Category Archives: LSC

Supporting LSC and equal justice under law

Today, the President released his budget framework, including a proposal to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, the largest single national funding source for free civil legal assistance to low income Americans. The Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission strongly urges Congress to continue its longstanding bipartisan support of LSC and reject this budget proposal. Eliminating LSC would undercut America’s promise of equal justice for all and harm our state justice system.

In Wisconsin, LSC provided $5.2 million in 2016 to two organizations, Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare, allowing them to provide free legal information, advice, and representation on civil matters to over 9,000 low income Wisconsin residents in cities, towns, and villages across Wisconsin. Together, these two organizations help people who have basic civil legal problems with their housing, children, safety, health care, and incomes.

Access to civil legal aid ensures fairness for all in the justice system, without regard to how much money you have. LSC funding in Wisconsin helps remove barriers to employment, obtain child support orders, prevent homelessness, and protect abuse victims. Hundreds of Wisconsin attorneys donate over $1 million of their time each year by volunteering through Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare. However, these organizations depend on LSC funding to provide volunteer training and support. Without the critical legal help that LSC funds, more people will be forced to go it alone in our legal system, leading to higher costs, clogged dockets, and further injustice.

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50 years of service at Wisconsin Judicare

“I felt hopeless until they stepped in.” “This service kept me from becoming homeless and bankrupt.” By Beth Richlen, Development Director, Wisconsin Judicare For 50 years, Wisconsin Judicare has provided legal services to individuals like these in northern Wisconsin. From Stevens Point to Superior, from Hudson to Marinette, and everywhere in between, the low-income residentsContinue Reading

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The return on investing in access to justice

This story in the National Law Journal is just the latest example of how legal services programs and even legal services funding organizations are emphasizing the social “return on investment” that is generated by the work that they do. From the article: Page 14 of Legal Services Corp.’s proposed 2014 budget request to Congress bearsContinue Reading

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Congress votes to widen the justice gap: 2012 LSC funding cut

According to the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, last night House and Senate conferees agreed to a spending package that would fund the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) at $348,000,000 for FY 2012. This figure represents a reduction in overall funding for LSC of $56,190,000, or 13.9 percent. The entire cut comes from funding for basic field programs, amounting to 14.8 percent of the critical funding used by LSC grantees to provide access to justice in the United States. What does this mean for Wisconsin? The short answer is that Wisconsin will lose over $700,000 in federal funding that would have helped thousands of vulnerable Wisconsin residents to resolve their legal issues affecting basic human needs for shelter, safety, food and employment. Life is is about to become a little bit tougher for the poor, the elderly, the disabled and others facing unlawful evictions, lending abuses, domestic violence or barriers to employment.Continue Reading

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Congress prepares to cut LSC funding (again)

In the midst of the greatest economic meltdown in a generation, Congress is poised to cut 2012 funding for the federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the largest single funding source for civil legal services to the poor. LSC funds a national network of nonprofit law offices who leverage their staff and volunteers along with otherContinue ReadingContinue Reading

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Budget deal cuts LSC funding

The federal Legal Services Corporation reported today that the recent budget deal between the White House and Congress includes a cut of $15.8 million (3.8%) in funding for LSC in the current fiscal year. Wisconsin’s two LSC grantees, Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare would lose collectively lose approximately $189,00 in funding if theContinue Reading

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