Our report the last two years has estimated that for every dollar spent on civil legal aid in New York there is a return of $10 in economic value.

In June 2015, the Chief Judge of the State of New York issued an administrative order establishing the Permanent Commission on Access to Justice. The Commission’s purpose is to assess the nature, extent, and consequences of unmet civil legal needs statewide. The unmet civil legal need is often referred to as the “access to justice gap,” and disproportionately affects vulnerable populations such as low-income New Yorkers and the working poor. The goal of the Commission is to expand access to civil legal services resulting in the closing of the access to justice gap. Last year, the Commission was awarded $100,000 by the National Center for State Courts and the Public Welfare Foundation for use in developing a strategic plan to close the access to justice gap in the state of New York. New York was one of seven states granted $100,000. Stout was asked by The Commission to serve as consultants during the strategic planning process. The year-long strategic planning process began in December 2016 and will culminate in December 2017 with the unveiling and implementation of action-items from the strategic plan. To date, Stout has traveled throughout the state of New York holding meetings with civil legal service providers, state and local court staff and justices, community leaders, and clients who have been in contact with the civil court system. Stout has conducted the annual analysis regarding the economic value of civil legal aid in New York. Our report the last two years has estimated that for every dollar spent on civil legal aid in New York there is a return of $10 in economic value.

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