Access to civil justice in California remains elusive. It could be an opportunity

More than half of California households had problems last year that are civil legal issues, but nearly 70% of them received no legal help. That is one of the stark findings of the State Bar’s California Justice Gap Study.

Op-Ed (California)

Alan Steinbrecher, Sean SeLegue
October 8, 2019

Tags: Access to Justice


Most Californians struggle with problems related to health, finances, and employment that have legal aspects. Other common problems include those around rental housing, foreclosure, wills and estates, family issues particularly involving children and custody, education issues, and problems accessing disability and veterans’ benefits.

Even when these problems have legal solutions, and even when people believe that their problem is having a significant impact on them, most simply do not seek or receive legal help.  Often that is because they do not perceive their problem as one with a legal solution, they are afraid of getting involved with the legal system, or they perceive legal assistance is too expensive.

Legal aid is available to low-income Californians. The State Bar provides funds to 100 legal services organizations that work valiantly to provide civil legal aid to low-income individuals and families.