El Paso Times – Lawyers are aware of economic hardships

Legal services are a grudge purchase. A striking reality confronts us in this time of economic downturn — more than ever, the middle class has become a part of the community with desperate need for access to legal services. In an age where law and society intersect on many levels, fewer people believe they have the resources to consult or hire attorneys.

Oct. 25-31 is the American Bar Association’s National Pro-Bono celebration, this year focusing on legal services to the low-income community.

Under constitutional principles, free legal services are only provided to people charged with crimes; free and low-cost civil legal services are provided through legal aid agencies supported by the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) program. IOLTA and other funding programs provide grants to legal aid agencies from the Texas State Bar foundation and the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation. El Paso lawyers and banks have consistently demonstrated their commitment to increasing funding through these services.

To read the entire article, click here.

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