Editorials

editorial | legal services

Begging for representation

IF YOU’RE an indigent criminal defendant, the state provides you with a lawyer for free. But there is no such guarantee for needy Massachusetts residents involved in civil cases, such as home foreclosures or the threat of losing medical coverage. Especially in tough economic times, the most vulnerable citizens are left to fend for themselves in court.

Legal aid organizations rely on financial support from the state and federal government, as well as from donations from private lawyers. That money has been drying up, and with it, access to legal assistance. Another main funding source - interest earned on client funds held by lawyers - is also down because interest rates have declined to near zero. As a result, organizations such as Greater Boston Legal Services have been forced to turn away thousands of clients because they don’t have the funds or people to represent them.

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com