Announcing: Unite the People Legal Defense Fund
At Unite the People, we believe that a critical test for our justice system is whether it is fair, simple, affordable, and accessible. For many Americans, our legal system is failing on all these fronts. The high price of legal services means that many would find it difficult to pay for a lawyer for anything but the most basic legal issues. That makes our legal system both unfair and hard to navigate for those without the means to pay.
To further our goals of social justice and equal representation under the law, we have established the Unite the People Legal Defense Fund to help offset the costs of legal defense for our members and their loved ones. Our selection criteria is based on those who appeal to us with the greatest need, and the amount we currently have available in the Fund.
The reality is that lawyers' services are not cheap, no matter what type of legal case is being faced. Even simple cases can cost several thousand dollars, and fees for more complex cases can quickly rival the price of a luxury car.
In fact, the average cost of legal representation in the United States is greater than $250 per hour.¹ In California, where the minimum wage is $11.00 per hour, that means every two hours of legal representation can cost more than a full 40 hour paycheck for a low wage worker or their lower wage-earning family support unit. It's no wonder then that people from economically disadvantaged communities experience incarceration rates several times higher than the general public.²
We need your support to ensure the Fund is capable of meeting the needs of our community. Every dollar you contribute helps us grow our network of affordable criminal defense and appellate lawyers, identify and match our clients with the best attorneys for their case, and offset their costs so they have a chance at equal representation under the law. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, your donations to Unite the People are also tax deductible.