New York County Lawyers Association Statement on
The Elimination of Funding for the Legal Services Corporation
New York, New York (03/20/2017) – New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) President Carol A. Sigmond issued this statement today:
The New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) opposes any effort to eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Founded in 1974, LSC has served hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers over the last 42 years. The LSC provides access to legal services for low income New Yorkers for a broad range of legal issues such as consumer/finance, housing, education, income maintenance, employment, health and protection from domestic violence. Providing these legal services has had a major impact on the quality of life of thousands of low income New Yorkers. For example, as a direct consequence of LSC’s involvement, the school attendance for low income children who are living at home has improved dramatically compared to children staying in shelters following eviction in Housing Court. Presently, the State of New York receives $21 million dollars in funding from the Legal Services Corporation with more than half, $11 million dollars, devoted to legal services through the Legal Services NYC program. LSC funds serve the purpose of stabilizing the lives of low income New Yorkers and ensuring that the courts provide justice based on the merits of the action, rather than the social position of the litigant. As such, it is NYCLA’s strong position that this program should not be eliminated.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy. NYCLA supports public funding of civil legal services for those with low incomes. In addition, NYCLA provides pro bono programs in the areas of legal counseling, tax court standby counsel, Central States Registry, Manhattan Claro/consumer debt relief, Project Restore, Veterans Discharge Upgrade, Unemployment Insurance and State Clemency. For more information on NYCLA’s pro bono programs please visit nycla.org