Economic Impacts of Legal Aid: Civil Justice for Low-Income People Creates Ripple Effects That Benefit Every Segment of the Communities We Serve

Civil legal aid produces economic impacts that ripple outward to benefit many other segments of society. Making public officials aware of the scope and impact of these outcomes is a huge opportunity that legal aid leaders are turning to with greater frequency and success. This article presents three case studies from New York state with lessons applicable anywhere.

A Short History of Poverty Lawyers in the United States

This article uses the label “poverty lawyer” to include all lawyers, at any time, who have focused on using law, the legal system, and other methods of advocacy, to try to change political and social institutions in ways that ensure every person has her basic needs met for shelter, food, clothing, and, if able, work. A poverty lawyer primarily focuses on issues of wealth and class.