Barriers to accessing the civil justice system create problems on many levels. Nate Bowles, then-President of the Legal Aid Society of Charleston in 1995, commented, “The phrase ‘Equal Justice for All’ should not be an empty one. Our country has a government and a legal system grounded on the legal importance of every citizen. . . . No one is above the law; but we must also ensure that no one is beneath the law.” However, the barriers to meaningful access to the civil justice system experienced by “average citizens” often cause them to feel they are beneath or, at least, irrelevant to the law and that they are unable to access a judicial system that belongs to all Americans. Often people can’t afford attorneys, don’t seek representation believing they can’t afford counsel, or don’t know where to go to find help. They give up before they get started. Others enter the system but are forced to represent themselves, all too often inadequately.
Modified on: Thu, 10 Nov, 2016 at 2:53 PM
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