How Legal Aid Works

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. LSC promotes equal access to justice by providing funding to 134 independent non-profit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. LSC grantees serve thousands of low-income individuals, children, families, seniors, and veterans in 813 offices in every congressional district. Read more about the vital role legal aid plays in a just America.

Fulfills Critical Need at Low Cost

Investing in civil legal aid provides access to justice—a fundamental American value, reflected in the first line of our Constitution and in the closing words of our Pledge of Allegiance. The need for civil legal assistance has never been greater. Today, low-income Americans continue to struggle to keep their jobs, stay in their homes, and provide basic necessities for their families. Without adequate funding for legal aid, low-income Americans will be unable to access courts effectively to protect their legitimate legal interests.

Assures Fairness in the Justice System

Civil legal aid provides access to legal help for people to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. Civil legal aid makes it easier to access information through easy-to-understand forms, legal assistance, representation, and self-help centers to enable people to know their rights – regardless of their income.

Provides Critical Constituent Services

LSC grantees help constituents who live in households with annual incomes at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. LSC-funded legal aid ensures that eligible constituents will not have to navigate the legal system alone. Eligible clients include the working poor, veterans and military families, homeowners and renters, families with children, farmers, the disabled, and the elderly.

Access to justice is not an abstract right…Congress can help Americans live safer, more productive lives by giving them access to legal aid.
“When the great majority of the individuals and small businesses of the nation no longer can, or believe they no longer can, get a lawyer, be represented effectively, go to court, settle their disputes in a fair and impartial way, and be treated like every other citizen, we quite simply, have lost the guiding principle of our republic—equal justice under law. When that goes, the rule of law goes, and when that goes, the great dreams of those patriots who founded and fought for this republic go with it—never to be reclaimed. Something must be done!
“Justice for only those who can afford it is neither justice for all nor justice at all.”
“798 years ago … the Magna Carta established that no man, even a king – or in our constitutional system, a President – is or should be above the law. In a sense, the enterprise that all of you are engaged in is achieving the equal but converse principle – that just as no person should be above the law, no person should be below it.”


Remarks by LSC Board Chair John G. Levi | LSC Board Meeting | October 2016

Good afternoon and welcome.

I am John Levi and it is my distinct honor to serve as the 10th Chairman of the Board of Directors of the...Read more

Remarks by LSC Board Chair John G. Levi | Pro Bono Awards Reception

Good evening, and as many of you already know, I am John Levi, the 10th Chair of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation, and it...Read more

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas Joins Jurists and Civil Legal Aid Leaders for Legal Services Corporation’s Access to Justice Forum

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, distinguished jurists, and leaders of the legal aid community will gather on...Read more

Legal Services Corporation Honors New Mexico Attorneys, Law Firms, and Court Committee for Pro Bono Service

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Board of Directors will present Pro Bono Service Awards on October 17 to New Mexico...Read more

LSC Awards Third Round of Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grants to Help Low-Income Families, Seniors, and Others

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation announced today that 11 legal aid organizations will receive grants to support innovations in pro...Read more

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