International visitors

International flags on flagpoles
pennstatenews | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Welcome, international visitors!

Compared to many other countries, the US operates very differently in its legal system and legal aid. The US is a common law system with both state and federal statutes providing civil and criminal law.  Civil legal aid and indigent public defense (criminal defense) are separate systems. There is no national legal aid budget.

Leaders of the organization behind this website, the Consortium for the National Equal Justice Library, have participated in the International Legal Aid Group (ILAG) meetings for many years.

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Overview of the US legal system

See this overview section for three separate articles:

  • Civil
  • Criminal
  • Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Overview of US legal aid

This overview of US legal aid section includes introductions and three separated detailed articles on legal aid in the United States today.

  • Civil legal aid
  • Public Defense (criminal defense)
    • Public defense: Federal (national)
    • Public defense: State and local

ILAG biennial reports on US civil legal aid

Every two years, an American reports on developments in civil legal aid in the United States. See the entire collection beginning in 2001. These reports are extensive, detailed and a great resource. The report covering 2017-2019 is about 100 pages and includes sections on civil legal aid and access to justice. Between 2001-2019, all but one of these reports was written by Alan Houseman, President of the Consortium for the National Equal Justice Library.