Investing in Civil Legal Aid has a Ripple Effect on the Community
At the request of the Louisiana Legislature, the Access to Justice Commission conducted an Economic Impact and Social Return on Investment Analysis, or SROI, funded by the LBF. Nearly 40 civil legal aid organizations providing services in Louisiana participated in the analysis for fiscal year 2016.
The Analysis shows that dollars spent on Louisiana’s civil legal aid providers are well spent and deliver unmistakable economic returns to the state. Key findings include:
- In fiscal year 2016, Louisiana's civil legal aid organizations provided assistance in 26,437 legal matters consisting of over 100 types of civil legal problems including family law, housing, healthcare, public benefits, consumer protection, community support issues, government and legal system issues.
- The net economic impact value resulting from Louisiana civil legal activities during the year totaled $93,977,000.
- The total net social return on investment for Louisiana's civil legal aid programs during the 2016 fiscal year was 873%.
- In other words, for every $1 invested in Louisiana's civil legal aid services, these programs deliver $8.73 in immediate and long-term consequential financial benefits.
Civil legal aid saves taxpayer dollars by keeping families together, reducing domestic violence, helping children leave foster case more quickly, reducing evictions, increasing access to benefits and offering citizens a way out of poverty. Civil legal aid opens doors to the justice system and provides reinvestment in the community. Funding for civil legal aid as a ripple effect, impacting not only the families served, but the community at large. Schools, businesses, government agencies and the state as a whole benefit from resolving civil legal problems.