State to expand free legal aid with millions

BROOKLYN - More Brooklyn residents will have access to free legal service thanks to a financial boost announced by Gov. Eliot Spitzer Thursday.

Spitzer said the state will pump $60 to $80 million annually into expanding the Interest on Lawyers Account program. The state started IOLA in 1983 to help low-income residents pursue civil cases.Attorneys with the program admit before the boost, they routinely had to turn away six people for every one client they helped.

While Spitzer said he's unsure how many more people will be helped, legal experts believe it's possible everyone wanting to pursue a civil case may now be able to do so.

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