"Access to Justice: How Lawyers Matter in Civil Proceedings for Low-Income Litigants"
2013 Fromkin Memorial Lecture
Audio Recording

(Adobe Flash Player, a free download, is required to listen to this audio file.)  

Fromkin 2013 postcardThe 44th Annual Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture was presented by David Pate, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, UWM Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, on November 14, 2013 in the Conference Center of the UWM Golda Meir Library.

The title of his lecture was “Access to Justice: How Lawyers Matter in Civil Proceedings for Low-Income Litigants.”

The question of whether and how to provide legal assistance to individuals who cannot afford civil counsel is a pressing nationwide issue, especially for low-income, African American men in child-support litigation.

Non-custodial parents who live in poverty owe the vast majority of child support owed in the U.S., many of whom lack attorney representation in civil contempt proceedings. The result is commonly incarceration for nonpayment, a particularly devastating solution.

Dr. David Pate's research examines the role that legal assistance plays in civil proceedings, especially child-support cases in Wisconsin and Illinois, and the effect that such assistance has on outcomes for indigent respondents.

The goal is to advance social justice to poor non-custodial parents and their families by providing the unrepresented with meaningful access to the courts and just outcomes in their cases.

A contributor to WUWM's "Lake Effect" ("Real Talk"), Pate joined the faculty at UWM in 2006. His most recent publications explore the issues of poor fathers, welfare policy, domestic violence, and their children.