A Statewide campaign to fund legal services for low-income residents and persons with disabilities.
About the Campaign
Access to Justice Idaho will raise funds to provide support for the three principal providers of free civil legal services for poor and vulnerable Idahoans. There is an urgent need for funding for DisAbility Rights Idaho (DRI), Idaho Legal Aid Services (ILAS), and Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program (IVLP), which have seen drastic cuts in their funding sources at a time when demand for legal services is at an all-time high.
A contribution to Access to Justice Idaho will ensure these Idaho organizations continue to serve the poor and people with disabilities throughout Idaho in cases such as domestic violence, foreclosure prevention, disability claims, access for long-term care, guardianships, and other legal services that would otherwise be out of reach.
Lawyers understand how important it is that all citizens have access to justice and that a lack of legal assistance can thwart this access. Because of the importance of legal services - regardless of ability to pay - attorneys have support Access to Justice Campaigns across the country, including western states such as Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Benefits of the Campaign
A donation to Access to Justice Idaho will provide the financial resources to allow the Campaign partners to continue their critical client services.
Because of the protracted national financial downturn, the Access to Justice Idaho partners have been impacted by cuts in both federal and private funding.
- LSC funding to ILAS has decreased significantly since 2010
- The Department of Justice discontinued a domestic violence assistance grant to ILAS and IVLP, resulting in the elimination of a 15-year grant and a cut of over $137,000
- Prolonged reductions in interest rates have caused IOLTA grants to drop by nearly 80% over the last 5 years
At the same time that funding sources have declined, the need for services has risen.
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 16% of Idahoans live in poverty
- A 2013 University of Idaho study indicates that over 775,000 Idahoans who face civil legal difficulties do not have the resources to seek the help of an attorney
- In 2012, 58% of civil cases (more than 89,000) had a pro se party
Since 1977, DisAbility Rights Idaho's mission has been to assist people with disabilities, to protect, promote, and advance their rights through quality advocacy and representation. DisAbility Rights Idaho gives people with disabilities a voice to assert and defend their rights and protect themselves from discrimination through information, education and individual assistance. DisAbility Rights Idaho addresses abuse and neglect, helps clients obtain services they need to live in their own homes and communities, and provides access to education, health care, vocational services, and employment.
Idaho Legal Aid Services is a nonprofit statewide law firm dedicated to providing equal access to justice for low-income people through advocacy and education. Every year, Idaho Legal Aid Services helps thousands of Idahoans with critical legal problems such as escaping domestic violence and sexual assault, protecting abused and neglected children, preserving housing, helping vulnerable seniors and stopping discrimination. Idaho Legal Aid Services also operates two free legal hotlines and engages in outreach and preventative legal education efforts throughout Idaho.
For over 25 years, the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program has increased access to legal services for low-income Idahoans by organizing private attorneys across Idaho to provide pro bono legal services. This pro bono program recruits attorneys from local communities who volunteer their time and expertise to assist those in need with representation and legal advice. The Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program helps narrow the gap between legal needs and available resources. In addition to direct case representation, the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program also offers legal clinics to the VA, senior centers and homeless shelters and provides education for young, single parents and grandparents serving as parents through the Soundstart program.