208 General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers from the Largest U.S. Corporations Signed a Letter Urging Congress to Increase Legal Aid Funding

Carl Rauscher    
Director of Communications and Media Relations    

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WASHINGTON—A letter undersigned by 208 general counsel and chief legal officers, many of whom represent the largest corporations in America, urges Congress to strengthen its investment in equal justice by increasing funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).

In their letter, the business leaders draw attention to the current crisis in civil justice, as well as LSC’s unique ability to respond to this crisis. According to the recent Justice Gap report, low-income Americans do not receive any or enough legal help for 92% of their civil legal problems, and currently half of people who seek help from an LSC grantee are turned away. As the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans, LSC provides grants that resource 132 civil legal aid organizations that serve people in every congressional district across the country.

The business leaders show their concern for civil justice for all American families. The letter describes how legal aid plays an important role in creating financial stability for families that “forms the foundation of a resilient middle class and healthy consumers,” and also develops and maintains “the strength of the American workforce on which [their] companies rely, by resolving barriers to employment, occupational licenses, and educational programs.”

Signatories include executives from Comcast, Merck & Co, The Walt Disney Company, U.S. Bancorp, NBCUniversal, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, American Express, McDonald’s, Estée Lauder, Uber, Goldman Sachs, Delta Airlines, Ford Motor Company, AT&T, Hewlett Packard, Hyatt Hotels and Cisco.

Read the complete letter and see the full list of 208 signatories here.

Similar letters in support of increasing funding for LSC have been authored and signed by 93 law school deans, 184 law firm leaders in all 50 states and the presidents of the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators.

On March 9, LSC submitted its FY 2024 budget request to Congress requesting an appropriation of $1.5 billion. LSC’s reasoning for the requested increase is to address the projected rise in demand for civil legal services due to the persistent impact of COVID-19 on low-income Americans, and to allow funding to catch up with the pace of population growth and inflation in the face of the widening justice gap. The White House budget requests $800 million for LSC.

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.