Latest from The Spokesman-Review
The sagging local economy has flooded local courts with people in financial trouble who can’t pay for what could help them most: an attorney to guide them.
Only a few local programs exist to help people who need lawyers, a need that has far outstripped the programs’ ability to find lawyers willing to work for little or no pay. As a result, court dockets are clogged with people trying – and failing – to wade through a complicated system of hearings and paperwork without legal help.
“It’s a pretty grim picture out there if you need a lawyer and can’t afford one,” said Al McNeil, an associate professor with University Legal Assistance, which provides free or low-cost legal services to low-income Spokane County residents and just celebrated its 35-year anniversary at Gonzaga University School of Law.