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Intro to Poverty Law. What do we mean by poverty law? Intersection of substantive area of law and its impact on low-income individuals. Focus on legal.

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Presentation on theme: "Intro to Poverty Law. What do we mean by poverty law? Intersection of substantive area of law and its impact on low-income individuals. Focus on legal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intro to Poverty Law

2 What do we mean by poverty law? Intersection of substantive area of law and its impact on low-income individuals. Focus on legal issues that are specific to and impact low-income individuals – subsidized housing, public benefits, SSI, consumer fraud, etc.

3 Our country’s system of funding legal services for the poor: – federal – state and local – IOLTA – private donations – Pro bono

4 More need than ever Current financial crisis – Worst since the Great Depression – 65 million Americans will qualify for civil legal assistance funded by LSC Increase of over 16 million people since 2006 Jump of 8.6% since 2010 Projections to continue growing through 2014

5 How does the increase in poverty impact the civil justice system? Increased demand for legal help – Foreclosure – Access to public benefits Group of newly poor – Affordable housing – Employment benefits – Family law – child support, etc. Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan

6 Is the system really just? No civil right to counsel in the USA Millions of Americans can’t access this system because they can’t afford it 50% - 80% of civil legal needs for the poor are unmet Huge gap in satisfaction with the justice system between the rich and the poor “The gap between rich and poor individuals in terms of both actual use of and satisfaction with the civil courts system remains significant." Mark David Agrast et al., T HE W ORLD J USTICE P ROJECT R ULE OF L AW I NDEX

7 Resources for further study Illinoisprobono.org – Download the App! ABA Center for Pro Bono – Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich, Henry Hold & Co. (2001) A Secret Gift, Ted Gup, The Penguin Press (2010) Georgetown Law Library Poverty Law Research Guide -


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