This is encouraging. Martha Minow, Vice-Chair of the LSC Board (as well as Dean of Harvard Law School), was recently interviewed by Spindle Law blog. Some questions were about LSC. Here is that exchange in full (look particularly at the bottom for a remark about TIG):
Spindle LAW: You are Vice Chair of the Legal Services Corporation. What does LSC do and what are some of the challenges it is currently facing?
Minow: The board members were appointed in 2009, by President Obama. As board members, we walked into a situation of dire challenges for civil legal services across the country. Legal services are facing not just cuts in federal funding, but decreasing IOLTA funds, as well as tight state and local budgets. At the same time, we see an exploding need among people for legal assistance: medical problems, foreclosures, employment and layoffs, violence, and more. State courts are in trouble as well given strained state budgets. Even for a pro se litigant, the question is whether there are clerks at the courthouse who can assist him or her through the process.
I’ve had the opportunity to work in places in the world coming through major political and governmental transitions. One thing I’ve learned through that experience is that if you don’t have a functioning judicial system, and a legal system that’s perceived to be fair and running well, it can really jeopardize the stability of society. Access to justice is fundamental, and obstacles to justice can undermine the people’s trust in the system in ways that threaten democratic stability.
Spindle Law: What is LSC doing to meet some of these challenges?
Minow: LSC is in a planning process as we speak. We’re looking to increase technology innovation grants, and ways for organizations to develop programs that can be duplicated by others, sharing limited resources. A good example is the Veterans’ law web resource developed by Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Maine.