Stories of Civil Justice

Khabirah Myers, Newark Office of Tenant Legal Services Coordinator
Khabirah Myers, Newark Office of Tenant Legal Services Coordinator (photo: Law360)

Every year, millions of Americans experience a civil legal problem involving basic necessities of life like housing, health care, safety and income. Many such problems can be resolved with legal help; without it, the consequences can be devastating. When a family is at risk of foreclosure or eviction, a parent faces losing custody of their child, or a veteran is wrongly denied medical care, those are all civil justice problems. No one should be denied justice because they can’t access the help they need or because they’re lost in a system built for lawyers.

We all know someone who has needed civil legal help. These people are our neighbors, family and friends. 

We know the stories

Civil legal aid advocates are on the frontlines of the civil justice crisis. We see firsthand the real human toll it takes.

But too many Americans – from our neighbors to our representatives in Congress – have no idea a civil justice crisis exists, or how to solve it. We have to change that.

Many faces and stories comprise this crisis, but the common thread is a civil justice system that fails to meet America’s promise of equal justice under law. In civil courts across the country, restricted and unequal access is the rule, not the exception, and the human toll is high.

We have to raise awareness if we want to see real reform – and that starts with telling stories.

This section offers a few sample stories of people harmed by the crisis, and of the practitioners who help them.

Your organization can bring its own stories to life.

Read more: How to create a story bank