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March 18, 2019

Statement of ABA President Bob Carlson, Re: Proposed cuts to Legal Services Corp., Public Service Loan Forgiveness

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2019 — Our American justice system depends on equal access for all – not just for those who can afford a lawyer. That’s why there is broad bipartisan support in Congress to provide federal funding of the Legal Services Corporation, which supports civil legal aid offices that serve every congressional district in the country. Without this funding, thousands of veterans, seniors, domestic assault survivors, victims of natural disasters and others who are seeking justice would be effectively barred from the courthouse.

Today, for the third time in three years, the White House has proposed eliminating all federal funding for LSC. We are confident that both Republicans and Democrats will reject this proposal. We urge Congress to increase funding to LSC, to ensure that more individuals can access our justice system.

The American Bar Association also urges Congress to reject the White House budget proposal to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. This program, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007, encourages the best and brightest young people to work in lower-paid public service jobs by offering loan forgiveness after 10 years of public service and 10 years of loan repayments. Without PSLF, many communities could not attract public-spirited young people to serve its citizens, and our government and nonprofit agencies could not attract talented graduates who struggle with overwhelming student loan debts.


With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.