The Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado is the fundraising arm of Colorado Legal Services (CLS). With few exceptions, CLS clients are living at or below 125% of the federal poverty guideline, which means an annual income ceiling of $15,613 for an individual and $32,188 for a family of four.
CLS has 13 offices across the state, and only 57 lawyers on staff to serve over 750,000 income-eligible Coloradans. By comparison, there are now 535 410 public defenders in the state to serve the indigent in serious criminal matters.
For every client served by CLS, at least one income-eligible person is turned away. Even those who are served often receive only limited assistance when more extended representation is indicated.
Colorado has about half the legal aid lawyers it did 40 years ago, while over the same period, the number of low-income Coloradans eligible for services has tripled.
Areas of Service in 2018
- 31 percent – Housing
- 26 percent – Family Law & Domestic Violence
- 20 percent – Employment, Health, Individual Rights & Misc.
- 18 percent – Consumer & Finance
- 5 percent – Income Maintenance