Press Clips On Civil Legal Aid


News Story (NATIONAL, Ohio, Pennsylvania)

Is Tenants’ Right to Counsel On Its Way to Becoming Standard Practice?

December 10, 2019 |
Eviction is a deeply disruptive and destructive event in a tenant’s life that, in the words of Matt Desmond, director of Princeton University's Eviction Lab, “is not just a condition of poverty, it is a cause of it.” Research shows that most of the time in housing court landlords have lawyers but tenants do not. The good news is that there is a growing national movement to provide all renters facing eviction the legal help they need to ensure a fair outcome in eviction proceedings. So far, five cities have passed such bills, and more are considering it.
Tags: Civil Right to Counsel | Housing: Eviction | Housing: Landlord-Tenant
News Story (Washington)

Landlords with lawyers, tenants without: How some WA renters are signing away their rights

December 5, 2019 | Crosscut
The state Legislature recently passed new regulations to protect against eviction, but many don't know their rights.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Housing: Landlord-Tenant
News Story (Virginia)

Study: Many Wage Complaints Go Uninvestigated

December 5, 2019 | WVTF (local NPR, VA)
When a worker believes they’ve been cheated out of their pay, they can file a complaint with the state. But a new study finds many of those complaints are never investigated.
Tags: Wage Theft
News Story (California, NATIONAL)

Attorneys question presence of tech industry insiders on California bar task force for reforming legal industry

December 5, 2019 | ABA Journal
A California state bar task force crafting proposals to overhaul regulation of the state’s legal marketplace has drawn criticism from attorneys who believe some of its members evaluating whether to open up the legal industry to nonlawyer ownership and greater technology-driven legal services have conflicts of interest.
Tags: Non-lawyers | Technology
News Story (New York)

Lawmakers propose bill to help New York renters avoid eviction

December 5, 2019 | WABC-TV (New York, NY)
Tenant and landlord advocates are gearing up for another fight about housing rights in the new year, and lawmakers are set to consider a bill that would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants without providing a good legal reason when a lease expires.
Tags: Housing: Eviction
News Story (Virginia)

Report: Virginia rarely helps workers collect unpaid wages from deadbeat employers

December 4, 2019 | Virginia Mercury
Ronaldo Gonzalez Vasquez says his employer owed him two weeks of pay when his once-reliable boss stopped responding to phone calls and text messages.
Tags: Wage Theft
News Story (Alaska)

Bar Association wants more lawyers to donate

December 4, 2019 | KUAC-FM (Fairbanks, AK)
Everyone accused of a crime has the right to an attorney, but that’s not a right for parties in civil cases. If you are getting a divorce, or someone sues you, you have to pay for legal counsel or go it alone.
Tags: Domestic Violence | Housing: Landlord-Tenant | Pro Bono
News Story (Utah)

They Loan You Money. Then They Get A Warrant For Your Arrest.

December 3, 2019 | ProPublica
High-interest loan companies are using Utah’s small claims courts to arrest borrowers and take their bail money. Technically, the warrants are issued for missing court hearings. For many, that’s a distinction without a difference.
Tags: Debt Collection
News Story (Florida)

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Launches Service For Veterans In Need Of Assistance

December 3, 2019 | WJCT Jacksonville
Military veterans who need legal help now have a place to turn that’s geared to their specific needs.
Tags: Veterans
News Story (Connecticut)

New Lead Law Passes, With Teeth

December 3, 2019 | New Haven Independent
Alders unanimously approved updating the city’s child lead poisoning laws — but only after including a change that won over critics who heralded the final version for protecting at-risk kids.
Tags: Lead Poisoning
News Story (Texas)

Retired Texas shrimper wins record-breaking $50 million settlement from plastics manufacturing giant

December 3, 2019 | Texas Tribune
U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt approved the settlement agreement between a scrappy environmental coalition and plastics giant Formosa. The settlement is the largest in U.S. history resulting from a citizen environmental suit.
Tags: Environmental Justice
News Story (Texas)

Legal Help Out Of Reach For Many Asylum Seekers In El Paso Sector Detention Centers

December 2, 2019 | KERA (TX)
Beyond a few dedicated nonprofits like Las Americas, there aren’t many free or low cost legal services in the region.
Tags: Immigration
News Story (NATIONAL, New York)

Why Marital Identity Theft Is So Hard To Fight

December 1, 2019 | Law360
When someone steals your identity, getting a police report can be invaluable in correcting your credit history, contesting collections suits and seeking damages — but accessing law enforcement can be uniquely challenging if the culprit is your husband.
Tags: Identity Theft
News Story (Ohio)

Acts of Kindness: Groups raise funds to provide legal services for people in poverty

December 1, 2019 | Toledo Blade
For the next few months, three legal organizations in Toledo will raise money so they can continue helping people who can’t afford an attorney for civil matters.
Tags: Access to Justice
News Story (Texas)

These Local Lawyers Are Helping Kids at the Border

December 1, 2019 | Houstonia Magazine
Last February a group of eight attorneys traveled to Harlingen to meet with dozens of boys from Central America, all between 14 and 17 years old, who arrived by the busload seeking help.
Tags: Immigration
News Story (North Dakota)

75% of ND counties have fewer than 10 attorneys, leaving rural residents without legal help nearby

November 30, 2019 | Grand Forks Herald
“I think there is still a need for attorneys, but people just don’t want to live there as much,” Losing said of rural areas.
Tags: Rural
News Story (Florida)

New legal aid program for veterans launched

November 27, 2019 | Jacksonville Daily Record
Jim Kowalski, JALA president and CEO, said the effort to fund the statewide program is the first money approved for civil legal aid by the state Legislature.
Tags: Funding: State & Local | Veterans
News Story (Pennsylvania)

Divorce Is Expensive, But Some Try To Ease The Burden

November 27, 2019 | WESA (Pittsburgh)
Without that help, a recent study of Pennsylvania counties shows, many people do not get divorced at all.
Tags: Divorce
News Story (New York)

Access to Justice helps ‘level the playing field’

November 27, 2019 | Queens Chronicle
Fisher said that while the U.S. justice system has found ways to punish criminal offenders with great efficiency, it hasn’t figured out how to help people faced with civil cases — which impacts quality of life.
Tags: Access to Justice
Op-Ed (California)

Record Expungement Unlocks Opportunities after a Criminal Conviction

November 26, 2019 | Voice of OC
Many with past convictions may qualify to have those convictions expunged but don’t know about their eligibility or have difficulty navigating the complex process without a lawyer.
Tags: Expungement / Record Sealing
Op-Ed (Tennessee)

Why pro bono work is so gratifying and necessary

November 25, 2019 | Tennessean, The
It is difficult to see a client in a place of fear and uncertainty, but incredibly gratifying to see them go through the process of leaving an abusive relationship and moving into a brighter future than they ever imagined.
Tags: Pro Bono
News Story (Texas)

Dearth of legal aid for low-income Texans ‘really dire’

November 22, 2019 | Texas Lawbook
At a time when lawyers and law firms in Texas are making record amounts of money, the number of Texans who need legal assistance but cannot afford an attorney is at an all-time high.
Tags: Access to Justice
News Story (Wisconsin)

Milwaukee’s Eviction Defense Project Provides Representation To Tenants In Poverty

November 20, 2019 | WUWM (local NPR, Milwaukee)
Around half a million people need legal aid in Wisconsin and can't afford it. One main reason they need legal aid: eviction.
Tags: Housing: Eviction
News Story (Wisconsin)

Milwaukee’s Legal Aid Society Takes On Neighborhood Lawyering

November 19, 2019 | WUWM (local NPR, Milwaukee)
Low-income people and families can face eviction notices, problems with social security benefits, bankruptcy and more without the resources to get legal help. The Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee has been tackling these issues by providing free civil legal services for Milwaukee’s low-income population for over 100 years.
Tags: Access to Justice
News Story (California)

California Legal Access Recommendations Delayed Until March

November 19, 2019 | Bloomberg Big Law Business
A California task force aiming to broaden access to legal services now has a few more months to make its final recommendations, as debate continues about whether nonlaywers should be allowed to assist consumers with legal matters.
Tags: Access to Justice
Interview (NATIONAL)

Bart Stichman On Making Sure Veterans Get Their Due

November 17, 2019 | Law360
Bart Stichman has spent more than 40 years fighting to help veterans get their benefits and could rightfully be cast as one of the founding fathers of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Tags: Veterans
News Story (Pennsylvania)

City Council passes bill right to counsel bill for low-income tenants

November 14, 2019 | Philadelphia Tribune
Philadelphia City Council passed legislation for taxpayers to pay the legal bills of low-income tenants who are facing eviction on Thursday, sending the bill to Mayor Jim Kenney.
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story (Pennsylvania)

Philly Council passes Right to Counsel, giving free legal representation to tenants who are evicted

November 14, 2019 | Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed a bill Thursday that will provide free legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction, all but cementing Philadelphia on a list of cities that have strengthened renters’ rights amid what many say is a growing national eviction problem.
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story (Pennsylvania)

Philly Council votes unanimously to provide free lawyers for tenants facing eviction

November 14, 2019 | WHYY (PA)
Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed a bill Thursday that will provide lawyers to low-income tenants facing eviction in the city.
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story (Vermont)

Lawmakers hope to widen list of crimes that can be expunged

November 14, 2019 | (Vermont)
panel of state law enforcement officers, prosecutors and public defenders is recommending that Vermont dramatically expand expungement laws so that ex-offenders convicted of the vast majority of the state’s felony crimes can eventually scrub their criminal histories.
Tags: Expungement / Record Sealing