What is the Access to Justice Gap?
The American Bar Association (ABA) stated in a recent study that approximately 80 percent of low-income individuals cannot afford legal assistance. The middle class struggles, too: a study shows that "forty to sixty percent of their legal needs go unmet." This is called the “Access to Justice Gap.” The Access to Justice consists of the "ability of individuals to seek and obtain a remedy through formal or informal institutions of justice for grievances."
The ABA further stated that “Access to affordable legal representation will continue to remain difficult for low-income and even middle-class individuals. States and courts must continue to create more innovate programs to mitigate the negative impacts of individuals' inability to pay for legal representation.”
The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) reported in 2017:
- In the past year, 86% of the civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans received inadequate or no legal help.
- 71% of low-income households experienced at least one civil legal problem in the last year, including problems with health care, housing conditions, disability access, veterans’ benefits, and domestic violence.
- In 2017, low-income Americans will approach LSC-funded legal aid organizations for support with an estimated 1.7 million problems. They will receive only limited or no legal help for more than half of these problems due to a lack of resources.
Many states have begun looking into alternative nonlawyer options to assist with bridging the justice gap. Washington created the Limited Licensed Legal Technician, Utah has created the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner role, and California/Arizona have the Legal Document Assistant registration. More states are looking into roles like the foregoing to assist with the access to justice gap.
The Law Wurk marketplace allows those who need justice but cannot afford an attorney easy access to locating a licensed or registered professional in their state, and engaging them through the platform for a trusted experience and transaction. As the states approve and add nonlawyer roles for assistance to the public, Law Wurk will be able to continually expand to provide service in those states.
To further add to our mission to bridge the access to justice gap we allow licensed attorneys in all US states to work with qualified and vetted paraprofessionals. This allows attorneys to have a competitive advantage in the market to offer reduced pricing to their clients