Study Shows Free Legal Services For The Poor Are Good For Business, Not Just To Feel Good

A new study from the Foundation found that for every dollar spent towards legal aid services, there is a $7 return on investment.
News Story (Florida)

Wilson Sayre
WLRN (South Florida)
February 9, 2017

Tags: Funding: State & Local

Organizations mentioned/involved: Florida Bar Foundation


According to the study of 33 legal services organizations in Florida, the economic impacts came in three areas: 1) direct dollar benefits received by low-income clients and other entities as a result of successful legal assistance, like Social Security payments or Medicaid reimbursements; 2) cost savings by preventing clients from needing emergency shelters or from foreclosure costs; and 3) an economic multiplier from clients who use their savings and new income to buy things within the state, like groceries.

For example, when legal aid services aids a veteran in his/her claims for benefits, direct monthly payments might help stabilize a person’s living situation. She might use some of the money to pay for groceries in local stores and won’t need emergency medical services to take care of primary care needs because she has insurance that covers doctors visits.