The Legal Services Corporation recently released the 2022 Justice Gap Study, the first comprehensive national report on the state of access to legal assistance in years. Along with its focus on low-income and disadvantaged Americans, the report for the first time looks at access for middle income and higher income Americans and shows just how much more work we have in front of us to improve access for both low and middle-income people in our community.
The new report confirms that the great majority of everyday people go without legal help for their civil legal problems even when they identify these issues as having a substantial impact on their lives. The problem is most pronounced for low-income and disadvantaged Americans, but the report confirms that the gap in access to legal help extends well into the middle class as well.
Along with the immediate problems people experience when they don’t have access to necessary legal help, the report shows that their confidence in the system giving them a fair shake is starkly lower as well. You can see the full report here.
The new report underscores the urgent need to significantly expand funding and support for pro bono and legal aid services as well as to put greater priority on efforts aimed at improving access for the middle market like the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project.