LAAC Executive Director Salena Copeland, along with multiple LAAC members, were featured in the California Bar Journal this month to discuss funding for legal aid and express their concerns over proposed cuts to legal aid at the federal level.
All eleven of California’s current Legal Services Corporation grantees are LAAC members. Together, they are able to serve over 200,000 people annually. But without their funding from the LSC? Those numbers could reduce dramatically.
Despite the threats to programs like the LSC and the Violence Against Women Act, legal aid attorneys remain vigilant, if not hopeful. As Copeland put it; “We took a day to grieve, then we went to work.”
Still, to understand how devastating a loss in funding would be for California legal aid, it is important to realize just how critical are the services legal aid provides. The types of cases and communities legal aid helps are numerous. Our community serves over 250,000 poor and low-income Californians annually, and many more through self-help programs and Know Your Rights workshops. They have stopped thousands of wrongful evictions, defended survivors of domestic violence, sued corrupt businesses for wage theft, and of course, most recently, filed dozens of habeaus corpus petitions at airports across the state to stop the wrongful detention of Muslim immigrants.
Make an impact. Support legal aid by donating directly to the Justice Gap Fund.
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC), Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), Legal Services for Children, Disability Rights California (DRC), Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC), California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA)