Law: The Sad Fate of Legal Aid

But a new program may encourage more lawyers to help

Like most places that provide assistance for the poor, the Legal Aid Society's Park Place office in Manhattan is overwhelmed. Flooded with requests for help, the 26 lawyers who work there resort to a kind of triage system, sometimes choosing to block an eviction before untangling a Social Security foul-up, or rushing to counter an immigration problem while other clients wait for assistance in getting welfare benefits. "We just don't have the money or the staffing to do it all," says Attorney Morton Dicker.

Such problems are partly because of a shortage of attorneys willing to spend some time representing the...

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