A recent article by the Texas Tribune reports that a large number of mostly middle class Texans fall into a “justice gap” where they aren’t poor enough to receive free legal aid provided to indigents but can’t afford basic legal services on their own.
The article reports that the state’s highest civil court launched a new commission to identify and assist Texans who have fallen into the “justice gap.” “The 18-member Texas Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services, led by former Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, will spend the next year gathering data and coming up with recommendations to be presented in November 2016.”
In interview with the Tribune, Jefferson said, “one of the most famous phrases in American law is liberty and justice for all — it is part of our culture, it is part of our custom, it is part of the fabric of our democracy…one of the biggest challenges today is to make that phrase a promise and to make that promise a reality.”
“Today, even most lawyers cannot afford to retain another lawyer to represent them in civil legal disputes,” Jefferson said. “This is a crisis for the legal profession and for our state.”