On the brink of ruin, a rescue
Liz Morgan Hitt faced cancer and financial disaster after her divorce. That’s when her legal aid lawyer came to the rescue. Ryan Poe-Gavlinski, a staff attorney at Legal Aid of West Virginia, won alimony payments that helped her client launch a successful business selling handbags.
NLJ VIDEO A Legal Aid Story: Martinsburg, W. Va. Legal Aid of West Virginia lawyers discuss Liz Morgan Hitt’s case and the challenges of serving clients in a widespread rural community.
Cuts to legal services funding would hobble a program that helps Spanish-speakers in rural Georgia defend their rights.
Abuse victim stands up for her rights
Pine Tree Legal Assistance of Maine helped a South Portland mother of three with orders of protection and divorce.
Efforts to keep people in their homes are at risk in a sprawling region of Southern California that’s been hit hard by the mortgage meltdown.
Clary Fitzpatrick was raising four grandchildren, caring for her bedridden daughter and facing eviction. Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida helped Fitzpatrick keep her apartment and found public assistance for her daughter, too.
In rural Missouri, two lawyers, vast spaces
Covering a swath of 2,200 miles in an area where the poverty rate is almost twice the national average, the two-lawyer outpost of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri handled 600 cases in 2010.
Legal Services Corp. cuts would be just one more blow after declines in IOLTA and state financing.
Already down one office, Kentucky legal assistance program fears that proposed cuts would be ‘devastating.’
When an emergency surgery upended the lives of Constance Chandler and her five children, she turned to Bay Area Legal Aid.
The commonwealth is the largest recipient of U.S. support, but nearly half its residents qualify for legal assistance.
What makes the Legal Services Corp. a perennial target for budget cutters, sought primarily by conservative lawmakers and groups despite tough congressional restrictions on its activities? Part is purely political: an ongoing effort on the right to defund or weaken allegedly left-leaning institutions. And, perhaps most critically, fundamental disagreement continues over the LSC’s mission.
Legal Service Corp.’s most important allies are House Democrats, and as the minority in their chamber they have effectively been cut out of negotiations.
The American Bar Association is mounting a major lobbying drive in the defense of legal aid for the poor.