Tag Archives: legal aid

Legal Needs of Low-Income Families

According to a recent study, two-thirds of low income residents who seek legal help are turned away. James Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation, a federal agency that finances legal aid groups, civil legal needs are met only about 20 percent of the time for low-income families in America.

The Massachusetts study on legal aid highlights that a large increase in state funding would be a smart investment. Inadequate legal aid has significant consequences. The study concludes that the state could potentially save money in other services such as emergency shelter, healthcare, foster care and law enforcement. Moreover, cases would be handled more quickly and this would be especially beneficial for victims of domestic violence since it would help avoid large medical and other costs.

It is ironic that despite an increase in people without legal aid (or adequate legal aid), the congressional funding for Legal Services Corporation has actually been reduced to $365 million this year as compared to $420 million in 2010. This could have diverse effects on the system since the population below 125 percent of the poverty line is increasing and the number of people in need of legal aid is higher than ever.

A large number of people who do not qualify for legal aid have no option but to represent themselves. This would be effective if the legal system was friendlier with simple procedures but since that is not the case, it is difficult for the general population to defend themselves without assistance from lawyers.

According to Cassandra Goodman, the supervising lawyer at the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford University, lawyers can make a vital difference. This is especially true for immigrants who are not completely fluent in the language and become intimidated by seasoned lawyers and bewildering paperwork. They have no hope of defending themselves against eviction, high rents, and domestic violence or in child custody disputes.

Several alternatives have popped up in light of the system’s failure to provide legal assistance to the poor. The Eviction Assistance Center is a legal aid office and is part of an experiment by the California courts to provide legal advice and lawyers to low-income people. There is the Neighbourhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County that is funded by the Shriver Project and is providing full or partial assistance to tenants who are facing eviction.

There are similar ongoing projects in New York, Massachusetts and elsewhere but are working toward helping needy clients but there is still a justice gap that needs to be filled and that definitely requires attention.

Legal Assistance for the Poor

legal assistanceLegal help enables people who have low family income to get free help and legal advice from an experienced solicitor or adviser. In order to provide Legal consultation, the adviser or solicitor must posses a contract coming from the LSC or Legal Services Commission.

The coverage includes everything that you might ask and legally question to a solicitor most especially if you are preparing for a case gone to court. Some are general thoughts based on legal problems. Your legal adviser can also insert negotiations, getting an opinion from a barrister, writing legal documents or letters, and preparing for a case in a tribunal. Mediation regarding family cases is also covered by legal help. Mediation is a kind of negotiation wherein both parties are being helped by an impartial mediator in order to find a solution that is acceptable for both persons involved.

Against what other people might think legal aid is not responsible for any kind of payment that is put up in court or pay a lawyer for his or her representation in a tribunal or court. On the other hand, you may have the chance to get assistance for situations like these through Controlled Legal Representation, Legal Representation and Help at Court.

What are the probable legal problems that are covered by legal help?

1. Buy and sell of a property. Example would be, if you wanted to buy something or sell your house, legal aid can give you certain advice only if the situations are commanded by the court due to results of divorce, dissolved partnership and legal separation.

2. Law for housing which helps when you have issues against landlords who wants to evict you from the property or if your have arrears.

3. Cases of certain medical negligence.

4. Court procedures like when someone filed a lawsuit against you because you weren’t able to pay them the money that you owe.

5. Cases of personal injury only if the injury is caused by unwarranted abuse and deliberate battery or assault.

6. Law for consumers wherein you have bought goods that are inedible or faulty and can no longer be ingested.

7. Preparation for hearing in a tribunal council like when there is unequal case dismissal although legal aid doesn’t cover any kind of representation during the tribunal.

8. Family issues like when support is neglected after divorce was made and cases of disputes with rightful ownership of children. Advices about dissolution and divorce which is undefended can also be brought up.

9. Adoption matters only if disputes were made.

10. If you have reached the certain age where death is probable, you can get advice on making a will especially during difficult circumstances.

In order to be qualified for legal help, one must be financially stable. You have to meet conditions especially when it comes to financial aspects or if the solicitor believes that you are capable of meeting their standards of giving them the “benefits” in order to continue with the case. Benefits which are sufficient mean that there are greater chances of success when dealing with the case.

The moment you have been granted with the help, rest assured that your case will be reviewed in a regular basis without any kind of lapses and your conditions will be continued on right standards.