Documenting the Justice Gap In America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans (2009)

This report updates and expands LSC’s 2005 report “Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans”. This report, completed in September 2009, shows that a continuing, major justice gap exists in our nation: for every person helped by LSC-funded legal aid programs, another is turned away. This report adds data on self-represented litigants.

Examining the Real Demand for Legal Services

This study asks whether affordability is the actual reason why low and moderate income households frequently do not seek representation when facing a legal problem. The study finds that whether legal advice was sought depended heavily upon the nature of the problem.

Pro Se Phenomenon

The article reviews the causes of the increase in pro se litigation in the US. Inability to pay is only one of many reasons a litigant will end up going to court pro se. The current state of legal services in the US is failing the people who need help the most. Most clients receive only advice on how to proceed on their own.