LSC Funding Resolution
The Toledo Bar Association has adopted a resolution in support of funding for the Legal Services Corporation. The text of the resolution follows. The official version can be found here.
RESOLUTION SUPPORTING LEGAL AID FUNDING
WHEREAS, a core value of the Toledo Bar Association is that society must provide equal access to justice to all citizens, including to those who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer to represent them in civil matters; and
WHEREAS, civil legal aid programs have long enjoyed bipartisan support, recognizing that adequate funding of such programs is an essential mechanism for ensuring equal justice under the law; and
WHEREAS, approximately one-third of the funding for legal aid programs in Ohio is provided by the federal Legal Services Corporation, which has been targeted for spending cuts; and
WHEREAS, despite modest and uncertain funding, legal aid offices have continued to help those most in need, serving more than 114,000 Ohioans annually, including children, senior citizens, veterans, victims of domestic violence, and individuals impacted by the opiates epidemic across Ohio’s 88 counties; and
WHEREAS, these legal aid offices provide a significant return on investment, effectively mobilizing private attorneys across Ohio, who in 2016, volunteered more than 76,000 hours of free legal services to legal aid eligible clients at a value of more than $10.3 million; and
WHEREAS, the demand for civil legal aid services continues to grow – in fact, even with maximizing current resources and capacity, the number of legal-aid eligible clients served represent only 25 percent of the total need; and
WHEREAS, equal access to justice cannot be achieved without adequate funding of Ohio’s civil legal aid programs now and in the future;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Toledo Bar Association reaffirm its commitment to equal access to justice for all Ohioans, achieved through effective and accessible civil legal aid; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Toledo Bar Association urges all federal, state, and local legislative bodies and governmental agencies to adopt laws and policies that ensure full and adequate funding for civil legal aid in Ohio.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto executed this Resolution on August 22, 2017.
Joan H. Rife
President, Toledo Bar Association