The Daily Yonder: Research: Big-City Approaches to Legal Aid Don’t Work in Rural Settings

EXCERPT: “Many legal-aid programs don’t work in rural areas because they are designed to serve large cities, a new research study says. The result is that low-income rural residents aren’t getting equal access to justice, according to a new paper published in the paper in the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law Policy. 

Researchers Michele Statz, Robert Friday, and Jon Bredeson say that access-to-justice programs built on urban models fail rural people on three fronts: 

  • They do not account for the lack of infrastructure like broadband that is available to rural people—especially low income ones.
  • They incorrectly presume that anyone in a crisis can effectively be their own attorney.
  • And their standards for justice do not line up with rural Americans’ own expectations. 

The authors use northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin—locally nicknamed the Northland—as a case study in rural justice access.” FULL STORY: