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The Legal Project Testimony at the 2008 Public Protectin Budget Hearing

February 7, 2008


Prepared by:

Presented by:

Lisa Frisch, Executive Director of The Legal Project


Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak about the inordinately negative impact that the proposed Executive Budget would have on our program, The Legal Project of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association. As many of you know, The Legal Project was created 13 years ago to provide civil legal services to the working poor in this area, filling a gap of services not provided at the time by other programs in the region. Each year, we serve over 1500 residents of the Capital Region through our small cadre of staff attorneys and over 200 pro bono attorneys.

Our core program is one which provides free legal representation and consultations to victims of domestic violence in the Capital District. We provide representation in Family Court, divorces, and other civil legal matters. Because our program is designed to offer services to the “working poor”, and recognizes that victims often have no access to family funds, it is unique in its ability to provide help to those who would not otherwise be eligible for assigned counsel or public legal services because they have incomes that appear too high “on paper.” We recognize, and are able to respond to, the particular
needs that victims have for effective, informed, and sensitive legal advice and representation. Without our services, these victims would likely go unrepresented, and having an attorney helps them immeasurably in finding safety and independence.

Click here to read the entire testimony.