Federal leaders need to know how costly it would be to cut legal aid

Eliminating LSC would have negative consequences for our nation’s bottom line.

Letter to Editor (Massachusetts)

Carol A. Starkey
Boston Globe
June 13, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Boston Bar Association


Simply put, investing in civil legal aid programs pays dividends by avoiding back-end costs. The Boston Bar Association’s report “Investing in Justice” showed that taking a preventive approach to legal issues would help families, save government funds, and ensure fairness in our justice system.

As the chief justice pointed out, many legal aid clients are facing eviction and foreclosure. The Boston Bar’s report concluded that for every dollar spent on civil legal aid in housing cases, the government stands to save $2.69 on the costs of other public services, such as emergency shelter, health care, foster care, and law enforcement. This data has convinced Massachusetts legislators to give meaningful increases to legal aid year over year.