In Civil Court, Most Low-Income Nevadans Can’t Get Attorneys

If you can't afford an attorney, one will be provided for you in American criminal courts. But that isn't the case in civil courts, and a new study examines the thousands of cases each year of Nevadans facing the legal system without representation.

News Story (Nevada)

Public News Service (PNS)
August 1, 2018

Organizations mentioned/involved: Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission (NSCAJC)


The study said three out of four low-income Nevadans with legal challenges aren’t able to get a lawyer for cases involving issues such as domestic violence, home foreclosures or workplace discrimination.

Brad Lewis, the commission’s director, said people without attorneys often give up or lose their cases, which can lock them into a cycle of poverty.

“Those problems often beget people missing work, and then they lose their job as a result of that,” he said. “Then they lose their income, then they can’t pay their rent, then they have to move somewhere, then their children don’t attend school or get changed to a different school.”