Among the several federal programs to be eliminated under President Trump’s proposed budget is the Legal Services Corp. — although many in the legal community do not agree with this proposal, including general counsel from 185 companies across the country.
Per a Wall Street Journal post, the nonprofit organization was created by Congress in 1974 and distributes grants to more than 130 civil legal-aid groups in the United States. GCs from companies like Google, Inc., American Express, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Walt Disney, Yahoo, General Electric, Starbucks, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and more signed a letter urging members of Congress to continue funding the program, which “creates a level playing field for the many lower and moderate-income families who cannot afford a lawyer.” This, says those backing Mr. Trump’s cut, should be addressed at the local level instead.
The Journal notes that the GCs’ effort is similar to that of 150 of the nation’s largest law firms. Both groups assert that their ability to do pro-bono work is tied to the Legal Services Corp., which supports the legal-aid groups that also act as a referral service.
While there’s a chance that Congress may change Mr. Trump’s proposed cut, corporate counsel’s support is clear.