COMMENTARY: Legal Services Corporation marks 45th anniversary

By John G. Levi

The Legal Services Corporation Act was signed 45 years ago July 25, and with it our country took an important step in realizing its commitment to access to justice for all.

Since then, LSC has become the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans.

In more than 840 offices across the country, LSC-funded organizations provide legal assistance-and hope-to some of nation's most vulnerable citizens as they confront threats to their security and well-being from domestic violence, predatory lending, child custody disputes, unlawful eviction and foreclosure, and denial of earned benefits.

With continued bipartisan support, LSC will support high-quality legal services for low-income people to help ensure fairness in our legal system and equal justice for all.

As Justice Antonin Scalia observed at LSC's 40th anniversary commemoration: "The American ideal is not for some justice, it is as the Pledge of Allegiance says, 'liberty and justice for all,' or as the Supreme Court pediment has it, 'equal justice.' I've always thought that's somewhat redundant. Can there be justice if it is not equal? Can there be a just society when some do not have justice? Equality, equal treatment, is perhaps the most fundamental element of justice."


John G. Levi is chairman of the Board of Directors for Legal Services Corporation. LSC is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. It provides funding to 132 independent non-profit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

Published: Mon, Jul 29, 2019