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A new white paper from the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) offers new suggestions for creating better access to justice and the legal system for vulnerable people. 

The white paper – titled “Justice Through the Lens of the Next Generation” – was authored by current law students and is a response to a NITA town hall on how to provide better legal representation for impoverished people. 

The authors write that it is “part of an ongoing discussion about how the legal profession can adapt to meet the needs of every American, not just a select few. How can we strive to form ‘a more perfect union?’” 

The white paper proposes ways to solve systemic issues – such as the lack of properly trained public defense lawyers, the overwhelming caseloads public defense lawyers face, and ways law schools fall short for students pursuing public defense. 

It also details the ways civil access to justice fails vulnerable people. For example, the white paper cites that 66 percent of “American adults experienced a justiciable civil legal need throughout a two- year survey.” But “80 percent of litigants in poverty do not have counsel for matters involving evictions, mortgage foreclosure, child custody disputes, child support proceedings, and debt collection cases.” And in housing cases, “90 percent of tenants are unrepresented.” 

As a firm dedicated to civil rights, Kennedy Hunt P.C. applauds NITA. We represent people in housing, employment, disability, and civil rights law regardless of income. If you or someone you know needs legal representation, our skilled attorneys at Kennedy Hunt, P.C. may be able to help you. Fill out a questionnaire so we can understand your claim.