University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law & Social Change, University of Pennsylvania Law School, University of Pennsylvania
January 1, 2009
This article sets out a broad framework for the development of a comprehensive and integrated system for the delivery of high quality civil legal assistance that actually resolves the legal problems of low-income people.
To ensure equal justice for all, the nation as a whole, and each state and jurisdiction individually, should develop a comprehensive and integrated system to deliver high quality civil legal assistance that actually resolves the legal problems of low-income people. Access to the justice system must be fully available to everyone, particularly those who need it most– the poor, culturally or geographically isolated populations, and those who may belong socially unpopular groups.
The American Bar Association developed a set of principles for such a system on the state level that, when generalized to the nation as a whole, provides a comprehensive framework for expanding and improving the civil legal aid system. n30 We need to achieve a system that encompasses ten broad directives.
This article sets out a broad framework for the development of a comprehensive and integrated system for the delivery of high quality civil legal assistance that actually resolves the legal problems of low-income people in the United States as a whole, and in each of the individual states and jurisdictions. A move toward such a system will require innovation and delivery improvements, increased funding, the removal of restrictions on what can be done and who can be served, and increased use of private attorneys. We must also bolster state and national advocacy, and rebuild the civil legal aid infrastructure. These are some of the critical steps that should be pursued to ensure equal justice for all.
PUBLICATION DETAILSFormat: Commentary
Publication Type: Essay, Journal Article
Geographic coverage, US: NATIONAL
Topics: Legal Aid Movement | Social Change | Featured | Public Interest Litigation | Systemic Litigation
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LINKS TO RESOURCESHouseman-Future-Civil-Legal-Aid-2009-U.Pa_.J.L.Soc_.Change265