November 6, 2019
The Vermont Bar Foundation commissioned a study with a grant from the Vermont Supreme Court in the fall of 2018. It is the first of its kind in Vermont. It analyzes and quantifies the impact that low-income legal services have on the Vermont economy.
Following a nine-month study process, members of the Vermont Access to Justice Coalition worked with Dr. Ken Smith of the Resource for Great Programs to develop a report showing the substantial benefits that low-income legal services unlock in the Vermont economy.
Whether obtaining federal services and benefits for Vermonters or bringing stability to at-risk families, low-income legal services ensure that fewer taxpayer dollars are spent. These services also ensure all Vermonters have true access to legal remedies and rights, regardless of their economic status.
Executive Director of Vermont Legal Aid Eric Avildsen said the report confirms what he and other providers see on a daily basis. “Our legal system depends on lawyers and others to help people in need navigate difficult situations. Whether it is an employment dispute, an eviction notice, a claim for federal services, or child support proceeding, these are critical issues, and when we can provide assistance, it makes a huge difference.”