Letter from Wisconsin Legal Professionals in Support of Funding the LSC
WEJF is participating in a statewide effort to preserve funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in the federal budget. LSC is the cornerstone of ensuring access to justice, providing financial support to legal aid organizations around the country that serve individuals and communities in need, as well as structure and resources for pro bono volunteers from law firms and legal departments. Two of WEJF’s beneficiary legal aid providers, Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare, will suffer devastating cuts to their operating budgets should Congress follow through on the President’s proposal to eliminate LSC funding.
As part of this effort to preserve LSC funding, we have drafted a letter on behalf of Wisconsin’s legal professionals to our Congressional delegates urging them to reinstate LSC funding. If you are a legal professional in Wisconsin, please consider adding your name to the letter to show your support for these valuable legal aid programs.
To add your signature, please complete and submit the form below by Thursday, August 24.
August 9, 2017
To: Members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation
We are Wisconsin legal professionals of all stripes, from lawyers and paralegals to administrators and court reporters. In one way or another, we have all devoted our careers to an industry that helps people follow our State’s laws and participate in its legal system. And all of us urge you to support funding for the Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”) during this year’s budget process.
We know firsthand that legal services are often necessary for this State’s citizens to meaningfully access its legal system. But those who cannot afford lawyers are often left to make life-altering legal decisions affecting their families, homes, and physical safety without the benefit of legal advice.
That is why LSC funding is so important. LSC funds are used to provide no-cost services to people who need legal assistance on non-criminal matters, but cannot afford to hire their own lawyers. In Wisconsin, the LSC provides almost half the funding for two organizations: Wisconsin Judicare in the northern half of the State, and Legal Action of Wisconsin in the southern half. Together, Judicare and Legal Action provide free civil legal services to well over 10,000 low-income residents a year who need them in every Wisconsin county, big or small.
We are well-positioned to see how these programs benefit our State. They make our legal system better and more efficient, by ensuring that no one is forced to navigate it without a compass. They make our communities stronger, by helping our neighbors stay in their homes and keep their families and themselves safe. And they make our society more prosperous, by helping people maintain the stability they need to thrive as citizens.
These LSC-funded programs make us better, too. Members of the Wisconsin legal community want to serve the public good, but we don’t always know how best to help. Judicare and Legal Action do. They coordinate and promote volunteer opportunities for lawyers and other legal services professionals, channeling charitable spirit into charitable action across the State.
As Wisconsin legal professionals, we know how important it is for our State to have a healthy, accessible legal system. The LSC plays a crucial role in keeping it that way. While we understand that you must make difficult spending decisions in this budget process, we urge you to preserve funding for this critical component of our communities and our system of law.
*Signatures to be added*
To add your signature, complete and submit the form below. Please feel free to forward this information to other legal professionals who may be interested in signing the letter and let us know if you are interested in taking additional action in support of this important issue. Thank you!
(If you are in-house counsel for a Wisconsin business, you may wish to join your colleagues in signing the Corporate Counsel letter in support of the LSC instead).