Civil legal aid good for business and poor

President Trump's budget seeks to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation. The impact inevitably will be felt most heavily in rural areas, which are the most costly to serve. But it ultimately will be felt by business owners across Indiana as well.

Op-Ed (Indiana)

Jon Laramore
Indianapolis Business Journal
May 20, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Indiana Legal Services (ILS)


On “Law and Order,” when the police arrest someone and tell him he has the right to an attorney—that applies only in criminal cases. There is no right to a lawyer in civil cases. However, people with critical civil legal problems—domestic violence, child custody, eviction, illegal debt collection, losing medical coverage—need legal help. Civil legal aid provides free lawyers to those unable to afford access to the justice system.

The Legal Services Corp. provides much of the funding for these low-income civil legal services. While the federal budget hasn’t yet been determined beyond September, it is unlikely this important funding program will be scrapped, in part because of the value it provides the business community.