For Immediate Release
March 16, 2017
WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) strongly opposes the elimination of federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) as detailed in President Trump’s proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget. The LSC was formed with the critical mission of ensuring that all citizens have equal access to civil legal services and the justice system — regardless of their ability to pay for counsel.
“We call on Congress to reject this proposal and increase funding for the Legal Services Corporation,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “As Congress has recognized in a bipartisan manner, the LSC plays a critical role in ensuring access to justice for individuals of all backgrounds, regards of their ability to pay. Asian Pacific American attorneys work for legal aid programs funded by the LSC and engage in pro bono community assistance programs that have their roots in the LSC. Most significantly, the elimination of funding means that the most vulnerable in our country would not receive critical legal assistance.”
Each year, LSC assists 1.9 million families across the country in every state in our nation. Clients of legal services organizations represent all ethnicities and ages, including those who are limited English proficient, immigrants, the working poor, veterans, people facing foreclosure or evictions, families with children, farmers, people with disabilities, domestic violence victims, natural disaster victims, and the elderly. Without the strong support of civil legal aid, these individuals would be faced with the prospect of appearing in court alone and representing themselves, without the assistance of counsel.
NAPABA stands with other bar associations (including the American Bar Association), over 150 major law firms, and countless advocates who have spoken out on the importance of adequately funding the LSC. NAPABA strongly supports the LSC and efforts to provide legal assistance to vulnerable populations.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.
NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.