National Legal Aid & Defender Association Join NLADA

Web This Site
  About NLADA  | Civil Resources  | Defender Resources  | Training and Conferences  | Communication Resources  | Member Services  | Job Opportunities  | NLADA Insurance Program
 
Message from the President
History of NLADA
History of Civil Legal Aid
History of Right to Counsel
Staff Directory
Board of Directors
Corporate Advisory Committee
Awards
Donate to NLADA
C. Lyons Fellowship Program
History of Right to Counsel
Printer Friendly Page

The right to be heard would be, in many cases, of little avail if it did not comprehend the right to be heard by counsel. Even the intelligent and educated layman has small and sometimes no skill in the science of law. If charged with crime, he is incapable, generally, of determining for himself whether the indictment is good or bad. He is unfamiliar with the rules of evidence. Left without the aid of counsel he may be put on trial without a proper charge, and convicted upon incompetent evidence, or evidence irrelevant to the issue or otherwise inadmissible. He lacks both the skill and knowledge adequately to prepare his defense, even though he has a perfect one. He requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him. Without it, though he be not guilty, he faces the danger of conviction because he does not know how to establish his innocence.