Congressional Access to Legal Aid Caucus Sponsors Virtual Briefing on COVID-19 Challenges

March 24, 2021

WASHINGTON – Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) and Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5), the new co-chairs of the Congressional Access to Legal Aid Caucus, will sponsor a virtual Legal Services Corporation (LSC) briefing on Thursday, March 25, from 1-2 p.m. EDT. The briefing will examine the challenges COVID-19 poses for legal services organizations and their low-income clients. 

The need for legal aid has spiked as the pandemic disrupts the lives and financial security of people across the country. Housing is a particular concern. LSC estimated in August that more than 5.13 million households who qualify for LSC-funded services are at risk of eviction. 

LSC’s July survey of LSC-funded legal aid organizations found that its grantees were already struggling with growing demand for their services. Ninety-four percent of the organizations surveyed said that they were seeing clients who were newly eligible for LSC-funded legal aid due to the pandemic. This surge in demand is happening at the same time as these organizations are struggling with declines in state and local funding.

Reps. Scanlon and Fitzpatrick will join LSC Board Chair John G. Levi in providing opening remarks about the ongoing crisis and legal aid’s role in addressing it. Executive directors of LSC-funded legal services organizations will next discuss how the pandemic is affecting their organizations and clients. The panelists include Colleen Cotter, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland; Rhodia Thomas, MidPenn Legal Services; and Adrienne Worthy, Legal Aid of West Virginia. LSC President Ronald S. Flagg will moderate the discussion.

The briefing will be livestreamed via Facebook Live. To view it, visit LSC’s Facebook page or follow the conversation on Twitter at #LSCbriefing.

Watch a short video of Congressional Access to Legal Aid Caucus leaders discussing LSC’s importance. 

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.