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Access to Justice for Low-Income Litigants in Civil Cases

The question of whether and how to provide legal assistance to individuals who cannot afford civil counsel is a pressing nationwide issue. Low-income civil litigants have significant unmet legal needs, a problem that has been magnified by the recent economic recession. These unmet legal needs have considerable impacts not only on the individuals who are unable to access legal assistance, but also on our judicial system. In this webinar, Professors Tonya Brito and David Pate will discuss data assessing the magnitude of the problem and competing perspectives on how best to respond to the civil justice gap. They will also provide an overview of current federal, state and local initiatives designed to enhance access to justice. Finally, they will talk about the emerging empirical research in the field, focusing on what we know and what we don’t know about whether and how legal assistance makes a difference for low-income litigants in civil cases.


Court System, Inequality & Mobility, Justice System, Justice System General, Policing, Racial/Ethnic Inequality