A recent article indicated that there is a severe funding shortage for various organizations that provide legal services for the poor. Several different nonprofit legal aid groups help those without another option and those organizations are finding their funds being cut, which hurts the poor in Texas.
Less than 25% of those who really need legal help can actually find it. A big part of the funding for nonprofit groups who provide legal assistance to those in need comes from attorneys trust accounts. Unfortunately, the monies generated by the attorneys trust accounts has dwindled recently based upon the very low rate of interest that is being paid on those accounts. The funds have dropped to a mere 25% of what they were only six years ago.
Part of the problem is that Texas continues to add to its numbers of poor, and those who cannot afford the help that they may need. Coupled with the cuts from Congress and the limited money available in the state of Texas, the poor and Texas have little access to civil justice.
Because of the poverty rate increases in Texas, even a substantial increase in funding from the Texas legislature would be insufficient to meet the growing demand for attorneys for the poor. Hopefully, we will see leadership from Austin and the Texas State Bar to address the needs of the Texas families have difficulty paying for an attorney that they need. An excellent article can be found here.