Recently, I spent an amazing afternoon with the Board of the Legal Services Corporation. Because I am President of the Foundation, I joined other funders and providers of civil legal assistance for a wide ranging discussion about the state of access to justice in Michigan for poor, disabled, or otherwise challenged people. You may recall that the judicial branch of government is established as a co-equal partner with the executive and legislative branches. Yet, funding for the courts is under 2% of the state budget, and federal legal assistance is less than .01% of the federal budget! And with federal funding being challenged in Washington, many more people who need legal help will go without it in the years to come. Our State Bar of Michigan has adopted as its motto a quote from Roberts P. Hudson, the first President of the association: "No organization of lawyers can long survive which has not for its primary object the protection of the public." My personal mentor in this endeavor will always be John W. Cummiskey who famously said at his 80th birthday celebration during an Access to Justice Task Force meeting: "Access to justice is a dream. We must make it a reality.’’ Please let your Representatives and Senators know that you want adequate funding for legal aid in Michigan.