Access to Justice

December 31 is just days away. Many of us may be putting the finishing touches on our list of charitable contributions. We'd like you to consider one that relates to our professional creed. We are urging all Arizona lawyers to join the cause by considering a contribution to the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education and/or one of Arizona's legal aid agencies.

The State Bar of Arizona has incorporated Access to Justice in its mission statement and continues to expand its efforts to help at-risk Arizonans, consistent with the "devotion to the public good" clause included in the Lawyer's Creed of Professionalism.

Our greatest partner in the drive for Access to Justice is the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education. The Foundation funnels funding to Arizona's three legal aid agencies, operates three online legal websites -- LawForVeterans, LawForSeniors, and LawForKids, and runs a number of vital educational programs in Arizona's school systems.

Each November we ask our members to support the work of the Foundation by adding a donation to their Annual Fees Statement. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible, as are donations made directly to the legal aid agencies.

If you're considering whether you donation would go toward a worthy cause, consider this story about the work that legal aid agencies contribute toward Access to Justice.

The Difference One Day Makes - 2013

Wednesday, April 3rd . . . The phones started ringing early at legal aid agencies across Arizona and kept ringing: 601 Arizona families were calling out for legal help on this one day.

In honor of Governor Jan Brewer’s proclamation declaring April “Access to Justice Month”, Arizona’s three legal aid agencies organized a “What a Difference a Day Makes” campaign to bring attention to the importance of and need for access to legal resources and assistance.   For 24 hours, Community Legal Services, DNA People’s Legal Services and Southern Arizona Legal Aid tracked the activity related to individuals seeking assistance for crisis that only legal expertise can resolve.  That Thursday, Arizona’s legal aid organizations made an enormous difference:

  • In the lives of 517 individuals who were offered help in their legal crisis
  • With the 43 people given support in self-help and tax preparation clinics
  • With the assistance of 13 volunteer attorneys donating their time and expertise free of charge.

Each day, the legal aid agencies across Arizona, are making a difference in the lives of those they serve and the communities where they live. These unsung heroes should be thanked . . . but you best send a note, because
their phone lines will be busy with helping the next person in need.

In 2012:

Community Legal Services, DNA People’s Legal Services and Southern Arizona Legal Aid provided legal assistance and closed 17,560 cases helping over 34,491 individuals.

Legal assistance was provided to Arizonans in each of the state’s 15 counties and Arizona’s 21 Native American tribes. Community Legal Services, DNA People’s Legal Services and Southern Arizona Legal Aid provide legal assistance in various areas of law, including: family law (with an emphasis on eliminative domestic violence),  consumer, employment, housing, mortgage, foreclosure,  individual rights, health/medical related issues, and public benefits (access to government benefits such as unemployment insurance and social security disability benefits).




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