Legal Aid Should Not Be Eliminated, Bipartisan Support Groups Sent Letter To OMB
Mar 20, 2017 09:05 AM EDT
The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has been providing free legal representation to the poor since 1974. The provision of free legal aid representation to the under deprived has always been sustained by the bipartisan support, and it needs to happen again this year.
The organization funds more than 130 legal aid organizations throughout the U.S. and is the largest source of support for legal aid for the poor. Numerous federal budget proposals have been submitted to Congress that calls elimination of funding for the organization but each time, bipartisan support for LSC has prevailed.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently announced that funds for the legal aid were being targeted for eventual elimination, according to Above The Law. In response, more than 150 chairs and managing partners from the largest corporate law firms in the nation, reaching beyond partisan divides, has sought the defense of equal access to justice.
Last week, the bipartisan group of legal community leaders sent a letter to OMB urging that LSC should remain strong and viable, that its funding not be cut. The firms lauded the efforts of LSC and explained that "our ability to provide pro bono legal services is directly dependent on partnership with legal aid organizations... eliminating the Legal Services Corporation will not only imperil the ability of civil legal aid organizations to serve Americans in need, it will also vastly diminish the private bar's capacity to help these individuals."
LSC has been largely uninterrupted for more than 40 years due to the emergence of a bipartisan group of Congressional supporters to the notion of equal access to justice for the poor and voiceless. Without the access to justice an attorney can bring, people might end up homeless and without medical care, or worse, without hope.
Therefore, bipartisan support has been a significant part of legal aid in service of its vulnerability. The support in legal aid should continue to prevail, as justice demands it should.