One of the core responsibilities of our government is to ensure equal access to justice. People often forget that the Constitution opens with a call to "establish justice" before mentioning other core responsibilities of our democracy, and the Pledge of Allegiance's familiar refrain of "liberty and justice for all" underscores the importance of this vital principle. However, the promise of justice for all is an empty one without access to legal assistance, and providing adequate funding for legal aid for people in need is an essential responsibility of government at all levels.
An important part of our responsibility as lawyers is to use our influence to ensure that government fulfills this responsibility. If we as a legal community do not take the lead in making this case, who will? For this reason, advocating for adequate funding for legal aid at all levels is a central part of the CBF's advocacy efforts.
Working with the CBA and many other partner organizations, the CBF's advocacy efforts focus on all levels of government doing their part in providing adequate funding for legal aid. At the federal level, these efforts center on:
At the state and local level, our advocacy efforts focus on: