The Office of Management and Budget released its proposed budget this week, in which they propose the elimination of the Legal Services Corporation.
The LSC is the closest thing we have in the U.S. of a public fund to support legal help for people in dire need — whether it’s to protect against domestic violence, find relief after a natural disaster, or get justice when facing problems with housing, employment, family, or debt.
The LSC has also recently blossomed into an agent for innovation in legal services, through its TIG (Technology Innovation Grant) program. The TIG program doesn’t just give money to legal help groups who are creating more efficient, tech-powered, user-friendly services. It also is a central network to spur on more innovative thinking and scale up projects from one jurisdiction to another.
LSC TIG is an excellent example of how a little government money can be used to spur a new ecosystem of innovation, tech-lawyer collaborations, and empirical evaluation of what works and doesn’t.
Compared to other federal programs, the current funding for LSC is already miniscule. It costs the average taxpayer $1.55 per year. To cut this support, and this organization, will be devastating for people seeking legal help, as well as for innovation in making the legal system more efficient.
Please reach out to your Congresspeople, to inform them of your support for the LSC. Demand that the House Appropriations (members here) and Senate Appropriations Committees (members here) refuse to kill the LSC.
Use the hashtag #LSCmatters and #Justiceforall. Here are some images I made that you should feel free to use as you like.