Civil legal aid is the aid of counsel and legal advocacy for people living at or near poverty in legal issues that fall beyond the criminal justice system. For individuals encountering civil legal difficulties, such as illegal evictions, foreclosure, domestic abuse, or wrongful denial of government assistance, navigating the justice system without a lawyer can be hopeless. However, unlike the Sixth Amendment right to counsel in criminal proceedings, courts have not recognized a right to a lawyer in the vast majority of civil cases. This places justice out of reach for low-income individuals, and weakens a fundamental principle of our country, that: the amount of money a person has should not decide the quality of justice they receive.
Legal aid programs help guarantee fairness in the justice system. Almost 47 million people, and more than one in five children, live in or near poverty in the United States. Legal aid providers protect the rights of millions of Americans with low-income every year in areas such as housing, consumer, family, education and employment, and defend access to services for people of all backgrounds, including kids, veterans, victims of domestic violence, the elderly, and those living with disabilities.
How Does Legal Aid Help?
Legal aid is often the only lifeline available to people experiencing life-altering consequences, such as losing their home, employment, or custody of their children. For example, research has shown that the provision of legal services "drastically lowers the incidence of domestic violence." The form of assistance depends on the kind of legal trouble the individual faces. Legal aid attorneys advocate for clients in a variety of matters beyond court, litigate on their behalf in court, and frequently lead complicated legal actions seeking systemic changes that affect large numbers of individuals experiencing similar situations.
For more information about a Legal Aid Attorney in Santa Ana, California, contact Thomas K. McKnight LLP at (800) 466-7507 or visit our website at TKMLLP.Com for a free consultation!