February 16, 2011; Source: The Dallas Morning News | Legal services for the poor are in jeopardy all over the country as nearly every major funding source becomes threatened. NPQ reported in a Newswire last week that a $75 million cut to the Legal Services Corporation now being proposed would impact every state’s services, but the problems go much further and get much bigger when you look at funding locally.
The situation in Texas is a case in point. The Interest on Lawyers Trust Fund Accounts or IOLTA funds, that in 2007 provided $20 million in funding, is only expected to produce $5 million this year, largely due to the dismal housing market. The same downturn, of course increased the number of people qualifying for such aid by 600,000 and intensified the problems for which they might need legal counsel. And so the Texas Legislature last year voted to contribute $20 million, but this year, with the economy still in doubt, it is not planning a repeat.
As a result advoc