Mind the Gap: Bending the Cost Curve of Legal Services to Close the Justice Gap


How do we use technology and innovation to break down barriers to justice and affordability of lawyers? This op-ed lays out ideas.
Blog Post (NATIONAL)

Ray Brescia
Huffington Post
June 9, 2015
Full story

Tags: Benefits of Legal Aid, Delivery Systems, Legal Needs, Pro Se/Self-Help, Technology

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Empire Justice Center


DETAILS

The “Justice Gap” — the fact that 80 percent of low-income and 50 percent of middle-income Americans face their legal problems without a lawyer — undermines the promise of equal justice under law.

One of the main reasons for this gap is that the cost of a lawyer to handle even a straightforward legal issue can be prohibitively expensive for many.

One way to close this gap is to increase funding for non-profit legal services for low-income people. In that area, though, we’re going backwards. Over the last few years, Congress has slashed the budget for the federal Legal Services Corporation, the entity that funds legal aid organizations across the country, by 30 percent. Another way to narrow the justice gap is to make legal services more affordable. And one way to do that is by innovating in the manner in which legal expertise is delivered