When you really need legal help and there is no other place to go, then you can try a legal aid service. As I’ve been working for legal aid services of Oregon for seven years I know best what I am talking about. And I am not joking. In our country not having money can mean not having rights. No matter what some people might say, it has always been like that. If there were no legal aid services poor people would have no where to turn to when they have some kind of legal problem. Of course, there is free of charge legal criminal representation provided but it’s not good enough. What should the poor do when for example the bank is foreclosing on their house? In that case the state does not offer free civil representation. Just imagine what a disaster it would have been if there was no legal aid service.
Once I was working as a corporate lawyer, so I’ve seen both sides. Then I worked for a big rental agency and there have been many times when I helped them with the eviction of clients so that they could develop their properties and get higher rent rates. I realize my work was not just and thus I am not proud of my actions. However, my life got the right direction when I started working for the legal aid services of Oregon. Finally, I could look in the mirror again, I was no longer ashamed of my work, on the opposite – I feel proud of myself because I am doing the right thing – helping the poor.
I wouldn’t like you to leave with the false impression that I am against legal representation for the rich. I believe that everyone deserves representation both rich and poor people. However, least to say, the current situation seems quite unfair. In case the poor don’t find a legal aid service they are left all alone. Even when they get some help from the legal aid service, the poor are stuck with a bunch of lawyers with limited resources and time. The poor might have a chance but it wouldn’t be a fair battle in court with the big legal bully guys on the other side.
What this country should do in order to solve the rank injustice problem, is to guarantee equal legal representation to every citizen. Until this dream of mine comes true, I will be here, working in legal aid services of Oregon, giving my best to help destitute people in dire need.