Anyone who says they know exactly when the economy will rebound and our lives will return to normal is engaging in wishful thinking. Sure there are many signs that the recession may be over. But ask the family facing loss of a job and an impending foreclosure or the disabled senior unsure of how mounting medical bills will get paid. Ask them if the recession is over. Our clients' resilience inspires us to become an even better pathway to justice for our clients and a pathway to meaningful volunteer opportunities for the nearly 1,000 lawyers, law students and others who work with us each year.
One under-reported casualty of the recession has been the impact of the Federal Reserve's decision to set the Federal Funds rate at near 0% on civil legal services throughout the country. Interest on Lawyers' Trust Account (IOLTA) programs had become one of the largest sources of funding for legal aid until the recession brought interest rates and IOLTA revenues tumbling down. Fortunately, the State Bar had IOLTA reserves so the impact wasn't totally devastating. Nonetheless, programs like PLC saw enormous cuts to IOLTA funding last year and again this year. The longer the Federal Funds rate remains at near 0%, the more dire the situation will become since those reserves are nearly exhausted.
That's why it's so important that we receive your financial support. There are two things you can do. You can support PLC's Annual Volunteers for Justice Dinner
and Silent Auction on June 21 as we honor some of the champions who make life better for low-income Orange County residents. In addition to tremendous networking with over 700 lawyers, judges and others our Silent Auction presents some phenomenal shopping opportunities. You can also support PLC's Access to Justice Annual Fund
. We greatly thank those who have already pledged their support.
You can join them with a simple secure on-line donation
Last year has been challenging and no doubt this year and next will continue to present significant challenges. Yet in the face of unprecedented demand for our help, we at PLC have no alternative but to move forward - exploring new funding sources, developing new collaborations, strengthening existing ones, making our operations more efficient. Our clients, indeed the entire community, expect and deserve nothing less.