Civil and legal aid meant more than $105M in positive economic impact in Maine in 2015.
That’s according to a report by Maine’s Justice Action Group, which says $13M in federal benefits reached people in need.
Nearly $7M was awarded in child and spousal support to Maine families.
More than $6M in earnings was realized by helping immigrant workers get the legal right to work.
The report says $2.5M was saved by communities through helping folks avoid evictions, thus cutting spending on homeless shelters.
“Anyone who commits time or money to an effort wants to know what’s happening in return. What’s the benefit? Is there a benefit to me? Is there a benefit to society in general? I think this study, to a large degree, answers that question. This is part of the benefit that you- meaning whoever has contributed to legal services- this is what the return is,” said Andrew Mead, Maine Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice.
The study found that providing free legal services brings cost savings to the state and puts money back into the local economy.