Legal Aid Is Under Assault, But Don’t Count It Out

Support for the provision of free legal representation to the poor is now, and always has been, a bipartisan issue. It should remain that way.


David Lash
Above the Law
March 17, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


Congress soon will address the next budget proposal that specifically calls for the elimination of funding for the Legal Services Corporation. In an article last week in The Hill, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) stated “Even if you wanted to do that, you couldn’t get it through the Senate.” Jim Dyer, who served for 13 years as the Republican staff director for the House Appropriations Committee, warned that “[i]t’s been repeatedly tried, but the reality is it’s the only way that a lot of poor folks, especially rural poor, get any kind of legal help.”

Referring to the OMB proposal to eliminate LSC, he said “It’s almost like they sat down over there and dragged out all of their old wish list, most of which has been discarded, and said to themselves, ‘Let’s put it on the table and see who salutes.’”