When 4 out of 5 poor people aren't adequately represented, our court system can only adequately serve the rich:
Growing numbers of low-income Americans who cannot afford to hire a lawyer are also having a very difficult time getting access to one through increasingly overburdened civil legal aid services. Recent studies indicate that less than 20 percent of poor Americans’ legal needs are being met.
I understand that legal representation is an industry, and those who choose this field deserve compensation commensurate with their qualifications and efforts. But this growing inequality threatens the very integrity of the civil court system itself. Fix it or watch your industry crumble.
Today at Duke University, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker will join other chief justices and judges from around the region to discuss the crisis in civil legal assistance in America during a program sponsored by the Legal Services Corporation, the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans.
I'd like to come back to this in a few days, hopefully with a transcript of this program. If any of you court-watchers out there get to it first and post it here, it won't hurt my feelings at all.