One in five Arkansans live at or below 125% of the federal poverty level and are eligible to receive free civil legal services. Yet every year, nearly half of qualified Arkansans who contact a legal aid provider for help with civil legal issues are turned away due to a lack of sufficient resources. Numerous others don’t qualify for legal aid because their income exceeds the eligibility threshold, yet they still can’t afford attorneys to help them. The legal issues that affect Arkansas’s poor involve the most basic human needs: protection from domestic violence, economic security for the elderly and disabled, and safe and habitable housing, to name a few. Those who are unable to obtain legal aid or afford an attorney are left to navigate the legal system on their own, often with lasting repercussions. Lack of access contributes to cycles that keep people in poverty and has negative consequences for our system of justice, and ultimately the rule of law.
Our mission is coordinate statewide efforts to ensure that all Arkansans have a fair opportunity to be heard in court in civil matters, not just those who can afford legal representation. We work with a variety of other partners who share our vision, and together, we undertake innovative projects to accomplish this mission, as well as efforts to increase the financial and pro bono resources available to meet the civil legal needs of low-income Arkansans. Please take this opportunity to browse our site to learn more about our work, our partners, and our projects, and to find out what you can do to help.