What is Equal Justice Wyoming?
Equal Justice Wyoming was formerly the Wyoming Center for Legal Aid. We are a judicial branch entity created under the Wyoming Supreme Court that came into existence on April 19, 2011, and is authorized and funded by the Wyoming Civil Legal Services Act, Wyo. Stat. §§ 5-2-121 et. seq. The Act charges Equal Justice Wyoming with developing a statewide program for improving access to justice and providing civil legal services to Wyoming’s low-income citizens. Equal Justice Wyoming is Wyoming’s first state-sponsored civil legal aid program, and it is funded by revenue that is generated through increased court-filing fees.
What do we do?
We are dedicated to helping income-eligible Wyoming citizens connect with legal resources and find ways to address their legal needs. We have both short-term and long-term goals. We are expanding legal access to income-eligible citizens by:
- Launching a content-loaded web site filled with legal information, links to self-help forms and answers to basic questions;
- Collaborating with Legal Aid of Wyoming, a full-service legal clinic, to develop a full-time hotline and increase their attorney staffing in order to provide more income- eligible clients with extended representation;
- Providing substantial grant funding to new and existing legal service providers to enable them to reach a larger population than they currently serve; and
- Coordinating with the State Bar and the Access to Justice Commission to develop initiatives aimed at expanding statewide legal assistance and access to the court system for low-income individuals.
In the long-term, we are:
- Establishing new community-based legal assistance programs across the state to serve clients directly;
- Continuing to collaborate with existing providers in order to expand legal services in remote portions of the state;
- Hosting legal aid clinics and workshops around the state to assist the income-eligible in obtaining access to information and resources in the judicial system; and
- Creating additional self-help tools for pro se litigants by expanding our website, producing brochures and pamphlets that answer basic legal and procedural questions, and distributing those resources throughout the state.
Does Equal Justice Wyoming accept clients?
We do not represent clients directly. Our immediate focus is building statewide infrastructure and establishing a statewide network of resources and providers to support expanded legal assistance throughout the state. Presently the Center can have a greater impact by leveraging resources among existing providers, supporting and funding new, community-centered legal service organizations, expanding information and resources for pro se litigants, and addressing barriers to the justice system faced by the low-income population.