Corporate Leaders Call on Congress to Expand Access to Justice

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Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Two hundred and fifty general counsel and chief legal officers from many of America’s top corporations delivered a letter to each member of Congress requesting an increase in the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) budget for the 2019 fiscal year. LSC provides funding and other vital support to civil legal aid programs that serve nearly two million low-income people each year including veterans, victims of natural disasters, survivors of domestic violence and many other families across the nation.

This letter follows the release in February of the White House’s budget proposal that – for the second time – recommended the total elimination of LSC. The letter explains that “in every state in our country, low-income people rely on civil legal assistance to help them protect their livelihoods, their health and their families.” The signatories urge Congress “to demonstrate its commitment to our country’s foundational values, the success of our businesses and the strength of our people by expanding its investment in LSC.”

In 2017, when the administration first proposed the elimination of LSC, nearly 200 corporate leaders signed a similar letter in support of federal funding for civil legal aid. Congress responded by providing a $25 million increase to the LSC budget for FY18. With even more general counsel signing this year, it is clear that the focus and concern of American business leaders on access to justice continues to expand.