News Tag: Advocacy|Legal Aid Funding|LSC


July 25, 2017

Take Action: Support LSC Funding

As the FY18 federal budget process continues, the relevant Senate Subcommittee has approved level funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) at $385 million. We encourage you to thank Senators Durbin and Duckworth for their strong support and to advocate with your Representative in the House to continue to support full funding for LSC.

Take Action

Tags: | read more ...
March 23, 2017

Take Action: Advocate for LSC Funding

As the FY17 federal budget negotiations continue, we encourage you to reach out to your Senators and member of Congress to encourage them to oppose any efforts to reduce or eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), encouraging them to instead support a much-needed increase in this funding.

Tags: read more ...
March 23, 2017

The Right Way to Respond to the President’s Budget Proposal: Using Good Baseball Strategy

As you’ve surely heard by now, President Trump’s first budget blueprint released last week targets the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and 18 other agencies for elimination, and calls for significant cuts to a number of other federal agencies and programs that provide vital help for people in need. This is just the start of the budget process and represents both a challenge and a big opportunity for our legal community to respond. We are advocates by trade with a strong hand to play here. We need to call on those skills to remind our members of Congress of the critical role LSC, as the principal funder of civil legal aid at the national level, and other federal access to justice programs play in assuring fairness in the justice system and carrying out one of our nation’s most fundamental responsibilities.

In honor of it being less than two weeks from the Cubs opening game as defending World Series champs (and how cool is it to be able to say that!), I think it is fitting to use a baseball analogy to frame the issue and talk about key points to remember for our legal community’s response.

It’s only the top of the second inning, but the opposing pitcher has knocked our team off its game by calling unusual and often unpredictable pitches and challenging basic notions of sportsmanship. The good news: it is still very early in the game, we’ve got the meat of our batting order coming up, one of our best pitchers on the mound, and a deep and rested bench and bullpen to call upon. While that is all good, it’s going to take a strong game plan to turn those advantages into a win.

Tags: read more ...
March 23, 2016

Thanking Congress Members for LSC Support

Congress has started considering the FY17 budget, including funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Join us in thanking President Obama, Senators Durbin and Kirk, and your member of Congress for their past support of LSC funding, and please urge their continued support. A special thanks to Congressman Bob Dold for his work this year leading the bipartisan efforts to encourage his colleagues in the House to support LSC funding.

Find and Contact your Legislators

Tags: read more ...
January 19, 2016

Federal Budget Update: Modest Increases for Legal Aid and Court Funding

As Congress concluded the 2016 budget process in December, there was some modestly good news for access to justice. Thank you to everyone who contacted Senators Durbin and Kirk and your Representative about funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) as the budget process was playing out. With important leadership from the Illinois delegation, LSC received a modest $10 million increase for 2016.

While there is much more work to be done for LSC funding to get to an appropriate level, this was a step in the right direction in the still challenging budget environment in Washington. The federal courts also received a modest funding increase that was largely in line with the Judiciary’s request for this year.

Tags: read more ...
December 3, 2015

Justice as a Discretionary Expense Where Did We Lose Our Way and How Can We Find Our Way Back?

Somewhere along the way from the time of our nation’s founding to today, the principle of justice for all went from being fundamental to who we are as Americans to something that is largely treated as a discretionary budget item at all levels of government. As a result, our nation’s promise of justice for all increasingly looks like an empty one to most Americans–and we all are losing something vital to our national identity in the process.

How did we lose our way on something so integral to who we are as Americans? And more importantly, how do we get ourselves back on track? While I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I do know this: it won’t just happen by itself. All of us in the legal community, both individually and collectively, need to use our influence by taking the lead in making this case to our elected officials and to the public.

Tags: read more ...
November 18, 2015

Take Action: Voice Your Support for Increased LSC Funding

With a recent agreement on the overall federal budget now signed into law, Congress will be finalizing details of next year’s budget over the next several weeks, including funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Please thank President Obama, Senators Durbin and Kirk, and your member of Congress for their support of LSC funding and […]

Tags: read more ...
January 5, 2015

Federal Legal Aid Funding Gets a Bump

Thanks to the leadership and strong support from Illinois legislators led by Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and Rep. Mike Quigley, the final 2015 appropriation for the federal government that was signed into law last month includes a modest increase in funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the entity through which federal funding for legal aid flows, and also meets the requested funding needs for the federal Judiciary.

Tags: read more ...
January 21, 2014

Better Funding News for Legal Services Corporation and the Federal Courts

For the first time in years, the final budget agreement for 2014 that Congress just approved this week has some better news for both Legal Services Corporation (LSC) funding and funding for the federal courts (including the federal defender), two priority issues on which the CBF focuses its advocacy efforts. Because Congress has already agreed on the top line numbers for next year’s budget, this funding should also have some stability through 2015, a relief amid all the cuts and uncertainty of the last three years.

Tags: read more ...