Talk Poverty


In 1963, the Supreme Court declared that states are obligated to provide a lawyer to anyone accused of a crime who cannot afford one. In Gideon v. Wainwright, the Court made clear that a lawyer is essential to ensure justice is served and liberty is protected—that laypeople cannot possibly safeguard their own liberty in a complex system of law and procedure without a lawyer.

Yet, more than 50 years later, some jurisdictions deprive low-income people of the right to counsel simply because they own property or hold a job.