Friday, January 05, 2007

History of Legal Aid in Virginia

Worth reading are the articles by John Levy, Larry Harley, John Jeffries, Jack Harris, and others about the history of Legal Aid in Virginia, from the December 2006 magazine of the Virginia State Bar.

Professor Levy recounts how, among other things, going into Roanoke federal court with a woman co-counsel around 1970 and the judge and opposing counsel could not decide when to sit and when to stand, and also that a circuit court judge in Botetourt County once ruled that Legal Aid lawyers would not be allowed to practice there, and so the lawyers had to file suit in federal court to get this extraordinary prohibition overturned.

Professor Jeffries, who wrote the biography of Justice Lewis Powell, describes how Powell as president of the American Bar Association in 1964 acted boldly in support of what became the Legal Services Corporation, an effort which his supporters cited a few years later when he was nominated to the Supreme Court.

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