Free employment law advice, housing advice, welfare advice, family law advice has always been important. The alternative is a society where too many go without any access to justice.
- What does a pregnant woman who has just been fired because of the economic crisis do without legal advice and representation?
- How are people with learning difficulties supposed to navigate the already complicated welfare system?
- What about someone who is stuck at home with their abuser who threatens that they can’t see the kids if they leave?
Free, expert, confidential advice is needed more than ever.
We need advice agencies (who have already suffered greatly from LASPO and council cuts) to survive this crisis and continue helping people who rely on them.
The Law Centres Network is establishing a Justice Fund to help law centres continue providing advice. City law firms (including DLA and Mishcon) have already pledged £85,000 to save law centres but, as you can imagine, much more is needed.
The Access to Justice Foundation predict that many specialist advice agencies will close over the next 2 – 12 months without emergency funding. With their partners, they’ve created a pot of matched funding of £200,000 so any donation to their emergency appeal will be doubled.
Many decided to go into law because they care about the rule of law and access to justice – both are under threat without free advice agencies.
This is a call to the legal profession to help them survive - so the most vulnerable in our society don’t go through this crisis without much-need legal advice.