New York’s top judge is holding hearings this week on the benefit of providing civil legal services to the poor. A US Supreme Court case guaranteed legal counsel to people accused of crimes, but that same right is not given to people going through civil court. New York courts are trying to change that.
As WSHU has been reporting in its "State of Disparity" series, Connecticut has one of the widest gaps between the wealthy and the poor in the country. A report out this week by researchers at Harvard and U.C. Berkeley found the chance that someone in the bottom fifth of the economic ladder in Connecticut could rise to the top fifth is about 8%. For some young low-income people, even the bottom rung of that ladder feels out of reach.