We have written before in Makingjusticereal.org about the impact that the recession has had not only on the needs for legal help, but also on the budgets of legal assistance organizations. As the recession drags on, the situation grows more desperate for people who live at the bottom of the income scale. Unemployment rates continue to rise in many neighborhoods as government and private services are withdrawn. Legal assistance, which is often necessary to address poverty related disputes, is also shrinking.
Professor Peter Edelman and I had the opportunity to give the topic a more thorough treatment in the March 2010 Washington Lawyer. The article builds on the joint “Rationing Justice” report of the D.C. Consortium of Legal Services Providers and the D.C. Access to Justice Commission.