Press Clips On Civil Legal Aid


Interview, Video (Pennsylvania)

Coronavirus Latest: Tips For Renters Struggling To Make Monthly Payments Amid COVID-19 Crisis

April 2, 2020 | CBS 3 (Philadelphia)
Television interview with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia attorney Joan Belfus sharing guidance and options for managing when rent and mortgage payments are due and your income is affected by COVID-19. #LegalAid#CivilJustice
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Louisiana, NATIONAL, New York, Ohio)

Coronavirus could overwhelm legal help for America’s poor

March 31, 2020 | Roll Call
“We have gone through a lot of big disasters, and this will be the biggest yet. The biggest civil legal aid crisis, the biggest economic crisis, the biggest public health crisis, sort of all rolled into one.” – Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Executive Director Laura Tuggle, on the COVID-19 pandemic
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Debt Collection | Disaster Recovery | Domestic Violence | Housing: Eviction | LSC Funding
News Story (NATIONAL)

Online Unemployment Benefits Systems Are Buckling Under a Wave of Applications

March 31, 2020 | The Markup
States around the country are dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus, as businesses shutter and unemployment claims hit unprecedented levels. With 3.3 million new unemployment claims in one week alone, the digital systems meant to provide benefits to workers are showing signs of strain. “Everyone’s scrambling and trying to figure out what systems they ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (NATIONAL)

After $100M Ask, Legal Aid Funder Nets $50M For Relief Work

March 27, 2020 | Law360
With the economy convulsing and unemployment claims skyrocketing, the U.S. Congress passed a $2 trillion relief package aimed at mitigating the impacts of the novel coronavirus wreaking havoc across the country and around the world. In addition to promising billions of dollars in aid to airlines, hospitals, school districts and small businesses, the package allocates $50 ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | LSC Funding
News Story (NATIONAL)

Advice On Filing For Unemployment Benefits: Document Everything And Be Persistent

March 26, 2020 | National Public Radio (NPR)
A record 3.3 million people filed for initial unemployment benefits last week, with millions more anticipated in coming weeks. All this has put a huge strain on state employment agencies, so experts say persistence is key to getting those benefits. In this story, legal aid attorneys give recommendations for what recently laid-off workers should do to navigate the unemployment benefits system.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (Texas)

As COVID-19 Layoffs Increase Demand for Legal Aid, Providers Expect Precipitous Funding Drop

March 25, 2020 | Texas Lawbook ,
Civil legal-aid providers across the country are expecting a flood of Americans to begin qualifying for legal aid because of mass layoffs arising from COVID-19 government shutdowns. Some will face serious legal issues, yet as the demand for legal aid increases, the bottom just dropped out of the legal-aid budget. When the federal government cut interest rates to spur the economy, that also zeroed out the interest rate for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts, which is the traditional funding source for legal-aid providers.
Tags: Funding: Federal | Funding: IOLTA
Audio, Interview (Florida)

Heard On Sundial: Housing In The Time Of COVID-19

March 25, 2020 | WLRN (South Florida)
On this episode of the daily south Florida public radio program Sundial the host interviews Jeffrey Hearne of Greater Miami Legal Services and other housing experts to address housing questions and concerns in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story, Newsletter (NATIONAL)

For Abused Women, a Pandemic Lockdown Holds Dangers of Its Own

March 24, 2020 | New York Times (NYT) , Fuller Project
As millions across the U.S. stay home to help flatten the curve, domestic violence organizations and support systems are scrambling to adapt to the rapidly shifting landscape.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Domestic Violence | Women
News Story, Video (Virginia)

Richmond Judge Halts Evictions

March 23, 2020 | NBC 12 On Your Side (Richmond, VA)
"What people need to know is they don't have to move. Based on what the judge ruled today, they don't have to move. I think that is the key message we need to get out," said Central Virginia Legal Aid Society Litigation Director Marty Wegbreit on March 23rd after he successfully persuaded a judge to grant the Richmond sheriff authority to not carry out evictions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL, Wisconsin)

Facing eviction as millions shelter in place

March 22, 2020 | Washington Post
As millions of Americans are being told to stay inside their homes and eviction moratoriums are enacted across the country, tenants - often already struggling under hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic - are still receiving eviction notices from their landlords. This story by Jessica Contrera of the Washington Post spotlights some of the intersections of the COVID-19 pandemic with the affordable housing crisis, health care, low wages and the gig economy.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Indiana)

Legal aid worried about aftermath of coronavirus

March 18, 2020 | Indiana Lawyer
Legal aid providers in Indiana are still serving clients as the coronavirus storm gathers strength, but they are worried about the surge they anticipate will come after the outbreak has passed. Indianapolis Legal Aid Society and Indiana Legal Services (ILS) remain open, with their intake systems continuing to take calls and connecting individuals and families with ... Read more
Tags: CoronaVirus | Courts | COVID-19 | Disaster Recovery
News Story (California, NATIONAL, New York, Washington)

Under Pressure: Legal Aid Attys Brace For Virus’s Impacts

March 15, 2020 | Law360
As the entire legal industry continues reacting to the spread of COVID-19, the legal aid community is bracing for its expected impact on their services for underserved communities. And in some parts of the country, providers are already weathering the effects. This article looks at how some providers across the country are preparing.
Tags: CoronaVirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
Feature, News Story (NATIONAL, New Mexico, Washington)

In New Mexico, Nonattorney Helpers Could Ease Justice Crisis

February 2, 2020 | Law360

Tags: Court Navigators | Pro Se/Self-Help
Column (Maryland)

Deeds: Volunteers help Baltimoreans untangle titles, keep more homes from going vacant

January 24, 2020 | Baltimore Sun
The MVLS provides pro bono help to Marylanders who can’t afford an attorney for civil matters. In the last couple of years, it started providing advice on estates and help untangling titles to homes.
Tags: Housing: Title | Seniors
News Story, Video (Virginia)

The hidden health costs of eviction

January 13, 2020 | PBS News Hour
Research increasingly shows housing insecurity takes an enormous toll on people’s health. William Brangham reports from Richmond, which has the nation’s second-highest eviction rate.
Tags: Health Care | Housing: Eviction
Letter to Editor (NATIONAL, Pennsylvania)

To the Editor: Re “Eviction Crises That a Few Hundred Dollars Could Solve”

January 7, 2020 | New York Times (NYT)
While the holiday season brought tidings of joy for some, many people go through the cold winter months facing eviction and homelessness. Many are renters who are shut out of their homes over only a few hundred dollars, often less than one month’s rent.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Housing: Right to Counsel
News Story (NATIONAL)

As Rents Rise, Cities Strengthen Tenants’ Ability to Fight Eviction

December 26, 2019 | Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
Half-a-dozen cities from San Francisco to Cleveland are promising tenants the right to an attorney in eviction cases, a costly and logistically daunting initiative that advocates say is a necessary response to rising housing costs and homelessness.
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Right to Counsel
News Story (Pennsylvania)

Philadelphia renters forced to deal with major issues — or risk eviction

December 18, 2019 | WHYY (PA)
“The importance of the right to counsel bill can’t be minimized,” says Rachel Garland, a veteran of the city’s eviction courts and managing attorney at Community Legal Services. “This is a very large step for Philadelphia.”
Tags: Housing: Eviction | Housing: Right to Counsel
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
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
News Story, Video (New York)

Bronx legal clinic for women veterans in jeopardy of closing due to funding

November 13, 2019 | News 12 the Bronx
Samantha Kubek, with the NY Legal Assistance, established the legal clinic, the nation's first for women veterans at VA hospital.
Tags: Veterans
News Story (Pennsylvania)

A Fairer Evictions Court

November 6, 2019 | Philadelphia Citizen
Proposed legislation would provide free lawyers for Philly tenants at risk of evictions, similar to how defendants are guaranteed counsel in criminal court. Could it help even the playing field here, as it has in New York City?
Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel

Law and Disorder: Climate Change in the Courts

October 18, 2019 | Climate One
The increase in weather-driven disasters over the past few years has given rise to a whole new branch of legalese, known as “Disaster Law.” Laura Tuggle of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services helps disaster survivors navigate the muddy waters of federal relief, insurance claims and inheritance rights.
Tags: Natural Disasters
Investigative (Kansas, NATIONAL)

When Medical Debt Collectors Decide Who Gets Arrested

October 16, 2019 | ProPublica
Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.
Tags: Debt Collection
News Story (Colorado)

Some doctors can write a prescription for legal services that might mean housing for a family

October 14, 2019 | Denverite
Thanks to an unusual specialist at her primary care clinic, Beth Lawler Stichter got a remedy for what many may not see as a medical problem. “I was homeless,” Lawler Stichter said.
Tags: Medical-Legal Partnerships
Op-Ed (Massachusetts)

Online self-help center would level legal playing field

October 8, 2019 | MassLive
By developing an online self-help center, Massachusetts has the opportunity to make our civil courts fairer for people forced to represent themselves.
Tags: Pro Se/Self-Help
Op-Ed (Mississippi)

After terrifying ICE raid, Mississippi is still fighting back

October 3, 2019 | USA Today
Families are still separated, and lawyers are still pushing back against slanted justice system.
Tags: ICE Raids | Immigration | Immigration Process

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