The ABA supports strong federal funding for LSC.
- Demand is up about 25% over the past decade, but funding is down 17.7% since 2010.
- 50-80% of clients are turned away due to a lack of resources.
- Pro bono work is nowhere near a substitute for federal legal aid funding.
- Numerous cost-benefit analyses demonstrate LSC’ valuable return on the federal investment.
- LSC effectively leverages federal appropriations, obtaining 300% as much from nonfederal sources.
- The federal government is instituted to secure people's rights under federal law, on which legal aid attorneys work every day. Polling shows over 80% of people are convinced that LSC grantees' self-help centers and legal services assistance level the playing field and protect the vulnerable by enabling equal access to the justice system. Federal funding must not be withheld. States and localities should not be burdened with an unfunded mandate for equal justice.
- Legal aid attorneys help constituents secure their federal rights, taking some difficult cases off the plates of Congressional caseworkers--a role complementary to and often more complex than the casework typically performed by 2 or 3 staffers in each Congressional office.
The ABA supports a strong, federally funded, community controlled program to provide legal aid for the poor. The ABA favors substantial private bar involvement in the delivery of legal services and actively encourages pro bono participation by individual attorneys, law firms, and corporate general counsels.