January 28, 2020 4 minutes to read · 900 words

ABA Free Legal Answers: Narrowing the Justice Gap While Providing Disaster Relief

By Tali K. Albukerk

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Since its launch in 2016, ABA Free Legal Answers (ABA FLA) has been utilized at no cost by thousands of low- to moderate-income individuals across the United States to access brief legal advice from attorneys licensed in their state. More than 6,800 pro bono attorneys have registered to respond to more than 92,800 civil legal questions that have been posted, primarily in areas such as family law, housing, and consumer rights. ABA FLA is designed to allow any qualified user with an Internet connection to access civil legal advice and resources at any time from across their state—ultimately to prevent larger legal crises from developing and to allow existing legal services staff attorneys to focus on full representation. ABA FLA provides access to civil legal advice to users with income up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level and $10,000 in assets and those who are screened out by existing legal services due to conflicts, income/asset eligibility, or citizenship status, or who are unable to utilize traditional walk-in clinics or hotlines due to geographic/temporal limitations. For those who have nowhere else to turn yet cannot afford an attorney, ABA FLA often serves as a last resort for qualified legal advice.

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