White House Forums

Five White House forums were held between 2012 and 2017 to highlight the work and importance of civil legal aid. At the first forum, President Barack Obama promised legal aid supporters that his administration would be a “fierce defender and advocate on your behalf.” The President stressed the role of legal aid attorneys in ensuring that everyone in America is playing by the same rules in tough, economic times. He congratulated those throughout the legal aid community who “helped to answer the call” by ensuring that more people are able to stay in their homes, avoid domestic violence, and have access in general to the nation’s system of justice. In addition, Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States and Harold Koh, U.S. Department of State Legal Advisor spoke. The forum also included a panel of six project directors from LSC-funded programs and a panel of judges and officials on the importance of civil legal aid.

The second forum featured remarks from: Vice President Joseph Biden; Attorney General Eric Holder; Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett; Deputy Counselor to the President Steve Croley; and LSC Board Chair John Levi. The forum featured two panels:one on pro bono’s role and the other on technology’s role in promoting access to justice. Similar formats continued for the next three forums.