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Civil legal aid breaks the cycle of poverty, benefits taxpayers

Orlando Sentinel article by guest columnist Darryl Bloodworth, past president of The Florida Bar Foundation and The Orange County Bar Association talks aboout how civil legal aid has a far-reaching economic impact in Florida.

The economic impact of civil legal assistance in Florida is well documented. Florida TaxWatch found in 2010 that legal aid produces a return of $4.78 on every dollar spent on civil legal assistance in our state. More recently, The Florida Bar Foundation’s 30 civil legal-aid grantees throughout Florida documented direct dollar benefits to clients totaling more than $89 million in 2013 from sources including child support and federal programs such as Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, which is designed to provide food, shelter and medical care to elderly and disabled people.

In addition, civil legal aid, along with improved self-help systems and simplified court processes, can increase the efficiency of our courts and prevent many cases from unnecessarily reaching the courts in the first place, thus saving time and money.

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