News and Information
June 02, 2011

LSCV Needs Support for Civil Representation of the Poor

To Virginia State Bar Members:

Your dues statements, which were mailed on May 26, 2011, include a request for a voluntary contribution to the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia (LSCV), which supports ten legal aid programs that help low-income persons in all pockets of the state.

The economy has taken a heavy toll on legal services funding from governments, the private sector, and Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts.

IOLTA funding in particular “is still at rock bottom,” said Mark D. Braley, executive director of LSCV. The interest will contribute only a projected $700,000 to the corporation’s budget this year, compared to $4.6 million in 2007.

The federal government recently cut 5 percent from legal services budgets nationally, and more cuts are being discussed. Also, LSCV’s general revenue appropriation was cut 5 percent as part of across-the-board cuts implemented by the General Assembly in the 2010 budget, Braley said.

Meanwhile, more people are in need of legal services they can’t afford to pay for. In the recent past, legal aid programs had enough resources to serve half of eligible applicants.

Now, “for every one we accept, we turn away two,” Braley said.

Please consider a donation.

Updated: Jun 20, 2011