Managing Director Neil Steinkamp's analysis on the economic value of civil legal aid rendered in the state of New York was selected for inclusion in the New York State Permanent Commission on Access to Justice 2017 Annual Report.
This report provides a cost-benefit analysis and long-term value of such legal services. The commission, created in 2015 by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, works to carry out the important obligations of the Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services in New York by helping ensure low-income New Yorkers access to legal representation in civil matters involving housing, personal safety, and other basic necessities.
Neil found that the measurable economic impact of civil legal aid services rendered in 2016 in New York is estimated to be nearly $3 billion. This amount represents not only direct dollar benefits to clients, but additional indirect benefits/cost savings to the community, families of clients, and local economy. Furthermore, Neil asserted that due to limited available data, not all benefits could be quantified monetarily. Taking into account the cascade of monetary savings and quality-of-life benefits that result from receiving effective legal assistance, Neil believes a reasonable estimated return on program funding to be $10 per dollar of funding.