||Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
||Internet Resource, Computer File
|All Authors / Contributors:
Legal Services Corporation.
||Title from the title screen (viewed on Sept. 17, 2008).
Preserved in the OCLC Digital Archive. Harvested from http://www.lsc.gov/JusticeGap.pdf on Sept. 17, 2008.
||1 volume (various pagings) : digital, PDF file
||System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader.; Mode of access: Internet from the LSC web site. Address as of 11/13/08: http://www.lsc.gov/justicegap.pdf; current access available via PURL.
Congress, in creating the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in 1974, determined that there is need to provide equal access to the system of justice in our nation for those who would be otherwise unable to afford adequate legal counsel. Congress explicitly recognized in the LSC Act that, "providing legal assistance to those who face an economic barrier to adequate legal counsel will serve best the ends of justice, assist in improving opportunities for low-income persons," and "has reaffirmed faith in our government of laws." The goal of providing equal access to justice for those who cannot afford to pay an attorney remains the reason for LSC's existence and the benchmark for its efforts. In developing the budget mark it submits to Congress, therefore, LSC has a duty to assess what has been accomplished in meeting the need, what still needs to be achieved, and the role that federal funding should play in doing so. This report uses a variety of approaches to document the civil legal needs of low-income individuals and families and to quantify necessary access to civil legal assistance -- that is, the level of assistance that would be required across the nation to respond appropriately to those needs. The civil legal needs of low-income people involve essential human needs, such as protection from abusive relationships, safe and habitable housing, access to necessary health care, disability payments to help lead independent lives, family law issues including child support and custody actions, and relief from financial exploitation. The difference between the current level of legal assistance and the level which is necessary to meet the needs of low-income Americans is the "Justice Gap."