The Justice Report

October 2015


Support Justice
 
Pro Bono Case Alerts
Click  here to read the latest Arkansas Pro Bono Partnership case alerts and learn about opportunities to lend your expertise to assist vulnerable Arkansans in need of legal help.
Rock Your #JustJeans on October 30
 
Join us in raising awareness of the importance of civil legal aid by participating in 'Just Jeans' during National Pro Bono Week. Register here by October 19 to receive stickers and donation information, then wear your jeans and make a minimum $5 contribution on or before Friday, October 30.
Learn About Our Work and Earn CLE
Is your civic organization, local bar association, or firm looking for a speaker or needing CLE credit? Contact our staff to arrange for us to speak to your group.

Sign up here for pro bono case alerts, IOLTA updates, legislative updates, and other news.
Follow Us
Celebrate Pro Bono October 25-31, 2015
Arkansas is celebrating National Pro Bono Week from October 25-31, 2015, to recognize the importance of civil legal aid and the hundreds of advocates who volunteer each year to provide legal help to domestic violence victims, veterans struggling to readjust to civilian life, children in need of stable homes or special education, and families who would otherwise have nowhere to turn. 

Events for the week include expungement, wills, and medical-legal clinics; a hearing of the Joint Judiciary Committee of the Arkansas General Assembly; a panel discussion on pro bono service; and our signature "Just Jeans" casual Friday. 

For a complete list of events and information about how you can participate, click here.
No Lawyers Near Me: Arkansas Has Lowest Ratio of Lawyers in the U.S. 
In recent years, we've seen alarming trends in the number of lawyers practicing in rural areas of Arkansas. A " lawyer near me" search shows that Arkansas has the lowest ratio of lawyers of all states in the country, with 20.1 per 10,000 residents. The leading Google search for Arkansas lawyers was for bankruptcy help.

Chronic underfunding of civil legal aid means that the access-to-justice gap is even wider for low-income Arkansans: there is presently only one legal aid attorney for every 17,568 eligible individuals. 

"Access to lawyers and the courts is integral to our country founded on the rule of law. Living by the rule of law means Americans, whether city dwellers or farmers, should have adequate ways to address their legal issues such as domestic violence, wage and labor issues, traffic, housing and foreclosure matters."

Click here to read more.
Join the 6.1 Society
Think for a minute about the things we spend $25, $50 or even $100 on each month. For the same investment, you can cover what it costs for legal aid to represent a client. Attorneys who give also fulfill part of their professional responsibility outlined in Arkansas Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1.

You can support the Campaign for Legal Aid with monthly gifts directly from your bank account, credit card, or debit card. Monthly giving eliminates the need for writing checks and stamping envelopes. Your gift can be adjusted at any time.

Members of the 6.1 Society represent hope for Arkansas families by providing sustained support for the work that legal aid does to ensure fairness and access for all.

To join, simply visit our donate page and select our monthly giving option. When you sign up, you will receive our 6.1 Society decal so that you can proudly show your support for legal aid.
Dr. Karama Neal Appointed to Arkansas Access to Justice Commission
Dr. Karama Neal has been appointed by the Arkansas Bar Association to serve a three-year term on the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission. Neal is the Chief Operating Officer of Southern Bancorp Community Partners, where she oversees program development, management, and organizational operations in several locations in rural Arkansas in Mississippi. She will serve in the Commission slot designated for a non-attorney who advocates for the needs of low-income Arkansans.
National Court Leaders Urge 100% Access, Robust Funding for Legal Aid 
The Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators recently adopted a trio of important resolutions that urge state leadership in working to achieve 100% access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs and in working to increase Legal Services Corporation and state legislative funding for legal aid. 

Click here to read more about the significance of these resolutions.
About Us
Nearly one in four Arkansans qualify to receive free civil legal services, yet nearly half of the 30,000 Arkansans who call for help each year are turned away because our  two nonprofit legal aid providers  lack the resources to serve them.

 

Our mission is to coordinate statewide efforts to ensure that all Arkansans have a fair opportunity to be heard in court in civil matters. We work with a variety of other partners who share our vision, and together, we undertake innovative projects to accomplish this mission. 

 

This newsletter provides periodic updates on the work of Arkansas Access to Justice, legal aid, our pro bono partners, and the Arkansas IOLTA Program.

 

Thank you for your interest in our work.

 

Sincerely,


 


 


Amy Dunn Johnson

Executive Director, Arkansas Access to Justice