To consider the great need, among people of limited means, for civil legal services during the COVID-19 crisis, a good starting point is where we were before the crisis started. In short, civil legal resources for the poor in the United States are woefully inadequate. According to the Legal Services Corporation, which documents the justice gap in America, between 62% and 72% of civil legal needs among low-income Americans are addressed inadequately or not at all. Indeed, the United States fares very poorly in this regard when compared to other western democracies.
The current health crisis would be devastating under any circumstances but, from a legal standpoint, this crisis has laid bare the long-term challenges we face.