CHEYENNE – In partnership with Legal Aid of Wyoming, the Equal Justice Wyoming Foundation released the results of a comprehensive needs assessment that was conducted in order to determine the civil legal needs of Wyoming’s low-income residents. The results help identify how many Wyoming residents qualify for legal aid and also point out service gaps across the state. In order to qualify for legal aid, a person’s household income must be at or below 200% of the national poverty level. As an example, for a family of three, the household income cannot exceed $43,400 annually.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income citizens. Because Legal Aid of Wyoming receives grant funds from LSC, it was required to conduct the needs assessment to help LSC ensure that its grantees are providing services that actually meet the needs of qualified Wyoming citizens. Following a request for proposal (RFP) process, Datacorp was selected to conduct the needs assessment. Datacorp is a social science research and consulting firm in Cheyenne.

“It had been ten years since our last needs assessment,” said Ray Macchia, Executive Director of Legal Aid of Wyoming. “I recommended to the Access to Justice Commission that we expand the assessment this year and include all of Wyoming’s low-income legal service providers, and it was met with overwhelming support.” The Access to Justice Commission was established by the Wyoming Supreme Court in 2008 to promote fair and equal access to civil justice in Wyoming.

Those who participated in the broad-ranging survey include legal aid clients, potential clients, private attorneys, clerks of court, librarians, judges, human service providers, community advocates and more.

“The report confirms much of what we already know, but it is very enlightening in respect to some emerging issues and trends,“ said Justice Lynne Boomgaarden, who serves as the Chair of the Access to Justice Commission. “It’s a sobering report that reminds us that poverty still remains an obstacle to accessing our justice system. “On top of that, we will see increased demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic and our state budget woes.”

“The needs assessment is an effective stepping stone so access to justice stakeholders around the state can address the needs and come up with creative ways to help more people,” said Angie Dorsch, Executive Director of Equal Justice Wyoming and the Equal Justice Wyoming Foundation. “It is our hope that all legal aid organizations can come to the table and better coordinate the services that are provided.”

The results of the study are extensive and can be accessed here. There is also an Executive Summary that can be accessed here.

Anyone interested in viewing Datacorp’s presentation on the needs assessment to the Access to Justice Commission may do so at

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