Cuts to legal aid an injustice to North Carolina’s poor

In order to help pay for a regime of tax cuts benefiting the wealthiest North Carolinians, the General Assembly zeroed out the state’s appropriation for legal services.
Op-Ed (North Carolina)

Gene Nichol
News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
October 24, 2015

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC), North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission (NCEAJC)


Last year, LANC was able to serve over 25,000 families. This year, Hausen fears, the number will drop significantly. And even at 2014 levels, the N.C. Equal Justice Commission reports that over 80 percent of the legal need of the poor and near poor was unmet.

The commission’s Mary Irvine is frank to say: “Access to justice in North Carolina has reached a crisis point.” Thousands of children, victims of domestic violence, seniors and veterans go without the legal services required to meet their basic human needs. Huge numbers lose their homes, their jobs, their benefits, their health care and their ability to get protective orders simply because they can’t get counsel.