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DIALOGUEWinter 2012
VOL. 15, NO. 3
News and Perspectives from the ABA Division for Legal Services
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  IOLTA

Economic Impact Studies: An Argument for Funding

While the need for legal services for low-income populations continues to grow, funding has become increasingly scarce. Legal services programs seek income from diverse sources, but often find themselves competing with other charitable organizations for limited funding. Read more...

From the Chair...
By Lora J. Livingston

On January 24th, in accordance with the Federal Reserve’s new policy on greater transparency in interest rate forecasting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that the current economic outlook warranted low levels for the federal funds rate through late 2014. Read more...

Grantee Spotlight: Representation for Family Law Issues —
The Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project

By Juliet Holmes-Smith

Early in the afternoon, once a week in Lewiston District Court House, a small group of people start to gather in the hallway. Some of them have brought children, most of them have papers, perhaps neatly organized into a folder or maybe dog-eared and clutched in worried hands. Read more...



  Pro Bono

Finding the Next Big Idea to Fight Poverty
By David A. Lash

We spent two days in Washington D.C. searching for the next big idea. Not a scientific breakthrough, not an entrepreneurial flashpoint and not a political platform. Rather, we were looking for that measure of justice needed to do something significant about the ravages of poverty. Read more...

From the Chair...
By Larry McDevitt

In late October the Pro Bono Committee hosted a National Pro Bono Summit in Washington, D.C. as a way of jumpstarting a national grassroots effort across the legal profession to reinvigorate and, in many cases reinvent, the pro bono legal services delivery system. Read more...

Policy News

Louisiana Adopts Disaster Pro Bono Rule
The Louisiana Supreme Court entered an order adopting a major disaster rule in April 2011, becoming the 12th U.S. jurisdiction to do so. Read more...


  LRIS

Coping with the Recession Part Two: Five Inexpensive Outreach Approaches
By Carole Conn

In the last issue of Dialogue, I prepared an article entitled, "Coping with the Recession: How LRIS Programs are Weathering the Economic Storm," and outlined ways in which some LRIS programs have responded to the trends associated with the Great Recession. Read more...

From the Chair...
By John Norwine

I appreciate being given this opportunity to introduce myself. I am John C. Norwine, the new Chair of the ABA's Standing Committee on LRIS. I was a practicing attorney in Cincinnati for many years before becoming the Executive Director of the Cincinnati Bar Association (CBA) in 1995.  Read more...

Consultation Fees:  A Lawyer's and LRIS's friend!
By Ann S. Jacobs

A frequent complaint from panel attorneys to LRIS programs is that the initial consultation fee is too low and does not cover the attorney's time.  We need to help our attorneys appreciate that the consultation is an attorney benefit, and the low cost will help them get clients. Read more...

2012 National Lawyer Referral Workshop

Save the Date! October 24-27, 2012 — Las Vegas, Nevada. Read more...


  LAMP

Legal Issues Facing Military Families with Special Needs Children
By Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth L. Schuchs-Gopaul, USAF

As in the population at large, some military families have a child with a disability—a "special needs child." But unlike other families, military families face circumstances that exacerbate the challenges of raising a special needs child. Read more...

From the Chair...
By David G. Ehrhart, Brig Gen, USAF (Ret.)

Happy New Year! As I look back on 2011, I am so proud of the exceptional efforts by the LAMP Committee and the ABA to support our military personnel and their families. You made a difference! Our mission is to support the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance services to the men and women of our armed forces and their families, and in 2011 we carried out this mission in a variety of ways. Read more...


  SCLAID

Nominations Sought for 2012 Harrison Tweed Award

Named for an outstanding leader in the promotion of free legal services to the poor, the Harrison Tweed award was created in 1956 to recognize the extraordinary achievements of state and local bar associations that develop or significantly expand projects or programs to increase access to civil legal services to poor persons or criminal defense services to indigents. Read more...