39 Attorneys General Sign Letter Calling on Congress to make ‘Maximum Possible’ Investment in LSC

Carl Rauscher       
Director of Communications and Media Relations       

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WASHINGTON—A letter signed by 39 state attorneys general calls on Congress to provide the “maximum possible funding” for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in FY 2025. The National Association of Attorneys General declare in the letter that a robust investment is critical to meeting the needs of low-income Americans across the country who otherwise would not have access to essential civil legal services needed to protect their homes, their safety and their physical and financial health.


Leaders of the bipartisan coalition of attorneys general who co-sponsored the April 26 letter are D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb, Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr, Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell and Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond.


“LSC grantees provide exceptional, localized legal services to over 1.8 million children and adults across the nation,” the letter says. “However, the needs of struggling Americans have for years outpaced LSC’s federal funding, and nearly half of those seeking legal help are turned away each year due to lack of resources.”


The attorneys general note their commitment to equal access to justice and urge Congress to help Americans in need of civil justice by supporting LSC. 


“LSC leverages its federal resources to the fullest every year so that its grantees can provide on-the-ground legal assistance to underserved Americans meeting seemingly insurmountable obstacles, including our country’s veterans, Native American community, individuals with disabilities, agricultural workers, and elders,” they write. 


Another letter in support of increasing funding for LSC was sent to Congress earlier this month from the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) in partnership with the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA). The letters to appropriations committee leaders in the House and Senate, co-authored by CCJ President Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and COSCA President Greg Sattizahn, name the continuing impact of higher basic living costs on low-income Americans as the primary reason that significant investment in civil legal services is needed. 


Their letter draws from research that demonstrates not only how prevalent civil legal problems are for low-income Americans, but also highlights the impact that unrepresented litigants have on courts.


“Research makes clear that, as unrepresented citizens predominate debt collection and family court dockets, there are negative consequences not only for them but also for the effectiveness and efficiency of courts striving to serve these and other segments of the community who need their disputes resolved,” the letter says. “Clearly, in frontline courtrooms, the adversarial foundation of our justice system is all too often losing its effectiveness when citizens are deprived of legal counsel.”


The letters from the attorneys general and the CCJ and COSCA are available to read here

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974. For 50 years, LSC has provided financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 131 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.