Access to Justice Commission Annual Report Shows Huge Collaborative Effort to Bring Legal Services to Tennesseans in Need

Over 1 million Tennesseans, or 1 in 6 people, live below the federal poverty level. Approximately 60 percent of low-income households experienced a civil legal problem in a given year.

News Story (Tennessee)

WGNS (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
May 16, 2018

Tags: Access to Justice, Access to Justice Commissions

Organizations mentioned/involved: Tennessee Access to Justice Commission (TNAJC)


While there is a right to an attorney in most criminal cases, there is not a guaranteed right to an attorney in civil law cases, even though those cases commonly involve life-impacting issues like child custody, bankruptcy, eviction, credit disputes, divorce, unpaid wages, and workplace discrimination.

Low-income families often do not have the ability to hire a lawyer to assist with these issues and have limited resources to handle the problem on their own. In addition, certain populations, including seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, rural residents, and the working poor are more likely to have civil legal issues.