Commentary: The Dismantling of Rural Legal Aid

By Christopher Chavis


While support for civil legal aid attorneys was bipartisan before Reagan’s time as President, it has become fiercely partisan since his election in 1980. According to the Center for Law and Social Policy, The Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) funding (when adjusted for inflation) peaked in 1980, one year before Reagan took office as President. Reagan’s presidency weakened the LSC and introduced opposition to civil legal aid into the Republican mainstream. Over fifty years later, we still feel the results of Reagan’s actions.

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