Class discussion of the incredible unmet need for legal representation in this country can be furthered by yesterday’s article by Adam Liptak, Need-Blind Justice. In it, he outlines two ongoing efforts to move beyond mere critique of the legal representation guaranteed to indigent criminal defendants: in Washington, federal judicial supervision of what appointed defense lawyers must do to meet a minimum standard of client representation; in Texas, a “voucher” system that gives criminal defendants a choice of lawyer.
Radical? Workable? I guess we’ll have to see as things progress, but it is exciting to hear about actions, even if experimental, that could move beyond the standard tautology – that the unmet legal needs of lower- and middle-income persons are impossible to solve because there isn’t enough money.
Could the second initiative perhaps fuel a similar experiment in vouchers for the provision of civil legal services?
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