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ADVISORY: Rep. Chaka Fattah and Legal Experts to Discuss the Future of Legal Services for the Needy

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Contact: Katie Peters
Phone: 202.741.6285

What Lies Ahead for Legal Services, Pro Bono, and the Access to Justice?

Washington, D.C. – 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?

Join the discussion on Twitter: #Next4Years


Keynote Speaker:
Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA)

Introductory remarks:
Nancy Lopez, Executive Director, Washington Council of Lawyers
Joy Moses, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress

Featured speakers:
Alan Houseman, Executive Director, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Deborah Leff, Acting Senior Counselor, Access to Justice Initiative, US Deparment of Justice
Jim Sandman, President, Legal Services Corporation
Jo-Ann Wallace, President and CEO, National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)

Moderated by:
Peter Edelman, Chair, DC Access to Justice Commission


February 26, 2013
12:00pm ET – 1:30pm ET

A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.


Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Map & Directions


RSVP to attend this event

For more information, contact Katie Peters at 202.741.6285 or




To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or