Statement of American Bar Association President Laurel Bellows Re: Legal Services Corporation Funding, Need For Legal Aid
WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 16, 2012 – News from the Legal Services Corporation that local legal aid providers are expected to lose hundreds of lawyers due to lack of funding could not come at a worse time. Pro bono and legal aid attorneys are desperately needed for struggling American families facing foreclosure or trying to recover from drought disasters in our heartland. Critical but woefully inadequate federal appropriations for the Legal Services Corporation and diminishing returns on Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts combined with surging demand for free civil legal advice put an untenable strain on aid providers.
The American Bar Association is dedicated to expanding funding for the Legal Services Corporation and preserving access to justice for the most vulnerable members of our community — including disabled veterans, the elderly and victims of human trafficking. The doors of our nation’s courtrooms are held open by lawyers who selflessly work at legal aid centers and those who volunteer their expertise to the poor in their communities; we owe them our gratitude and support.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization 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.
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Please click here for a biography and photo of Laurel G. Bellows, president of the American Bar Association.