Published January, 2005

The Legal Aid Safety Net: A Report on the Legal Needs of Low-Income Illinoisans, Chicago Bar Association et al. (2005)

This report provides some support for advocates seeking to demonstrate the connection between access to legal services and address to essential services necessary to maintain health. It documents the need for legal assistance among low-income individuals and other marginalized groups, and the challenges the legal assistance system faces in meeting this need. The report studies the need for legal services among low-income individuals in Illinois, highlighting areas such as housing, public benefits, health, employment, and disability law. The AIDS Legal Council is referenced as an example of an organization providing these important services in the face of numerous obstacles. Despite the urgent need for legal assistance, many legal needs go unmet. The report highlights the legal assistance system in Illinois, the obstacles legal services groups encounter, and their methods for overcoming these obstacles, while focusing on the lack of resources and finances available to these groups, and how this leads to gaps in the legal aid delivery system.