Civil right to counsel legislation may be more likely to succeed if it is part of broader legislation aimed at solving a social problem than if it is proposed as a stand-alone bill that lacks the same level of support. Review of laws passed in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, New York, and Texas.
Grounds for Objection: Causes and Consequences of America’s Pro Se Crisis and How to Solve the Problem of Unrepresented Litigants
This is one of several papers commissioned by CAP’s Doing What Works project to explore the persistent gap between the legal needs of low-income people and capacity of the civil legal assistance system to meet those needs.
The Justice Gap: Civil Legal Assistance Today and Tomorrow
This report describes the state of civil legal services today and how we got here. It also recommends more funding and better service delivery.
Managing Pro Bono: Doing Well by Doing Better
This article provides the first systematic look at the professionalization of pro bono programs in large firms and the challenges they face in the current economic climate. It draws upon a survey of large-firm pro bono counsel conducted in 2009.
The Importance of Representation in Eviction Cases and Homelessness Prevention
Two randomized pilot projects in Massachusetts in 2009 involving eviction cases showed prevented evictions, protected the rights of tenants, and maintained shelter in a high rate of cases.
Access Across America: First Report of the Civil Justice Infrastructure Mapping Project
Access Across America is the first-ever state-by-state portrait of the services available to assist the U.S. public in accessing civil justice. The report documents, for the nation as a whole and individually for the states who is eligible for assistance and how it is delivered, funded, coordinated and regulated.
Access to Evidence: How an Evidence-Based Delivery System Can Improve Legal Aid for Low- and Moderate-Income America
By encouraging evidence-based approaches in civil legal assistance, the federal government can help service providers target resources more efficiently.
Connecting Self-Representation to Civil Gideon: What Existing Data Reveal About When Counsel is Most Needed
This reviews existing reports reveals a correlation between representation and success rates in court. It finds that this is especially true when the litigant faces a power imbalance and when the litigant’s advocate is skilled and has relevant knowledge.
Foreclosures: A Crisis in Legal Representation
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.
Economic Benefits of Civil Legal Aid
This two-page fact sheet lists five ways the civil legal aid also yields substantial economic benefits.