Around $ 100 per hour should be received by lawyers but a year ago, New Hampshire attorneys gave away free service to the poor people of the state which is worth $ 1 million.
The New Hampshire Bar Association’s deputy director of pro bono lawyer referral admitted that this is the only class of professionals who wholeheartedly donated their time and effort for free. Yet it is not enough, lawyers themselves say.
The term prono bono means public good in Latin. New Hampshire Legal Assistance is definitely doing their task in terms of promoting the pro bono system but it seems that there are still 80 percent of the poor whose needs are not answered. The 20 percent of the cases attorneys take tend to be the cases that make the most difference for people.
The defendant has a right to a lawyer wherein the state is must provide the person an attorney if that person cannot afford one. It is in county public defender programs where this is done.
Part of the federal Legal Services Corp. is the New Hampshire Legal Assistance which provides legal and civil support and help to the people who are denied of state benefits or who are evicted.
A person has to be really poor in order to benefit from the help extended by either Legal Assistance or the pro bono program. If you earn more than 125 percent of the poverty level income, then you’re not eligible to avail of the free legal services according to federal guidelines.
If you belong to a family with four members, then you need to have $ 17,438 to be qualified and if you are single, then you need an income of $ 8,513.
For most institutional programs, the working poor are the ones who get the least benefits. There are programs wherein lawyers sign up to offer reduced rates but for strict pro bono, one must not be able to qualify for the reduced fee program.
Prices can continuously increase if one is not able to qualify for legal aid and he or she may even have a difficult time looking for legal support especially in child support cases. The state wants to get support for people but they won’t be able to do that since they lack manpower.
Compensating a lawyer pretty well will assure you of getting the help that you need for child support. It may be difficult to have support money for a single parent to ask for public assistance.
Since hiring lawyers are quite expensive, a lot of low income people choose not to have a divorce. Instead, they move in different homes and the children usually suffer from this because there is no order from the court.
New Hampshire treats the poor differently because they don’t provide legal services for them. This is because it is the Legal Assistance that aids them which is funded by the federal Legal Services Corp.
and the Income on Lawyers Trust Accounts program. The state bar association holds the lawyer’s account for periods of time to be able to justify opening a separate bank account in the client’s name.
To encourage lawyers and law firms to contribute, the bar association prints a monthly honor roll for pro bono service. It is just a sad fact that some lawyers show up and some don’t. The association also gives an annual award to the lawyer who has contributed the most in service to the poor.