‘Equal justice under law” is famously engraved above the main doors of the United States Supreme Court. These words are meant to provide a framework for our legal system, but they are of very little practical value to the millions of individuals, families, and small businesses that are unable to afford legal counsel to help them navigate our complex judicial system.
Justice Robert P. Young, Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, recently wrote, “Judges will be the first to tell you that our system works best — and justice is better served — when both parties are represented and have access to quality legal services.”
Justice Young is right – and empirical evidence backs this up – an individual’s ability to hire an attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of their legal case. Unfortunately, for tens of millions of Americans the biggest hurdle to securing legal representation is access to capital. Our new infographic gives you a quick overview of how large this problem is, how outcomes can vary based on your ability to hire representation, and the proportion of cases that go without counsel for various legal issues.