counsel for all in civil matters.

News Story (District of Columbia, Illinois, NATIONAL, New York)

Going To Court Without A Lawyer Was Always Hard. The Pandemic Has Made It Much Harder.

May 15, 2020 | BuzzFeed
With courthouses still closed, judges and legal aid groups fear people who can’t afford lawyers are being shut out of the civil justice system altogether.
Tags: CoronaVirus | Courts | COVID-19 | Pro Se/Self-Help
Audio, News Story (Virginia)

Will Evictions Pick Up When Courts Reopen Monday?

May 14, 2020 | WVTF (local NPR, VA)
Many of Virginia’s courts will resume hearing non-emergency cases on Monday… that includes eviction lawsuits. With judges facing a backlog of cases, tenants and legal advocates are bracing for what’s to come.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Illinois)

Legal aid organizations strained by increase in pandemic-related cases, including domestic violence, unemployment claims

May 11, 2020 | Chicago Tribune
Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck Chicago, attorneys who offer legal work to the poor say they have seen a significant rise in people seeking assistance with domestic violence and unemployment benefits. With demand for free legal help expected to further rise after Cook County courts reopen, lawyers say the public health crisis will intensify preexisting ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Debt Collection | Domestic Violence | Housing: Eviction | Pro Bono | Public Benefits | Unemployment Insurance
Audio, Interview, News Story

COVID-19 Has Created A Legal Aid Crisis. FEMA’s Usual Response Is Missing

May 11, 2020 | National Public Radio (NPR)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the White House have failed to fund Disaster Legal Services, a legal assistance program that is routinely available to disaster survivors. The missing funding becomes more pressing every day because, unlike most weather disasters, the pandemic is causing long-term economic destruction.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Is Now The Time To Reform How Courts Handle Debt Cases?

May 10, 2020 | Law360
A new report from Pew Charitable Trusts civil legal system modernization project highlights debt court trends and features of debt collection suits that could be ripe for changes, and calls for reform. “Right now is a critical moment for actions,” said Erika Rickard, director of the civil legal system modernization project at Pew. “Now is ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | Court Reform | COVID-19 | Debt Collection | Report
Feature, News Story (Texas)

How One Legal Aid Clinic Has Gone Virtual

May 10, 2020 | Law360
The coronavirus pandemic has presented walk-in legal aid clinics with an existential crisis, but with the assistance of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, working with Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and Legal Aid of NW Texas, one clinic in Dallas is using a new virtual platform to press forward and seeing more attorneys volunteering to help.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Pro Bono
Feature, News Story (NATIONAL)

Law Students Step Up As Legal Needs From Virus Grow

May 10, 2020 | Law360
A law student with free time and plenty of frustration over the rate of coronavirus infection in jails and detention centers wanted to help, so she used social media to offer her pro bono assistance. The next day, the COVID-19 Pro Bono Support Listserv was born. In less than two months, the project has garnered a ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Law Schools | Pro Bono
Op-Ed (Oklahoma)

Point of View: Legal aid is a front-line responder

May 10, 2020 | Oklahoma Access to Justice Commission and Foundation , Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma
This op-ed by Katie Dilks, executive director of Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation, and Michael Figgins, executive director of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, explains how legal aid providers are front-line responders to the Covid-19 pandemic, and making a strong case re the need for the efforts of leaders both public and private, along with all ... Read more
Tags: Domestic Violence | Housing: Eviction | Pro Bono
News Story (Illinois, NATIONAL)

What Happens If You Are Sued by a Debt Collector?

May 8, 2020 | New York Times (NYT)
A new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Civil Legal System Modernization project says the lawsuits were already the most common civil cases in many states. Now, because of the pandemic, even more people are in financial trouble.
Tags: Consumer Protection | CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Debt Collection
Audio, Interview, News Story, Talk Radio (Georgia, NATIONAL)

More And More Georgians Are Being Sued Because Of Their Debt

May 8, 2020 | WABE (local NPR, Atlanta)
More and more Georgians are being sued for debt.Major corporations–some even traded on the New York Stock Exchange–buy bad debt from a company or credit card issuer for pennies. The companies will then sue in local courts for the full amount–and then some. And these debt collectors’ win rate is staggering, but it’s rarely because ... Read more
Tags: Court Reform | Debt Collection | Reports
News Story (Idaho, STATES)

ACLU of Idaho, Legal Aid Services seek to halt eviction proceedings during pandemic

May 5, 2020 | Idaho Press Tribune
In Idaho, Idaho Legal Aid and the ACLU argue moving forward with evictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic “poses profound and dangerous constitutional problems.”
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL)

Landlords are bracing for a wave of rent defaults

May 3, 2020 | CNN Business
Landlords across the country are anticipating fewer people will be able to pay rent in May than April. But they are even more worried about what comes in the months after. Civil legal aid attorneys are advocating for policies that will provide fairness for both tenants and landlords.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Arizona, STATES)

Phoenix-area evictions dropped with moratorium. Here’s why tenants are urged not to skip rent

April 29, 2020 | Arizona Republic
Phoenix-area renter evictions plummeted 66% during April, likely due to state and federal restrictions and financial help during the COVID-19 crisis. But housing advocates are advising renters not to skip rent payments if they can afford them because most of the current eviction protections run out in late July. Renters will owe unpaid rent then, or face ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
Op-Ed (Alabama)

Legal Services Alabama standing on the front lines with public during coronavirus crisis

April 29, 2020 | Montgomery Advertiser

Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Domestic Violence | Funding - State and Local | Funding: State & Local | Housing: Eviction | Unemployment Insurance

More resources for the Legal Services Corporation are needed as the pandemic continues

April 28, 2020 | Hill, The
Stay-at-home orders will continue for the next several weeks in many parts of the country. Even when and where restrictions are lifted, things will not be the same as they were before. We should invest now in Legal Services Corporation so the rights of our families, friends and neighbors are fully protected during these uncertain ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Funding: Federal