Skip to Main Content
Make a Gift
My Carolina Law
UNC-Chapel Hill Home
Faculty & Research
Centers & Programs
Alumni & Friends
News & Media
Kathrine R. Everett Law Library
Centers & Programs
Center for Banking & Finance
Center for Civil Rights
Center for Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics
North Carolina Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center
UNC Center for Media Law and Policy
Director Diversity Initiative
Intellectual Property Initiative
Medical Child Abuse Initiative
N.C. Poverty Research Fund
Exploring Economic Distress in N.C.
High School Poverty Curriculum
The State of Low Wage Work in N.C.
Poverty by the Numbers
News & Publications
Enter Edit Mode
Show Page History
Manage Left Navigation Widgets
Manage Page Widgets
Change Number of Areas
Choose an Area to Edit
Current Left Navigation Widgets
Current Page Widgets
Choose the Number of Areas for This Page
NOTE: Reducing the number of areas will permanently delete any content and widgets in the removed area(s).
Area 1 is the main column for the page
Area 2 appears to the right of area 1
Area 3 appears under area 1
Number of Areas:
Access to Justice
Poor people have no constitutional right to an attorney in non-criminal cases. The alternatives for those who can’t afford a lawyer are stark: face the legal system alone or abandon their legal claims. A home, income in the form of unemployment or disability benefits, parental rights, necessary medical treatments, protection from domestic violence, or safeguards against predatory lending can hang in the balance.
In conjunction with the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, we released a report on the economic benefits of furnishing legal services to low-income citizens in civil cases. These legal services are provided through three organizations: Legal Aid of North Carolina, Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont, and Pisgah Legal Services.
Some key findings of the report:
Legal services attorneys obtained nearly $23 million of federal benefits for their clients in 2012
Clients of legal services attorneys won over $8.5 million of housing-related awards in 2012
Legal services provided nearly $17 million in cost-savings through eviction prevention, foreclosure prevention, and domestic violence advocacy in 2012
The total economic impact of legal aid services in 2012 was $48,775,276, or a 108% return on the money invested into these services.
Read the entire
Related articles and editorials by Gene Nichol:
Access to Civil Justice in North Carolina
, Fall 2009, NC State Bar Journal
Judicial Abdication and Equal Access to the Civil Justice System
, Case Western Reserve Law Review, February 2010
Racial Disparities in Wealth in North Carolina
Racial Wealth Disparity in North Carolina
, highlights the racial and gender wealth gap in the state. Wealth is used less often than income as a measure of economic self-sufficiency, but it is arguably more important. It provides a buffer during times of financial strain, a path to opportunity, a cushion for retirement and a boost for the next generation.
Tracing the Causes of Racial Wealth Disparity
is the second report in this series. Issued in spring of 2011, it looks at the many interconnected reasons underlying the gap in wealth accumulation between blacks and whites.
Documenting Poverty, Economic Distress and Challenge in North Carolina
In 2009, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation revisited its community economic development goals and funding strategies. As part of its evaluation, the foundation commissioned this
on the growing levels of poverty in the state. It was presented to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation board in January 2010.
Go to Top of Page
If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of