Civil legal aid, sometimes referred to as “free legal services,” is the help that low-income people get when they face problems outside of criminal court. This includes problems like unlawful evictions, foreclosures, domestic violence, wrongful denial of government benefits, and many other common issues.
Legal aid providers provide a wide range of services, including easy-to-understand forms, online legal forms and assistance, and legal representation. These are all essential in ensuring that people have the tools they need to seek justice and protect their homes, families, and livelihoods.
The role of legal aid in protecting survivors and their families from abuse is complex and challenging. It requires a unique set of resources, including attorneys and paralegals who have experience with the unique needs of survivors of sexual assault. It also requires training and support to ensure that legal services are offered in a way that supports the healing process.
Achieving this goal is not possible without a commitment from law firms and lawyers who are willing to contribute their time and talents in a pro bono capacity. OVW believes that there are two key ways to address this issue: through increased funding of pro bono services and the implementation of new methods and technology to streamline the pro bono process so that it is more efficient, effective, and focused on quality over volume.
For example, LSC funds programs that provide direct legal services to people who are earning up to 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. These programs are often small and provide specialized services, such as legal aid for children or victims of domestic violence.
Another example is the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, which serves people with incomes up to 125% of the federal poverty guidelines in 16 counties in upstate New York. The organization has 106 staff members in five offices who provide free legal services to people who are facing difficult life situations.
Thousands of abuse victims lose custody of their children each year because they can’t afford an attorney to represent them. Research shows that survivors of domestic violence who have a lawyer in their case are much more likely to have their case resolved than those who don’t. Obtaining, renewing and enforcing a protective order is one of the most effective ways to stop domestic violence.
Immigrants and adolescents are the most underserved Survivors of domestic violence are more likely to be immigrants or adolescents than other groups, so the lack of access to legal services can be particularly devastating for these people. For many, obtaining services for their domestic violence case may be the last chance they have to save their children’s lives and provide them with the care and support they need to survive.
While the majority of low-income Americans don’t see their problems as being “legal,” an experienced lawyer in family law specifically in domestic violence and is able to explain and guide them through the legal system can make all the difference in achieving a positive outcome. If you need help on your case visit Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law at https://www.themiamidivorceattorneys.net/.