From October 2020-May 2021, Legal Aid of Arkansas conducted a Legal Needs Assessment in the 31 counties in our service area. The last time a study of this kind was conducted in Arkansas was in 2017. Since then, smaller-scale needs assessments were conducted for targeted populations, but the 2020 comprehensive needs assessment was initially postponed due to the events of COVID-19. Per the performance criteria set forth by the LSC, Legal Aid organizations are responsible for "identifying the most pressing civil legal needs of low-income people in the service area and targeting resources to address those needs." The purpose of this study was to understand the needs of Arkansas communities which may not be easily expressed as "legal problems." By discussing these questions with Legal Aid internal staff, community organizations, local private attorneys, educational staff, library staff, and a group of past and potential clients, we are confident that our results will guide us in creating a strategic plan to provide equal justice to the citizens of Arkansas.
Read the complete Legal Needs Assessment here.