From the Current Issue
CIVIL LEGAL AID PROGRAMS
Local foundations partnered to release a report last May to inform policymakers and other stakeholders about the tangible economic benefits of legal aid.
The report, Legal Aid in Illinois: Selected Social and Economic Benefits by the Social IMPACT Research Center, provides a snapshot of the economic return legal aid providers produce for their low-income clients. Using a selection of approximately 8,000 cases closed in 2010 by just seven of 38 legal aid providers in the state, researchers found that:
Across Illinois, nonprofit legal aid providers offer free or low-cost legal advice and representation to low-income, disadvantaged Illinoisans with civil legal problems who cannot afford a lawyer. These legal aid providers afford access to the justice system for clients facing threats to the health and safety of themselves and their families.
“As funders, we see that legal aid is a good investment of government
and private dollars,” said Karen Hasara, president of the Illinois Equal
Justice Foundation. “This data affirms the good that legal aid
In addition to the economic benefits highlighted in the study, legal aid helps ensure that low-income, disadvantaged people understand their rights; have the assistance needed to efficiently resolve their legal problems; and feel they are treated fairly and equally under the law.Sign up to receive the Equal Justice Illinois Campaign newsletter today!
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