People often wait until they are sick or in pain to go to the doctor. And when it comes to legal issues, many wait until there is a critical problem to find an attorney. That model is inefficient, ineffective and more expensive.
At Access Justice, we believe in Proactive Legal Services—Preventive legal counsel that emphasizes, whenever possible, solving problems efficiently without resort to costly litigation, and always with an eye toward serving the public interest.
An example of the difference proactive legal services can make
George, developmentally delayed and unemployed, lived with his elderly mother, Martha. They did their best to care for each other and their home, but when Martha’s health deteriorated they lost everything. Nursing home costs, Medicaid, the county seizing their home… Martha had no healthcare directive, no will and had not made plans for George’s care. He was placed in adult foster care and was unable to see his mother, even when she fell into a coma.
If Martha had received legal counsel from Access Justice, she would have been advised on how to protect her home, assets and the benefits available to George due to his disability. A caring Access Justice associate could have made referrals, ensuring social services and activities for George to enjoy—maybe even work! Lastly, with a health care directive, Martha could have made her health care wishes known.
Access Justice proactively serves the Marthas and Georges, and as a result, the public interest is also served—fewer empty homes on the beleaguered housing market, people with disabilities leading better, more productive lives, and senior citizens having the honor and dignity of making thoughtful end of life decisions.