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2015 Civil Legal Needs Study Update & Press Coverage of Justice Gap

The recently released 2015 Washington State Civil Legal Needs Study Update reveals a sharp increase in the average number of civil legal problems facing low-income people - from 3 to more than 9 per year – since the original 2003 Supreme Court study.  The statewide survey of more than 1,600 households also shows that less than one quarter of those experiencing these problems receive any help, this as the number of Washington's poorest residents eligible for civil legal aid has risen to 1.25 million, a 40% increase since 2003. Communities of color - and especially children of color - suffer disproportionately as poverty rates for African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos are essentially double the statewide rate. Other groups experiencing higher than average legal problems include disabled persons, unemployed persons, and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

For more detailed analysis of the study such as the legal needs of domestic violence victims and other reports, visit the Office of Civil Legal Aid website.

Press Coverage: