By encouraging evidence-based approaches in civil legal assistance, the federal government can help service providers target resources more efficiently.
Legal Aid Attorneys
This is a review of the foreclosure crisis including the number of persons without legal representation in selected counties with high rates of foreclosure, why having a lawyer matters, the barriers to legal representation, concluding with recommendations.
This two-page fact sheet lists five ways the civil legal aid also yields substantial economic benefits.
An Analysis of the Economic Impacts and Social Benefits of Assistance Provided by Alaska Legal Services Corporation
ALSC has in economic impacts alone, has exceeded the dollars invested by a ratio of five to one. ALSC’s efforts stabilize and sustain families, save people’s homes from foreclosure, secure federal benefits denied eligible Alaskans, maintain communities, and make society safer.
Investments made in 2011 in three of Georgia’s largest legal aid organizations — Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, and Georgia Legal Services Program — yielded total economic impacts amounting to 8.5 times the invested funds.
An Assessment of the Economic and Societal Impacts of Three Legal Services Programs Funded by The Marin Community Foundation 2009-2012
Three organizations in Marin County, California — Legal Aid of Marin (LAM), Family and Children’s Law Center (FACLC), and Canal Alliance’s Immigration Legal Services (CA-ILS) — in aggregate helped clients in more than 17,000 cases and yielded $38.3 million in economic benefits and cost savings to the entire Marin community during 2009-2012.
The Economic Impact of Civil Legal Services in New Hampshire: Achieving Justice and Boosting the Economy
Civil Legal Services by three New Hampshire legal aid organizations together yielded total economic impact of $84.4 million during 2011.
During the two year period, NHLA helped North Country clients obtain federal disability benefits and health care coverage worth more than $1,589,637. The program cost $270,000 to run.
In 2010, Ohio’s legal aid entities operated with a budget of $49.1 million. This in turn, generated an additional $56.8 million in economic output across Ohio — a return of 115% for every dollar invested.
Charm writes that legal needs are highly elastic: resources will never be adequate to address every problem. There will always be constraints and because of that, the legal profession is not ready for legal services for all. Instead, public policy must involve resource targeting and rationing.