The idea that everyone is equal before the law can only be made real if everyone actually has a fair shot to be heard and have their say through a skilled lawyer. Although we are still a long way from where we need to be to assure that every Delawarean who deserves counsel has one, the amazing lawyers and staff at our three legal aid organizations — Community Legal Aid Society, Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, and the Legal Services Corporation of Delaware — do outstanding work to fill the Justice gap and to bring us closer to the full promise of a nation under law.
With too few resources and too many cases, these dedicated people help struggling Delawareans when they need it most. Their clients are people facing evictions and foreclosures, serious family law issues including domestic violence, disputes with creditors, and other legal issues that present an existential threat to their ability to live with dignity and provide for themselves and their families. Not only that, these organizations have done all they can to eliminate any inefficiencies in their spending practices, to overcome cumbersome bureaucratic requirements that necessitate separate organizations, and to work as full partners to put every dollar they have to the best direct use with clients.
When I was Chief Justice, I was proud to work with them to step up their ability to serve even more Delawareans through our creation of the Holland Fellowship and other efforts to strengthen the Combined Campaign. Now, as I am serving as a Co-Chair of the national LSC’s housing study, I am proud to continue to work alongside the Delaware legal services community, which, in its characteristic fashion, has stepped up to provide full support to this national effort to increase the due process rights and continued access to secure housing for vulnerable Americans at risk of eviction and foreclosure. We all like to feel that we make a contribution when we can: what’s special about these three organizations is that their people have chosen to make every day of their professional lives a day of genuine service to people in need, and to the very ideals that animate our nation. I join everyone in congratulating them all on this milestone year in their histories!
Former Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz