Most individuals cannot afford the outlandish rates of legal services today; consequently, low-income Americans are left without any reprieve or solutions in a variety of legal arenas. Unless these individuals are in a criminal case (or they’re one of the few that qualifies and is accepted for legal aid work), they do not have access to legal services, and justice is not met.
Accessible Legal Services handles many different types of cases, including immigration, expungement/pardons, as well as divorce, custody and support cases. Accessible Legal Services hopes to address these underserved populations, bridging the justice gap and providing affordable, low bono legal services to low to moderate income individuals and families.
The firm’s unusual pricing system provides an edge. By indexing its hourly rate to clients’ incomes, Accessible Legal Services is doing something similar to what economists call “price discrimination”—charging different prices to different groups based on their willingness to pay. Customers’ ability to pay rarely figures in directly when firms price discriminate: A restaurant may offer a price for seniors based on the assumption that seniors have less disposable income, but you’re out of luck if you’re a middle-aged person on a senior citizen’s budget. Accessible Legal Services’ model is more finely tuned, and more responsive to people’s needs. Each step up the income ladder, people who can pay more subsidize those who can’t.
Charging everyone ensures that all clients have skin in the game. Legal aid firms sometimes have issues with people draining out a bunch of time and staff on less-than-pressing problems. Charging fees, in turn, keeps everybody accountable: It keeps us accountable to the client because they’re paying us—and it keeps them accountable because we have made the model work by keeping costs low—including the attorney’s salaries.
For more information about Accessible Legal Services to make employment and volunteer inquiries, or to donate, please call us at (501) 620-4242, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for all of your generous support!