NLADA: Legal Services Corporation Ensures Equal Access to Justice
The New York Times has reported that the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is one of nine programs that the Office of Management and Budget has targeted for elimination in the upcoming FY 2018 budget request.
Our country was built on the promise of justice, and Americans understand that access to justice requires access to counsel. Since its inception in 1974, LSC has served as the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans nationwide, and has helped ensure that the quality of justice people receive does not depend on the amount of money they have. Created, funded, and regulated by Congress, LSC programs serve individuals from every ethnic and age group, who live in rural, suburban, and urban areas. They include the working poor, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, the elderly, and people with disabilities. LSC-funded programs are generally the largest programs in the country, and rural areas in particular rely very heavily, if not exclusively, on LSC-funded programs.
Eliminating LSC would further clog courts with individuals who would be forced to represent themselves without the assistance of an attorney, and deny equal access to justice for millions of people in our country. NLADA is resolute in our commitment and support to sustain this vital civil legal aid program, which ensures that the very principle our founding fathers envisioned remains alive: equal justice for all, not just the few who can afford it.