Pro Bono News

Our Turn: The importance of civil legal aid (NH)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Our Turn: The importance of civil legal aid


"Most people are familiar with the warning given to criminals upon arrest, including the phrase, “If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you.” That right is protected by the Sixth Amendment and is upheld by the public defenders.

But most people are less familiar with the other side of the justice system, the civil courts. The civil court is where people fight to protect their rights as vital as those protected by the Sixth Amendment: their right to be free of domestic abuse, to keep a roof over their family and food on the table. But a lawyer will not be provided in a civil case if you cannot afford one. Often, people go it alone in a civil court and all too often they do not receive justice and become another dire statistic: homeless, abused, impoverished."

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