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Legal Advocacy

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Summary

Advocacy is the process of speaking on another’s behalf in support of a specific cause, proposal or stance. In a legal context, lawyers advocate for the interests of their client.1 In 2016, 86 percent of low-income individuals with legal issues received insufficient or no legal assistance. Of all low-income households, 71 percent have some form of legal issue.2 In 2013, 98 percent of tenants being evicted in the United States lacked legal representation, and 95 percent of parents in cases disputing child support were without legal aid. In New York State Courts alone, 1.5 million people appeared in court without representation in 2015.3 Forty to sixty percent of middle income Americans have unmet legal needs.4 The United States Sixth Amendment states, “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”5 Global legal services vary in structure and oversight. In a study performed by the United Nations, 35 percent of nations responding reported that a bar association oversees their legal aid system. Twenty percent of respondents reported that a legal aid board oversees legal aid, another 20 percent cited a ministry of justice, and 11 percent reported no monitoring mechanism.6 Of all responding nations, 97 percent said that those in the legal system are left to seek out legal services on their own, presupposing that individuals are aware of their right to legal counsel.7 Show References
1 https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/advocacy/ 2 https://www.lsc.gov/media-center/publications/2017-justice-gap-report 3 Ibid 4 https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/criminal-justice/reports/2016/12/08/294479/making-justice-equal/ 5 Ibid 6 https://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/LegalAid/Global-Study-on-Legal-Aid_Report01.pdf 7 Ibid
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