Recently, the civil legal aid providers in Alabama participated in a Social Return on Investment study, for the purpose of evaluating the actual value of civil legal aid in Alabama. The results were remarkable, and a true testament to the work that our lawyers in Alabama do every day.
In the area of family law, the volunteer lawyers program provided assistance resulting in over $1 million in immediate direct financial benefits and over $1 million in long-term consequential financial benefits. Imagine the impact for our client families. Without the assistance of a volunteer lawyer they would have had to navigate the legal system alone…if they did so at all. We can’t know the number of people who stay in bad marriages, or bad custody or child support situations, or unsafe homes, because they do not have the resources to access the legal system and get the relief they need.
And, imagine the impact on our legal system. Clients who had legal assistance saved our court system precious time and money, and helped the system work more quickly and efficiently for all of us.
Please know that your work on behalf of the under-resourced members of our community is appreciated, by the clients whose lives are impacted, by their family members, by their employers, and by the volunteer lawyers program. You know that your work has impact. You are helping families restructure. The impact for families in poverty is magnified. They do not have support and resources like we have. They often do not have a basic working knowledge of the laws, or the justice system, and they are intimidated, at best. When you help them, just like you would help a paying client, you validate their very existence. Please know that we know that, and we appreciate each and every one of you and the very valuable time and talent that you share with those in need.