Trump’s first budget would end program to help low-income Americans get lawyers

A small, efficient, 40-year-old program to provide legal aid to middle- and low-income clients in civil proceedings is facing the budget ax, according to a New York Times report on the early stages of the Trump administration’s internal budget planning.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Alan Pyke
February 20, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


The cut would hardly lighten taxpayers’ burden — even at $375 million last year, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was roughly one one-hundredth of one percent of total federal spending — but would make life significantly harder for people who can’t afford to hire a fancy lawyer with their own money.

About 1.9 million Americans turned to lawyers paid through the LSC’s grant programs in 2014, according to the organization’s website.

The LSC is a civil-court legal aid program. The lawyer hours its funds deliver to people of modest means are fundamentally different from the work of criminal legal aid programs, which must uphold every American’s right to representation when they are accused of law-breaking.