Lack of financial resources shouldn’t be an impediment to domestic violence survivors’ efforts to leave their abusers. The civil legal system is complicated, and having an attorney significantly improves survivors’ odds of success in court. In the absence of public defenders, pro bono legal services — while imperfect — are better than no legal services at all.
Pro bono legal assistance, while well-intentioned, may not meet survivors’ needs. Domestic violence is a dangerous situation, and involving volunteers who may not be adequately trained in crisis response in survivors’ efforts to extricate themselves from their situation may put both volunteer attorneys and survivors in danger.