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Director Rachel Rossi Delivers Remarks at the Legal Services Corporation’s 50th Anniversary Gala


Washington, DC
United States

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Judge Livingston for that introduction. 

Thank you President Ron Flagg and Board Chairman John Levi for your partnership and leadership. Thank you to the many access to justice leaders in the room for your dedication and service.

And congratulations to the Legal Services Corporation — 50 years fighting to realize the ideal of equal access to justice for all.  It’s an honor to join you today, as LSC’s mission, and the mission of the Office for Access to Justice are closely aligned.

That mission, equal access to justice for all, is critical — as the underpinning and core promise of our American Justice system. We believe justice belongs to everyone. If access to it depends on income, identity, where you live, or what language you use — we simply cannot call it justice.

And as we continue in pursuit of this ideal, it has become clearer than ever that we must use all the tools at our disposal. This is what LSC has demonstrated for 50 years, in funding legal aid, alternative access to counsel models like community justice workers, technology innovations, pro bono work and more.

And it is how we pursue our work at the Office for Access to Justice. We are supporting access to legal help, including through partnerships with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to improve access to counsel in federal pretrial facilities and to provide civil legal assistance to those incarcerated post-conviction, to reduce recidivism and promote successful reentry.

But we are also simplifying forms and processes, promoting efforts to reduce economic burdens like fines and fees and lifting up innovative models that empower community and that bring justice to the people, like community justice workers, rural justice buses, medical legal partnerships and more.

None of our progress, could have been done without the unwavering commitment of my boss, the Attorney General of the United States. The office’s growth and modernization, and our development of innovative initiatives are because of his support, leadership and vision.

One of his early actions upon being sworn is as Attorney General was to reinvigorate the Office for Access to Justice.

And since then, he’s demonstrated the highest level of commitment and support for the mission of access to justice for all, with a realization of the urgency of this work.

Tonight, it is my distinct honor to introduce him. I now welcome to deliver remarks, the 86th Attorney General of the United States, Merrick B. Garland.

Access to Justice
Updated April 9, 2024