Press Clips On Civil Legal Aid



A cancer survivor paid an old debt, but collectors garnished her wages anyway. It’s part of a disturbing trend that’s about to get worse.

September 6, 2019 | Business Insider
A few large debt-buying corporations overload our civil courts against powerless defendants who can't afford the legal help to defend themselves.
Tags: Debt Collection
Op-Ed (NATIONAL, Ohio)

Confronting Domestic Abuse: How Legal Aid Provided a Lifeline When I Needed It

August 9, 2019 | Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ)
I think it’s important for people to know that I was extremely fortunate. Many women don’t get the chance I got. One of the biggest hurdles to ending a situation like mine is getting legal help to end it.
Tags: Domestic Violence

Justice Ain’t Much if You Can’t Afford It. America Needs to Overhaul Its Civil Law

July 18, 2019 | Newsweek
There is a crisis in this country's civil justice system, but with new resolve and investment in systemic reforms and civil legal aid, we can achieve Fannie Lou Hamer's vision of a civil justice system that fulfills America's promise of justice for all.
Tags: Civil Justice Reform
Letter to Editor (NATIONAL)

We need more lawyers

June 16, 2019 | Washington Post
Perhaps corporations need fewer legal services, but meanwhile, most Americans — and especially those struggling to make ends meet — can’t get the legal help they need to address serious life challenges.
Tags: Law Schools
News Story (Ohio)

Legal Aid ‘securing stability’ for low-income clients, report shows

June 16, 2019 | Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH)
The report, the first of its kind measuring the impact of civil legal services, bolsters anecdotal evidence that removing even a single legal obstacle can be transformational for a client, Steven McGarrity, executive director of Community Legal Aid, said.
Tags: Access to Justice | Report
Interview (NATIONAL)

White House Cuts Activities Funding For Unaccompanied Migrant Children

June 6, 2019 | National Public Radio (NPR)
NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Wendy Young, president of Kids in Need of Defense, about the discontinuation of funds for English classes and legal aid for unaccompanied child migrants in U.S. shelters.
Tags: Migrant Children
News Story (Pennsylvania)

New $65M legal center hopes to be game changer for Philly’s poor

May 28, 2019 | WHYY (PA)
Low-income residents in need of free legal services will soon be better connected to Philadelphia’s network of non-profit resources.
Tags: Access to Justice
News Story (Virginia)

Tenants facing eviction almost never have lawyers. Now, an attorney trawls a courthouse lobby handing out free advice

May 15, 2019 | Virginia Mercury
Tenants facing eviction in Virginia are almost never represented by lawyers. But that’s about to change as a flood of cash begins to flow to legal aid groups around the state.
Tags: Housing: Eviction
News Story (Texas)

ICE is denying migrants rightful access to lawyers, legal group says

May 9, 2019 | USA Today
Lawyers with the nonprofit Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES, said policy changes at the Karnes County, Texas, center run counter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement standards and improperly deny migrants legal services.
Tags: Deportation
News Story (NATIONAL)

General Counsel Request More Funding for Legal Services Corp.

April 29, 2019 | Bloomberg
This is the third year in a row that the Trump administration has threatened to defund LSC, the nation’s single largest sponsor of civil legal aid, despite bipartisan support for the group.
Tags: Funding: Federal
Interview (NATIONAL)

Legal Aid Vet Bergmark Dishes On Rising Up For Civil Justice

April 21, 2019 | Law360
Last month, Voices launched All Rise for Civil Justice, a platform providing stories of people about the people enmeshed in the world of bankruptcy, debt-collection, divorce, tenant-landlord disagreements, child custody battles, benefits challenges and more.
Tags: Access to Justice
Audio (New York)

‘Someone To Speak For You’: Low-Income Tenants Get Lawyers For Housing Court

April 3, 2019 | National Public Radio (NPR)
The right to counsel program, signed into law in 2017, is meant to address the legal disparity in a city where historically only one in 10 tenants in housing court had a lawyer, while most landlords had legal representation.
Tags: Civil Right to Counsel | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Louisiana)

In Louisiana civil courts, the poor are left to defend themselves

March 14, 2019 | Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services – a nonprofit that provides free legal representation in 22 parishes, including Orleans – does what it can to fill the gap and meet the substantial demand, but it does so with limited resources.
Tags: Access to Justice | Funding: State & Local
News Story (Michigan)

Group wants renters to have lawyers in eviction cases

March 12, 2019 | Detroit News
A group of lawyers and business leaders, along with renters like Fite, gathered Tuesday for a one-day conference called "Detroit Eviction Right To Counsel Summit" to push a proposal to guarantee a lawyer for all poor renters facing eviction in Detroit.
Tags: Civil Right to Counsel | Housing: Eviction
Feature (North Carolina)

Evictions remain stubbornly high in Buncombe County despite booming economy

March 1, 2019 | Asheville Citizen-Times (NC)
"The whole point of this is to be here for the people who don’t know about Pisgah Legal Services, and they don’t know they have rights (as tenants) under North Carolina law,” said David Bartholomew, an attorney with PLS.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Housing: Landlord-Tenant
Feature (NATIONAL)

The Four Ideas That Could Define Housing Policy in 2019

February 14, 2019 | Huffington Post
After years of inaction, states and cities are taking aggressive steps to protect renters and bring costs down.
Tags: Housing
Interview, Profile (NATIONAL)

Everyone Needs Legal Help. That Doesn’t Mean Everyone Needs a Lawyer.

February 13, 2019 | New York Times (NYT)
Rebecca Sandefur, a sociologist and researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believes America needs a new model for handling everyday legal issues.
Tags: Access to Justice
Op-Ed (Maryland, NATIONAL)

In touting First Step at SOTU, Trump forgot about hidden obstacles to success

February 12, 2019 | USA Today
What former inmates need most is help once they re-enter society. Where's the mandate providing legal services, job security for those released early?
Tags: Expungement / Record Sealing | Reentry
Op-Ed (New Hampshire)

We must give domestic violence survivors the legal aid they need

February 10, 2019 | Concord Monitor (NH)
The root causes of domestic violence are complex, and there is no single policy or program that can prevent it. But there is one critical step our state can take to improve the lives of survivors: We can ensure they have access to legal help, regardless of their ability to pay.
Tags: Domestic Violence
Op-Ed (Pennsylvania)

We have a tool to fix Philly’s eviction crisis

February 8, 2019 | Philadelphia Inquirer
One of the most effective solutions for preventing eviction and housing instability is already in effect around the country: civil legal aid.
Tags: Civil Right to Counsel | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Missouri, Tennessee)

Medicaid rolls fall in Missouri, Tennessee, worrying advocates for poor

February 7, 2019 | Kaiser Health News (KHN)
Social workers worry that the states’ efforts to weed out improperly enrolled residents has led to wrongful terminations.
Tags: Health Care | Medicaid
News Story (Pennsylvania)

City gets behind ‘good cause’ eviction law, but with some reservations about next steps

January 22, 2019 | WHYY (PA)
The group’s next legislative goal is to win funding for a “right to counsel,” which would guarantee that every low-income renter who ends up in eviction court can receive legal representation.
Tags: Civil Right to Counsel | Funding: State & Local | Housing: Eviction
Feature (New York)

As DIY Litigants Crowd The Docket, Courts Step In To Help

January 6, 2019 | Law360
While they remain rare for now, clinics like the one in the Eastern District of New York appear to be catching on in federal court as a way to aid self-represented litigants, for whom putting together a legally coherent complaint can be an insurmountable barrier.
Tags: Courts | Pro Se/Self-Help
News Story (NATIONAL)

Who’s More Likely to Be Audited: A Person Making $20,000 — or $400,000?

December 12, 2018 | ProPublica
If you claim the earned income tax credit, whose average recipient makes less than $20,000 a year, you’re more likely to face IRS scrutiny than someone making twenty times as much. How a benefit for the working poor was turned against them.
Tags: Tax Relief

America’s civil justice system needs reform, too

December 12, 2018 | USA Today
Poor remain underrepresented and taken advantage of when it comes to court claims and judgments.
Tags: Access to Justice
News Story (Pennsylvania)

New report claims city could save millions by providing lawyers to residents in eviction cases

November 13, 2018 | Philadelphia Weekly
By providing lawyers for people faced with eviction, the City of Philadelphia could save itself tens of millions of dollars in costs, the study said.
Tags: Funding: State & Local | Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL)

Legal Aid Funder Faces Existential Crisis Under Trump

October 28, 2018 | Law360
Following Donald Trump's election to the presidency, the LSC and its grantees face an existential crisis — for the first time since President Ronald Reagan left office, the executive branch has repeatedly called for LSC's elimination.
Tags: Funding: Federal
News Story (Colorado)

Eviction reduction effort set for Adams, Broomfield counties as tenant rights pilot program readies for launch

October 28, 2018 | Denver Post
Escalating home prices, rentals in metro Denver have put the squeeze on tenants.
Tags: Housing: Eviction
Op-Ed (Ohio)

Survivors rely on legal aid to break cycle of abuse

October 25, 2018 | Columbus Dispatch
All of us have a role to play in ensuring that survivors such as Lucy get legal help to escape their abusers so that tragic domestic violence deaths can be prevented.
Tags: Domestic Violence | Funding: Private/Foundation
Interview (Minnesota)

Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota bolsters health of children with on-site attorney

September 7, 2018 | Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)
Interview with Brianna Boone, a staff attorney at Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services about the medical-legal partnership.
Tags: Medical-Legal Partnerships