Legal services providers play a critical role in helping a diversity of anti-poverty programs to fulfill their missions. Throughout the country, attorneys assist families to secure housing, food, family stability, and education, to promote safety for victims of domestic violence, to access income supports (SSI and TANF), and to manage other basic life necessities. Unfortunately, legal services programs are facing serious and unique challenges related to funding and other concerns. Given the widespread implications for human needs, it is important to focus on what lies ahead for legal services, pro bono, and the access to justice.
Our panelists will explore what attorneys are currently doing to help the poor and the future of free legal services for the needy. Will pro bono initiatives help close the justice gap? What is the likelihood of continued state and federal funding for legal services? How severe will the impact of potential budget cuts be? How will people who cannot afford a lawyer find their way through the legal system?