WHEREAS, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1974, with bipartisan support, to help provide equal access to justice under the law for all Americans;

WHEREAS, the LSC was designed to operate as an independent corporation, outside government control, in order to protect it against political interference, and is headed by a bipartisan Board of Directors appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate;

WHEREAS, the LSC provides civil legal assistance to those who otherwise would be unable to obtain a lawyer's help;

WHEREAS, the LSC currently provides funds to 323 programs operating over 900 neighborhood law offices, serving more than 1.7 million clients and benefitting approximately 5 million individuals annually, the majority of which are children living in poverty;

WHEREAS, the LSC operates at a high level of efficiency, with 97% of all LSC funds being expended in services to clients;

WHEREAS, the poor are served today by one-third fewer legal services attorneys than were available to them in 1980, yet more people live in poverty in the United States today than at any time in the past 30 years, and, in 1993, one million additional Americans slipped below the poverty line;

WHEREAS, the $415 million provided by Congress for the LSC in FY1995 represents less than half of what would be necessary to accomplish the goal of providing minimum access to justice - defined as two attorneys for every 10,000 poor people, as compared to one attorney for every 521 of the general population - that the LSC achieved briefly in 1981;

WHEREAS, the future of the Legal Services Corporation has never been more uncertain, and it is anticipated that in the coming weeks, efforts will be mounted in Congress to both reduce or eliminate altogether the current year's LSC funding and to sharply cut or eliminate funding for FYl996;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports reauthorization of the LSC;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports restoration of funding for the LSC at least to a level comparable (adjusting for inflation and the demographics of poverty) to that in 1980;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association urges Congress to restore the vital capacity of the LSC and the programs it funds, and provide a framework so that legal services programs nationally are able to continue to undertake the critical work needed to help ensure a fair and just society and to improve the lives of all Americans;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association hereby authorizes that Chancellor and whomever he or she may delegate to take whatever actions are necessary and appropriate to implement this resolution.

ADOPTED: February 23, 1995