Blog Post

Statement in Reference to Proposed Federal Defunding of Legal Services Corporation

Statement by the Executive Committee of the Broward County Bar Association

Re: Proposed Federal Defunding of Legal Services Corporation Also Known as Legal Aid.

The Broward County Bar Association, and its more than 3300 members and 10,000 lawyers living in Broward County Florida, fully support adequate funding for Legal Services Corporation I.e. Legal Aid and its sister organizations. Previous funding cuts have already cut the organization to its core. Further cuts would be unjust and wrong.

It is distressing that the President’s latest budget proposal eliminates funding for Legal Services Corporation who provides vital grants to nonprofit legal organizations that assist low income people. Defunding legal Services Corporation would cause a loss of more than $21 million a year to Florida for our distressed legal aid system, leaving vulnerable children, seniors, veterans, and other Floridians without advocates to protect their legal rights.

The proposed cuts are morally wrong, financially wrong, and ill considered. A recent study commissioned by The Florida Bar Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, found that a sevenfold return on investment occurs when Legal Aid is retained to assist its clients. Defunding Legal Aid will also have a negative effect on access to the courts, forcing poor people to represent themselves, struggling to navigate the system.

Executive Committee of the Broward County Bar Association

Charles A. Morehead III
President
Thomas D. Oates
President-Elect
Edwina V. Kessler
Treasurer
Michael A. Fischler
Secretary
Robin S. Moselle
Past President