WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) received the American Bar Association’s Justice Award this week for his commitment to the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) – a federally-supported non-profit that provides legal aid to low income Americans. During the 2017 and 2018 budget cycles, Fitzpatrick led the bipartisan push to ensure funding for the critical program.
Fitzpatrick received this award alongside Senators John Cornyn and Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“While there is no doubt that Washington needs to regain control of federal spending and cut wasteful expenditures, the Legal Services Corporation is no place to start,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “The civil legal aid programs provided by Legal Services Corporation are an essential investment that not only reduces government spending but also works for countless Americans across the country – including in Pennsylvania. We should seek to balance the budget, but not by curtailing access to justice and civil legal aid. Funding to LSC should not be eliminated.”
LSC is the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans in the nation. Established in 1974, LSC operates as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that promotes equal access to justice and provides grants for high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. It is headed by a bipartisan board of directors whose 11 members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
“The Pennsylvania Bar Association is committed ‘to see that no one, on account of poverty, is denied his or her legal rights.’ Consequently, we support Legal Services Corporation federal funding,” said Sharon R. López, president, Pennsylvania Bar Association. “Today we acknowledge a true champion for Legal Services Corporation. During some dark days when its funding was at risk, Congressman Fitzpatrick was a leader of a bipartisan effort to protect the Legal Services Corporation and the good work it does for the poor. We applaud Congressman Fitzpatrick for demonstrating sound leadership and congratulate him on well-deserved recognition from the ABA Standing Committee on Governmental Affairs.”
Founded in 1878, the American Bar Association is one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organizations, with over 400,000 members and more than 3,500 entities. It is committed to improving the legal profession, eliminating bias and enhancing diversity, and advancing the rule of law throughout the United States and around the world. Membership is open to lawyers, law students, and others interested in the law and the legal profession.