Monday, April 20, 2009

Americans stand firm
behind government-paid legal aid programs

Americans overwhelmingly back the provision of legal services for those facing serious legal and financial problems who could not hire a lawyer.

More than two-thirds (68%) say it's extremely or very important that Americans have access to legal resources and advice when they are in crisis, according to a survey commissioned by the American Bar Association.

Americans also strongly support the existence of, and federal funding for, legal assistance. Eighty-eight percent agreed that it is essential that a non-profit provider of legal services is available to assist those who could not otherwise afford legal help. Two-thirds support federal funding to help Americans who need that assistance.

“For many Americans, their financial problems are becoming legal problems,” noted ABA President H. Thomas Wells, Jr. “In many circumstances, legal assistance can prevent families and individuals from going into a financial free-fall that could lead to homelessness, bankruptcy or dropping out of school.”

Read a one-page summary of the results here and the full study here.


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