Monday, May 18, 2009

Economic downturn increases need for legal services

The DC Access to Justice Commission just released its 2008-2009 annual report.   This four year old organization has done good things since they were created by the Court of Appeals.   As the report points out, accessible legal assistance is more important now than ever before.   The nearly unprecedented 10% unemployment rate has created an
increased need for legal counsel to assist with the consequences of a loss in income, including unemployment benefits, potential loss of housing, other government benefits, and child support.
Other legal issues arising directly out of the economic slowdown are also on the rise.   Tenants are fighting evictions because of foreclosures against landlords; landlords are delaying repairs due to reduced access to credit; and, creditors are increasing collection efforts on consumer debt.   Furthermore, as economic stress increases, domestic violence also increases.

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