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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 27, 1999




The Bill of Rights guarantees that no American shall be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." This promise lies at the heart of our free society and reflects our reverence for impartial justice and the rule of law. In a few simple words, it cements the fundamental covenant between our government and the people it serves.

Our Nation's founders understood that true justice cannot exist unless it is accessible to all. In this same spirit, Congress established the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) 25 years ago to secure equal access to justice under the law for all Americans by making available high-quality legal assistance in civil matters to citizens who otherwise would be unable to afford it.

Designed as a private, nonprofit, independent entity, the LSC focuses its efforts on funding local legal services programs that are rooted in and accountable to the communities they serve. The dedicated staffs of these programs, and the many private attorneys who donate their time and expertise, strive to protect and defend the interests of their clients and to maintain the highest standards of the legal profession. In recent years, the LSC has provided grants to legal services programs serving every county in our Nation, as well as the U.S. territories. Each year, almost 60 thousand private attorneys participate by performing pro bono legal services, and almost 2 million people benefit from LSC-funded efforts.

The extraordinary success of the LSC highlights the importance of the legal profession's long-standing tradition of community service. It also reminds us of how much our society has been strengthened by the conscience and conviction of lawyers standing up for what is right. As part of my Call to Action to the American Legal Community, I hope to build on this tradition of service by challenging all attorneys across our Nation to donate some of their time and apply their skills to help those among us who cannot afford to pay for the representation they need.

As we mark the 25th Anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, I salute the dedicated members of the Board of Directors, attorneys, paralegals, support staff, and volunteers associated with the LSC who have worked with talent, generosity, and determination to uphold America's fundamental commitment to justice for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 25, 1999, as the 25th Anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation. I urge all Americans to join me in recognizing the contributions that the Legal Services Corporation, and the local programs that it supports, have made in fulfilling the promise of equal justice under the law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fourth.


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