Legal-aid services limited as need rises, advocates say

Ohio must do more to help poor and low-income residents gain access to the civil-justice system, a state Supreme Court justice and other legal advocates said on Wednesday.

News Story (Pennsylvania)

Rita Price
Columbus Dispatch
September 9, 2015

Tags: Access to Justice, Legal Needs

Organizations mentioned/involved: Ohio State Legal Services


“This is not the cosmetic surgery of legal proceedings,” Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith L. French said during a discussion at the Columbus Metropolitan Club. “We’re really talking about providing basic human necessities for people who need it.”

An Ohio Supreme Court task force reported on the problem this spring, describing the gap between legal need and access as “vast.”

Matters handled by Ohio legal-aid offices, for example, dropped from 86,541 in 2010 to 57,593 in 2013, as agencies struggle with dwindling budgets.