Social Justice Monday – Advocating in the 2017 Legislature to Address the Legal Services Gap Identified by Washington’s Civil Legal Needs Study

Social Justice Monday – Advocating in the 2017 Legislature to Address the Legal Services Gap Identified by Washington’s Civil Legal Needs Study

January 9, 2017

Washington State recently underwent and published a comprehensive study to better understand the civil legal needs of low-income individuals, families and communities: the Civil Legal Needs Study Update.

The results are daunting. The study confirmed that Washington has an acute civil justice crisis. The good news is that we can all do something to help address and solve this crisis. Jay Doran, Communications & Advocacy Director of the Legal Foundation of Washington, discussed the civil legal needs of low-income Washingtonians. Jay discussed the work of the Equal Justice Coalition, a non-partisan statewide coalition advocating for sufficient public funding for legal aid, and talked about how law students can help advocate for justice for all during the 2017 State Legislative Session.

Jay Doran is the Communications & Advocacy Director of the Legal Foundation of Washington  and staffs the Equal Justice Coalition, which works to increase public funding for legal aid. Previously, Jay worked for the Friends of Youth, Washington United for Marriage Campaign, and Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. Jay holds a BA from Duke University and a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Policy/Administration from the University of Washington.

Interested in learning more? Check out the following books:

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Beyond Elite Law: Access to Civil Justice in America

Edited By:
Samuel Estreicher
Joy Radice

Library LAW-New Books (KF336.B49 2016)

Are Americans making under $50,000 a year compelled to navigate the legal system on their own, or do they simply give up because they cannot afford lawyers? We know anecdotally that Americans of median or lower income generally do without legal representation or resort to a sector of the legal profession that – because of the sheer volume of claims, inadequate training, and other causes – provides deficient representation and advice. This book poses the question: can we – at the current level of resources, both public and private – better address the legal needs of all Americans? Leading judges, researchers, and activists discuss the role of technology, pro bono services, bar association resources, affordable solo and small firm fees, public service internships, and law student and nonlawyer representation. – From the Publisher

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Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in the Courts

Vicki Lens

Full Text Online

Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in the Courts provides a vivid portrait and appraisal of how the lives of poor people are disrupted or helped by the judicial system, from the lowest to the highest courts. Drawing from court room observations, court decisions, and other material, this book spans the street level justice of administrative hearings and lower courts (where people plead for welfare benefits or for a child not to be taken away), the mid-level justice of state courts (where advocates argue for the right to shelter for the homeless and for the rights of the mentally disabled), and the high justice of the Supreme Court (where the battle for school integration has represented a route out of poverty and the stop and frisk cases illustrate a route to greater poverty, through the mass incarceration of people of color). Poor Justice brings readers inside the courts, telling the story through the words and actions of the judges, lawyers, and ordinary people who populate it. It seeks to both edify and criticize. Readers will learn not only how courts work, but also how courts sometimes help – and often fail – the poor. – From Amazon

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.