At a time when many attorneys are seeking to expand their client base, potential clients and businesses have been turning their backs on lawyers in droves. In 2014 the American Bar Foundation’s Rebecca Sandefur released a major research report, Accessing Justice in the Contemporary USA (tinyurl.com/oofxhes), that describes how middle-class and low-income clients, despite having increasing legal needs and a high level of trust in lawyers and courts, are nevertheless sidestepping lawyers and finding other ways to resolve disputes. Why are citizens looking elsewhere to protect their basic legal rights? According to The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2014 (tinyurl.com/c9vxwmj), the U.S. court system, although seen as independent and free of undue influence, is burdened by expensive or unavailable civil legal assistance and perceived as more available to those of means.
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