A 2018 Study, “Barriers to Justice,” measures the civil legal needs of low income Oregonians.
Commissioned by the Oregon Access to Justice Coalition, the study shows that many poor Oregonians can’t afford a lawyer to solve life-altering legal problems. This was the first civil legal needs study in Oregon since 2000. These eye opening statistics that are just the tip of the iceberg:
- 75% of respondents live in a household that encountered some sort of legal problem in the previous year.
- About 807,000 Oregonians — or roughly 1 in 5 — has household earnings below 125% of the poverty level. For a family of four, that’s $31,375 or less.
- 5.4 legal problems were experienced by low-income households in Oregon in the last 12 months.
- 84% of people with a legal problem did not receive legal help of any kind.
- Single parents, minorities, and victims of domestic violence or sexual assault experience civil legal emergencies at a higher rate than the general public.
- Legal aid offices across the state offer free services to about 28,500 poor and elderly residents each year.
- The American Bar Association has set a standard of two legal aid lawyers for every 10,000 poor residents, yet Oregon has two legal aid lawyers for every 14,000 poor residents.
We can do more. We must do more.