Justice for all depends on Maine’s legal aid providers

Helping the poor with housing, health care and other civil issues pays off for the community – so it should get more support.

Editorial (Maine)

Portland Press Herald (Maine)
April 12, 2017

Tags: Funding: State & Local

Organizations mentioned/involved: Maine Justice Action Group (JAG)


If we didn’t hear it in school, we heard it on TV: that everyone has a right to an attorney and that “if you cannot afford one, one will be provided to you.” But this constitutional safeguard applies only to criminal defendants, making access to justice tenuous for those without the funds to represent them in custody, eviction, domestic violence and other high-stakes civil cases.

Standing up for disadvantaged Mainers is the goal of Maine’s civil legal aid providers, and a newly released report shows that their efforts put about $105 million into the Maine economy every year. Legal aid benefits not just clients, but also the community as a whole – making it imperative for everyone who truly believes in “justice for all” to be advocates and donors.