Civil legal aid is often the only way people living in poverty can access legal representation when their lives are being upended by domestic violence, foreclosure, child custody issues, unfair employment practices and other legal issues. In case you missed it, last week the National Center for Access to Justice, an organization working to make our legal system more accessible and fair, released the Justice Index, a measure of the degree to which states are implementing best practices for ensuring access to both civil and criminal justice systems in four categories: access to legal aid attorneys, making courts user-friendly to self-represented litigants, language assistance, and disability assistance.
How does Massachusetts stack up in these important areas? Take a peek. Spoiler alert: we have plenty of room for improvement in ensuring access to civil legal aid for qualified recipients.
For some great context, a little analysis about what it all means, and some tips for mining data from the interactive report, check out this post over at Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog.