The OPIA Blog

As recession pressures mount, legal aid orgs feel the pinch

As economic pressures mount, more and more legal aid organizations are being forced to do more with less. In this short article and video, NY1 documents dwindling funds and the severe legal cases that The Legal Society of New York faces.

While much of the funding for Legal Aid comes from federal funds, there is a significant amount that comes from private sources and what is called the “interest on Lawyer Account Fund.” This fund is a pool of private funds from attorneys across the state who put money into it during certain “business transactions.” The interest paid on the account contributes to the Legal Aid Society and other organizations like it across NY state.

This fund is generating a significantly smaller portion than in years past. Legal Aid and other organizations like it are forced to battle over the money that still remains but continue to represent a low income client base that is growing.