According to the American Bar Association (ABA), a staggering 80% of low-income Americans are unable to afford the legal assistance they require.
But it's not just the low-income bracket that's affected.
Reports indicate that "forty to sixty percent of middle-class individuals' legal needs remain unmet." This disparity between legal needs and the ability to access suitable legal solutions is termed the "Access to Justice Gap." Essentially, it revolves around an individual's capability to seek and secure remedies through formal or informal justice mechanisms for various grievances.
In their statement, the ABA emphasized that for a significant chunk of the population, access to affordable legal representation remains a daunting challenge. The call of the hour is innovative programs to alleviate the hardships faced by individuals unable to fund legal representation.
A 2017 report by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) threw light on some stark realities:
An overwhelming 86% of civil legal challenges faced by low-income Americans saw limited or no legal intervention.
In just one year, 71% of such households grappled with civil legal issues, ranging from housing and healthcare to veterans' benefits and domestic violence.
LSC-funded legal aid organizations, in 2017, were approached for assistance with an estimated 1.7 million issues. However, more than half of these concerns went unaddressed due to resource constraints.
Recognizing this glaring need, several states are exploring alternative non-lawyer avenues to bridge the justice gap. Washington, for instance, introduced the Limited Licensed Legal Technician. Utah paved the way for the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner, while California and Arizona have instituted the Legal Document Assistant registration. The drive to expand such roles is gaining momentum across the U.S.
How is LawWurk addressing this gap?
LawWurk is at the forefront of this endeavor. Our online marketplace is designed to provide those in need of justice, yet unable to afford traditional legal representation, with easy access to licensed or registered non-lawyer professionals in their state. This ensures a dependable and transparent interaction and transaction on our platform.
As more states recognize the value of non-lawyer roles and integrate them into their legal ecosystems, LawWurk is primed to expand its services accordingly.
Furthermore, LawWurk champions the cause by offering an extensive online directory of non-lawyer professionals, valuable legal resources, and legal coaching. However, it's essential to note that while we strive to bridge the access to justice gap, we are not attorneys and, hence, cannot provide legal advice.
We remain committed to our vision: making justice accessible to all, irrespective of financial constraints.