Press Release: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

AG Healey Leads National, Bipartisan Call to Fund the Legal Services Corporation

39 State Attorneys General Ask Congress to Support Access to Legal Services for Millions of Americans


BOSTON — Highlighting the need to support legal services for the country’s most vulnerable populations, Attorney General Maura Healey and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman today led a bipartisan coalition of 39 state attorneys general asking the U.S. House and U.S. Senate Committees on Appropriations to fund the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in the Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

“The state attorneys general know that legal services help our veterans access healthcare, protect survivors of domestic violence, support communities recovering from natural disasters and keep seniors in their homes,” said AG Healey. “That’s why we’ve come together from all across the country and across the political spectrum to support the Legal Services Corporation and its good work in our states.”

LSC is a nonprofit legal services organization established by Congress in 1974 to promote equal access to justice for all Americans by funding independent nonprofit legal aid programs across the county. LSC provides millions of dollars in funding to legal aid organizations that serve and support low-income individuals, veterans and military families, seniors, survivors of domestic violence, victims of natural disasters and disabled individuals. In return, these funds save millions by keeping families safe, healthy and in their homes. 

LSC distributes more than 90 percent of its funding to 133 independent nonprofit legal aid programs with more than 800 offices. It is headed by a bipartisan board of directors whose 11 members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

In Massachusetts, LSC funds Community Legal Aid in Worcester, Northeast Legal Aid in Lawrence, South Coastal Counties Legal Services in Fall River, and the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) of the Boston Bar Association in Boston. The AG’s Office partners with these organizations to assist families and communities to address economic challenges and protect their rights. The AG’s Office has partnered with legal aid organizations to provide wage theft clinics in Boston since 2016, and recently expanded those clinics to Springfield and New Bedford. The office also works with these organizations to provide debt collection clinics in Boston district courts.    

Massachusetts and Colorado co-sponsored today’s letter, joined by Alaska, American Samoa, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, N. Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.