Poor finding it harder to get free legal aid for civil cases, including in Bucks County

Renee is among countless Pennsylvanians who face life-changing legal problems but can't afford a lawyer. She's also one of a dwindling number of people who can get free assistance through Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

News Story (Pennsylvania)

Jo Ciavaglia
Legal Intelligencer (PA)
June 7, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania (LASP), Pennsylvania IOLTA Board (PAIOLTA)


That cut, combined with proposed reductions in federal Community Development Block Grants, would reduce Legal Aid funding by 40 percent, according to Ann Tydeman-Solomon, development director for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The result of those cuts alone would be “thousands” fewer people who could be served, she said, and a widening of the civil “justice gap” experienced by the poor.

Plus, state appropriations for civil legal services for the poor have dropped 26 percent since the 2007-08 fiscal year, to about $20 million, according to Sam Milkes, executive director of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, which distributes funding for indigent civil legal services in the state.