The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans report explores the “justice gap,” the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs in 2017.
In March 2011, our Board of Directors formed the Pro Bono Task Force to address the current crisis in legal services, where at least 50 percent of eligible low-income individuals seeking help from our grantees are turned away due to insufficient resources and 80 percent of civil legal needs are unmet.
After a year of research, the Task Force released the Report of the Pro Bono Task Force. This report included recommendations to increase the number of pro bono attorneys and other volunteers who are available to provide legal aid for low-income people. One key recommendation from the report was a request for LSC to create a Pro Bono Innovation Fund in order to encourage new ideas for engaging pro bono assistance and to narrow the justice gap.
This edition of the Criteria is based on earlier versions first developed for the Legal Services Comparative Demonstration Project during 1993 and Legal Services Corporation peer review evaluations during 1994, and then for LSC program reviews and the competitive grants process from 1995 to the present.
The “Report of The Summit on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice” focuses on ways to use technology to provide all Americans some form of effective assistance with essential civil legal needs. The report presents a number of concrete recommendations to broaden and improve civil legal assistance through an integrated service-delivery system that brings the knowledge and wisdom of legal experts to the public through computers and mobile devices.