Fifty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that an individual accused of a crime has a constitutional right to counsel even if they cannot afford to pay an attorney.. But what happens to poor people facing grave outcomes in civil matters?
As part of its coverage of Gideon’s golden anniversary, The New York Times looks at the sometimes-devastating consequences of lack of access to counsel in civil legal matters.
In the article, LSC President James J. Sandman says: “Most Americans don’t realize that you can have your home taken away, your children taken away and you can be a victim of domestic violence but you have no constitutional right to a lawyer to protect you.”
Read the article, Right to Lawyer Can Be Empty Promise for Poor.