Legal Services for the Indigent Citizens: A Basic Right

Oct 17 09:51 2007 Lala C. Ballatan Print This Article

Basic rights of indigent citizens for legal services.

Every people in the country,Guest Posting rich or poor, all share the responsibility of abiding by the federal and state laws. As much as possible, the laws are unbiased to cover every citizen's rights to live honorably and responsibly.


However, instances like poverty could make individuals feel that they do not have as much rights and privileges as those who are quite well off. One of those rights is the right to obtain legal services. Many impoverished citizens, not only in Los Angeles County suffer from injuries and damages of property without acquiring proper legal services.


In order to reach out to those citizens who are underprivileged and inaccessible to services by professional lawyers, the United States Congress made way for setting up the Legal Services Corporation or LSC by passing the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974. This private and non-profit corporation endeavors to make available for low-income individuals an equal access or opportunity in the justice system.


This main objective is abetted by the provision of top quality legal services and assistance for those who are unable to afford sufficient and satisfactory legal counsel.


The LSC ensures that legal assistance concerning civil issues become accessible for low-income citizens. Free legal services, however, are not given by LSC to the indigent citizens directly. Rather, it has almost 200 local legal services programs all over the country that provides grants.


The LSC have imposed income guidelines. Those who qualify can avail of the legal assistance by the "local legal services programs."


These groups providing local legal services receive funds from private sources and the state and county/city governments.


LSC's Income Guidelines


The LSC was mandated to impose "maximum income levels" for qualifications in availing of the free legal services. This maximum income level corresponds to the 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, as released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Since February 2007, the maximum income level for a family with four members in the United States continental area is $25, 813. In Hawaii and Alaska, this figure is a bit higher.




LSC's Clients


Clients accommodated by LSC have no ethnic, racial and age preferences.


-         working poor or low income/salary workers

-         veterans

-         farmers

-         disabled

-         victims of natural disaster


LSC's Legal Services


The local legal services programs of the LSC all over the country provides lawyer representation in cases of:


-         welfare problems

-         housing issues

-         concerns on family law

-         issues of consumer protection


Legal assistance is provided free for:


-         victims of abuse, violence (e.g. domestic violence)

-         senior citizen consumers

-         tenants

-         seniors and veterans


However, only about two percent of the poor people's civil legal needs are able to be addressed by the local legal services programs of the LSC, notwithstanding the dedication of the attorneys.

Get more information about our Los Angeles County legal service through Los Angeles Lawyers website at

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About Article Author

Lala C. Ballatan
Lala C. Ballatan

Lala C. Ballatan a.k.a Kay Zetkin discovered the pleasure of writing through her daily journals way back when she was 10. With writing, she felt freedom – to express her viewpoints and assert it, to bring out all concerns -- imagined and observed, to bear witness.

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