by Eve Runyon
March 31, 2017
The White House Office of Management and Budget on March 16 released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. The budget seeks to eliminate federal funding for the Legal Services Corp.—the largest funder of civil legal services in the United States. This proposal is in stark contrast to the bi-partisan support LSC has received throughout its 42-year history. Leaders on both sides of the aisle have long recognized that LSC and the programs it supports are vital to a well-functioning society.
Leaders in the business and legal community have come together in response to show their support and encourage Congress to fully fund civil legal services. On March 28, some 187 general counsel and chief legal officers from corporations across the United States joined a letter, which continues to garner support and additional signatories, in support of funding LSC at $450 million for the next fiscal year. This amount would be consistent with funding received in 2010, adjusted for inflation. On March 9, leaders from more than 150 major law firms, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, lent their names in support of continued LSC funding. Pro Bono Institute is encouraged by this outpouring of support.