1 In general, this paper uses the term “legal aid” to refer to those programs that provided legal assistance to the poor prior to the advent of federal funding in the mid-1960s. In describing the programs that were established after federal funding was instituted in 1965, we generally use the term “legal services.” “Civil legal assistance” is a generic term used to identify efforts to provide legal assistance to members of the low-income community and is used throughout the paper interchangeably with the other two terms.
2 In 1950, Britain implemented its Legal Aid and Advice Scheme, marking the first national publicly funded legal assistance program in Anglo-American jurisprudence.
3 Susan E. Lawrence, The Poor in Court: The Legal Service Program and Supreme Court Decision, 98 Making (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).
4 The three later became key leaders of the American Bar Association: Greco served as the president of the Association for 2005-2006; Whitehurst was chair of the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID); and Ross was chair both of SCLAID and of the Pro Bono Committee.
5 In 2009 Congress eliminated the restriction on seeking attorneys’ fees.
6 Until March 2003, there remained a serious question about whether the IOLTA program could survive under its current structure. Opponents of legal services brought several lawsuits challenging the legality of the IOLTA program, charging that it constituted an unconstitutional “taking” of private property. However, in Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington, 123 S. Ct. 1406 (March 26, 2003), in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the IOLTA program is constitutional under the “takings clause” of the Constitution.
7 See: http://www.lsc.gov/sites/default/files/LSC/lscgov4/LSC_Strategic_Plan_2012-2016–Adopted_Oct_2012.pdf.
8 Information is available from the Pro Bono Institute. See www.probonoinst.org.
10 http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/probono_public_service/ls_p b_Supporting_Justice_III_final.authcheckdam.pdf .
11 See http://www.lsc.gov/sites/default/files/LSC/lscgov4/PBTF_%20Report_FINAL.pdf.
12 The Importance of Representation in Eviction Cases and Homeless Prevention issued by the Boston Bar Association Task Force on the Civil Rights to Counsel.