According to a Texas Lawyer post, providers of civil legal assistance predict that, due to congressional budget cuts, they will need to lay off about 8 percent of their staff and narrow their available resources.
The Texas Lawyer adds that three out of every four agencies expect “to serve fewer clients,” and “nearly three out of every four programs will narrow the types of cases they handle.” Even more unsettling for providers of civil legal assistance is the prediction that one of every six programs is expected to close offices in 2012.
In addition to these budget cuts, the July and August issue of The American Lawyer reported that pro bono hours among large firm lawyers have continued to decline.
These new cuts come at a bad time for civil legal services because due to high unemployment rates, many more people require their services. Additionally, providers are now at the mercy of a partisan game of politics. While the Republicans in the House expect to pass a bill that would cut another 6 percent from provider’s currently reduced budget, Senate democrats and President Obama have created a plan to return the LSC budget to 2011 levels.