There’s a huge gap today between the legal needs of low-income people and the capacity of the civil legal assistance system to meet those needs. Less than 20 percent of poor Americans’ legal needs are being met, requiring unrepresented litigants to navigate complex and often unfriendly court systems. There’s also severe inequality among states in legal aid funding.
Our country’s “pro se crisis” comes at a time when the need for civil legal assistance—to help people facing foreclosures, evictions, wrongful terminations, child custody, and other challenges—has never been higher.
Please join us at this special program co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and Center for American Progress for a conversation with law scholars and legal aid experts about how we can overcome the access-to-justice gap at a time of rising need—and how policymakers should decide where to most effectively direct scarce resources. NPR host Michel Martin will moderate what promises to be a provocative subject that increasingly affects millions of low-income and moderate-income Americans.
Caroline Fredrickson, Executive Director, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
Jeanne Charn, Director, Bellow-Sacks Access to Civil Legal Services Project, Harvard Law School
Peter Edelman, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
Alan Houseman, Executive Director, Center for Law and Social Policy
Joy Moses, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress
Michel Martin, Tell Me More host, NPR