At a time when so many are unemployed, when the country’s proportion of poor people is growing, when thousands of low income households face mortgage foreclosure, Congress has cut funding to the national Legal Services Corporation. In a May 23, 2011 news article, I read that according to the president of Legal Services of New Jersey: “Over the past three years, nearly 300 of its 703 attorneys have been let go.... Two out of three people who come to us, we can’t handle."This is truly a dire situation, not just in New Jersey but throughout the country. Over the past thirty years the opponents of Legal Services for the poor have succeeded in reducing its funding to less than half that of 1980 (adjusted for inflation). I have previously discussed the 1996 restrictions which Congress imposed on legal services attorneys-restrictions which continue to impair their ability to assist the poor.
The history of Legal Services is a sad tale; but it is not an isolated trend in the reduction of assistance and services to the nation's common man and woman.
The article quoted above can be found at: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/05/after_budget_cutbacks_legal_se.html