Susan’s quest for ‘justice’ and the civil legal system dilemma

While citizens have the right to an attorney in criminal cases, they’re not afforded the same rights in civil litigation.

Feature (Washington)

Ashley Hiruko
The Bothell-Kenmore Reporter
May 17, 2019

Tags: Access to Justice

Organizations mentioned/involved: Eastside Legal Assistance Program (WA)


Others, facing their own civil legal dilemmas and unable to dole out the cash for representation, are often left to navigate the court system alone like Chen.

The 2015 Civil Legal Needs Study Update found that “(71) percent of low-income households in Washington State experience one or more civil legal problems each year. Of this number, at least 76 percent do not get any legal help to solve these problems. Sixty-five percent of those who experience at least one civil legal problem each year do not seek legal help.”

This is due to many of them not being aware that the issue was legal in nature. National studies confirm that low-income people struggle to make the link between the problems they experience and the need for legal help.