Civil Right To Counsel

The Maryland Right to Counsel Project seeks to gain recognition of the right to appointed counsel under the Maryland Constitution for indigent people in basic human needs civil cases, such as determinations of child custody.
At the national level, the PJC has led the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC) since its inception in 2003. The NCCRC’s mission is to support, develop, and coordinate advocacy to expand recognition and implementation of a right to counsel for indigent litigants in civil cases involving basic human needs, such as shelter, safety, sustenance, health, and child custody.  This work encompasses assisting with and developing litigation, providing legislative support, working with national legal and social science researchers, developing allies such as state bar associations and access to justice commissions, and heightening the public discourse through writing and public speaking.

NOTE: The NCCRC cannot assist individuals with representation, legal advice, or attorney referrals. Therefore, we do not respond to individual requests for assistance. Please contact the legal aid organization in your state or your state's attorney referral program. Emails sent to the NCCRC are not privileged and/or confidential.


Video update on the civil right to counsel movement with the Public Justice Center's John Pollock


Video update on the civil right to counsel movement with the PJC's John Pollock


Fighting Foreclosure: Why Legal Assistance Matters

"Fighting Foreclosure: Why Legal Assistance Matters” is a project of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and the National Coalition for the Civil Right to Counsel, which the Public Justice Center helps lead. This video series features interviews with homeowners, attorneys, housing counselors, judges, and others involved in the foreclosure process. The videos connect individual stories with the larger national crisis and demonstrate why providing all homeowners with counsel is critical in these types of proceedings. The videos also point out that no state currently provides a right to counsel for any types of housing proceedings.

Fighting Foreclosure YouTube videos


Overview video                    Charles Guider's story      Bertina Jones' story

Video: Fighting Foreclosure: Why Legal Assistance MattersVideo: Fighting Foreclosure: Charles Guider's storyVideo: Fighting Foreclosure: Bertina Jones' story




Christine Muniz's story    Louise Golden's story      Judge Annette Rizzo

Video: Fighting Foreclosure: Christine Muniz's storyVideo: Fighting Foreclosure: Louise Golden's storyVideo: Fighting Foreclosure: Thoughts from Judge Annette Rizzo