From the press release of the American Bar Association:
Last year, the State Bar of Michigan played an exemplary role in advancing access to justice by successfully advocating for adequate funding for LSC [Legal Services Corporation] during the congressional budget allocation for fiscal year 2012. The State Bar of Michigan advocated for LSC funding through an ongoing grassroots legislative advocacy campaign that included urging congressional members on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to push for increased LSC funding.
The State Bar of Michigan worked to prevent a potentially devastating $104.2 million (25.7 percent) proposed cut to the LSC budget of $404.2 million in fiscal year 2010. While the House of Representatives proposed funding LSC at $300 million, the Senate favored an allocation of $396 million. Ultimately, funding was set at $348 million, thanks in large part to efforts such as the State Bar of Michigan’s.
“The State Bar of Michigan has been at the front, leading on a variety of issues, including the effort to preserve funding for legal services. Their immense contributions on behalf of Michigan lawyers have strengthened our system of justice,” said ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III.
During the presentation of the award Thursday evening at the United States Supreme Court, ABA President Robinson also called attention to the nationally-recognized work of the Judicial Crossroads Task Force.
Other recipients of 2012 ABA Grassroots Advocacy Awards include George Cauthen, Nelson Mullins et al; L. Jonathan Ross, Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC; the Supreme Court of Texas; and Betty Balli Torres, Texas Access to Justice Foundation.
For another firsthand view, see State Bar President Julie Fershtman's account on her blog.
Photo: ABA Day Chair William Hubbard, SBM President-Elect Bruce Courtade, Past SBM President Reginald Turner, SBM President Julie Fershtman, Justice Sotomayor, SBM Director of Governmental Relations Elizabeth Lyon, and ABA President Robinson.