This is a video of a historic press conference held by the ABA in 1981 in response to the plans by the Reagan administration to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation. It includes extensive remarks by William Reece Smith Jr. (1925-2013), ABA president from 1980-1981, who introduces the press conference: “We are here today because we’re troubled…deeply troubled over President Reagan’s plans to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation…We are troubled because we see it as an unwise, unsound move that will cost our society far more in the long run than any immediate dollars we may save.”
In addition to William Reece Smith Jr., it features many other state bar leaders: David Rideout, member of the Executice Council and co-chairperson of the Committee on Legal Services of the Boston Bar Association; Robert Irving, the vice president of the State Bar of California, Joe Mandel, president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Charles O. Fisher, president of the Maryland State Bar, Mike Karwoski, assistant to the executive director of the State Bar of Michigan, Bill Borders, president of the National Bar Association, Judge Harold Tyler, vice president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Bob Patterson, past president of the New York State Bar Association; David Fawcett, president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association; Joseph Foster, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Jim Langdon of the State Bar of Texas, and Lawrence J. Bugge of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
The video is available as a streaming file on Digital Georgetown: https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/761860
The NEJL holds the William Reece Smith’s papers (NEJL 017).