Standing Committee on Legal Aid & Indigent DefendantsDivision for Legal Services
Legal Services Now
Joint bulletin produced by the Division for Bar Services and the Division for Legal Services

September 26, 2006 - Issue #53

Legal Services Now Homepage

Funding News
Arrow Image  State Funding Update: Another Successful Legislative Session for Legal Services Programs - As of September 20th, advocates from 16 states have reported good news about funding from their state legislatures. The total increase reported to date nationwide is almost $13,000,000, an 8% increase from last year. Mississippi received its first state funding ever, bringing the number of states without state funding down to six. New Mexico obtained a new appropriation, and Nebraska a new charge on criminal fines. Florida regained its appropriation that had been lost in the 2005 session. The majority of the new money comes from increases in appropriations in California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington. Finally, Connecticut, Maine, New York and Pennsylvania will receive increased funds based on the phase in of legislation passed in previous sessions. For more information, contact , Director, ABA Project to Expand Resources for Legal Services at 303-329-8091.
Arrow Image  IOLTA Comparability Rules Adopted in Connecticut and Massachusetts - Effective September 1, 2006, in Connecticut and prior to January 1, 2007, in Massachusetts, lawyers will be required to place their IOLTA accounts only in financial institutions that pay those accounts the highest interest rate or dividend generally available at that institution to its other customers when IOLTA accounts meet the same minimum balance or other qualifications. Known as "comparability," this IOLTA revenue enhancement strategy has proven to be highly effective in a number of other states including Florida, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio. For more information about this and other strategies for enhancing IOLTA income, contact , Counsel, ABA Commission on IOLTA, at 312-988-5771.
Pro Bono News
Arrow Image  ABA House of Delegates Approves Pro Bono Recommendations - At the recent 2006 ABA Annual Meeting, the ABA House of Delegates adopted three policy strategies recommended by the Commission on the Renaissance of Idealism in the Legal Profession focused on pro bono guidance for lawyers, law schools, judges and courts. More information about these reports, and how you can implement their recommendations, can be found in the final report of the Commission on the Renaissance of Idealism in the Legal Profession located at www.abanet.org/renaissance or by contacting , Committee Counsel, ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, at 312-988-5768.
Arrow Image  Utah Bar Encourages Pro Bono Service - Following the recommendations on expanding pro bono contained in the ABA Center for Pro Bono Peer Consulting Team Report, the Utah State Bar will establish the Utah Access to Justice Council. Among the Council's charges is the promotion of pro bono among Utah's 7,000 lawyers, less than a third of whom currently report that they perform at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services annually as encouraged in Utah Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1. For more information, contact , Director of Communications, Utah State Bar, at 801-297-7027.
Hot on the Web
Arrow Image  ABA Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid - Adopted by the ABA House of Delegates in August 2006, these standards provide guidance to legal aid programs on a wide range of issues including program governance, effectiveness, relations with clients, internal systems and quality assurance. In addition, they address issues faced by legal aid practitioners (lawyers and other staff who are authorized to provide services directly to clients) regarding relations with clients and legal practice. To review the Civil Legal Aid Standards, visit www.abalegalservices.org/sclaid. For more information, contact , Counsel, ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, at 312-988-5747.
Arrow Image  The E-Guide to Public Service at America's Law Schools - This new interactive online directory contains information about public interest programs and curricula at 117 participating law schools within the United States. Launched by Equal Justice Works and Newsweek.com, it is a resource for law school applicants, law students, attorneys, professors and others seeking a broad range of free information about public interest programs and curricula at law schools. For more information and to visit the E-Guide, see ejw.newsweek.com.
Washington Update

At press time, Congress was scheduled to recess on or about September 29 to campaign for the November elections, without completing most appropriations bills for FY 2007.The bill that funds the Legal Services Corporation was among those not enacted. The House of Representatives in June had approved $338 million for LSC; the Senate Appropriations Committee in July had approved $358 million. The full Senate will likely never consider this individual bill. Instead, Congress will return in mid-November and will likely include many appropriations bill in one omnibus measure. In the meantime, a series of Continuing Resolutions will keep the government running. For more information, contact , ABA Director of Grassroots Operations/Legislative Counsel at 202-662-1764.

For more information about specific items, contact the contact person listed for that item. To contribute items to future issues of LEGAL SERVICES NOW, or for general information about this bulletin, contact at 312-988-5771,or fax 312-988-5483.
Updated: 9/28/2006

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