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  Southern Poverty Law Center praised executive action to ensure legal representation for people affected by low income

MONTGOMERY -- President Biden took executive action to ensure low-or no income individuals have better access to legal representation. The President signed a memorandum directing the Department of Justice to restore key functions of the shuttered Access to Justice Office and to reestablish the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable. 
 
The White House told the Associated Press that Biden was directing the roundtable to examine the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on access to justice in both civil and criminal matters. 
 
The following is a statement from Emily Early, senior supervising staff attorney for the SPLC’s Economic Justice Project.  
 
“Without legal representation, navigating our criminal and civil court system is like trying to solve a puzzle that makes no sense. People without money need help to understand their rights and how the legal system works. This executive action is needed to keep people without money, many of whom are people of color, from being unfairly treated. COVID-19 has made this worse and we must make sure people in court are being represented and know their rights.”