Closing the Civil Justice Gap
The "justice gap," commonly defined as the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income individuals and the resources available to meet those needs, is a significant and persistent problem that affects many millions of Americans each year. According to the Legal Services Corporation, 98% of tenants in eviction cases and 95% of parents in child support cases face the legal system without any legal representation. The tragic costs, from housing instability to broken families, is incalculable.
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences released a report in September 2020 titled "Civil Justice for All." With a topical focus on Veterans, Housing, Families, and Health, the report issued a wide array of recommendations for closing the justice gap, including the resources necessary to make it happen.
VLS co-Executive Director and Chief Counsel Anna Richardson discussed the report and its findings with Harvard Law School Professor Martha Minow, who co-chaired the project.
"Veterans face serious problems that nonveterans do not, such as struggles to obtain health benefits and other veterans services they are due from the government...problems often exacerbated by challenges like mental illness and homelessness."
— Civil Justice for All
Veterans and Legal Aid Reports
Veterans Represent 8% of U.S. Homeless Population
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, March 2021
COVID and the Impact on MA Veterans
Center for a New American Security, December 2020
Veteran Suicide Rate Remains High
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, November 2020
Legal Aid is an Essential Service
Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, September 2020
Outreach, Trauma and Counseling for MA Vets
MA Secretary of the State
Supporting Veterans in Massachusetts
Rand Corporation, 2017