LSC Chair John G. Levi’s 2024 Law Day Statement

Carl Rauscher      
Director of Communications and Media Relations      

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Every year on May 1, Law Day focuses our nation’s attention on the role of law in creating and preserving a just and democratic society.

This year’s theme, “Voices of Democracy,” reminds us that the promise of equal justice has been a foundation of our democracy since its founding. 

Thomas Jefferson called establishing justice “the most sacred of the duties of a government,” George Washington described it as “the firmest pillar of good government” and the very first sentence of the Constitution's preamble begins: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice….”

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which is observing its 50th anniversary this year, recognizes that the commitment to equal justice is vital to our democracy and this year has launched an outreach campaign, “Protecting the Promise.” 

For five decades, legal aid lawyers supported by LSC in every congressional district in every state have been working tirelessly to make the promise of equal access justice a lived reality for all Americans. This vital mission, however, has been hampered by significantly expanding need and chronically inadequate resources, and the promise of equal justice unfortunately remains unfulfilled for far too many of our most vulnerable citizens.

This poses a threat to the rule of law and ultimately our democracy, as Attorney General Merrick Garland observed just a few weeks ago at LSC’s 50th anniversary commemoration in Washington, D.C.: 

“We gather at a time when protecting the rule of law is as urgent as it has ever been. Public faith in the rule of law depends in no small part on public faith that our system will ensure equal justice under law—and that faith in turn depends on there being equal access to justice.”

Equal access to justice is not only at the heart of this year’s Law Day theme, it is also central to the idea of Law Day itself.

In his inaugural 1958 proclamation designating May 1 as Law Day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower called on Americans to "vigilantly guard the great heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under law which our forefathers bequeathed to us."

The strongest “voice of democracy” is the one insisting on equal access to justice for all. On this Law Day, join the chorus calling on America to protect this promise and live up to this core value.

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.