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Legal Aid Grants

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The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a private, non-profit corporation established by Congress in 1974 to provide funding for the provision of civil legal services to low-income persons. Through this competitive process, LSC will fund those qualified attorneys, organizations and entities that will most effectively and efficiently provide high quality legal representation to eligible clients within a comprehensive, statewide integrated delivery system.

Selection Process

Applicant evaluations are based on the LSC Act, LSC Regulations, LSC Performance Criteria, and the ABA Standards, except where those provisions are in conflict with applicable law or other funding restrictions. All of these documents are available on the Reference Materials page.

Each Applicant must demonstrate its ability to meet the selection criteria listed below, which are contained in the LSC regulation on competitive bidding for grants and contracts, 45 C.F.R. § 1634.9.

  1. Whether Applicant has a full understanding of the most pressing needs of the eligible clients in the area to be served.
  2. The quality, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of the Applicant’s legal services delivery and delivery approach in relation to the LSC Performance Criteria and the ABA Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid, as evidenced by, among other things, the Applicant’s experience with the delivery of the type of legal assistance contemplated under the proposal.
  3. Whether the Applicant’s governing or policy body meets or will meet all applicable requirements of the LSC Act, regulations, guidelines, instructions and any other requirements of law in accordance with a time schedule set out by LSC.
  4. The Applicant’s capacity to comply with all other applicable provisions of the LSC Act, rules, regulations, guidelines and instructions, as well as with ethical requirements and any other requirements imposed by law. Evidence of the Applicant’s capacity to comply with this criterion may include, among other things, the Applicant’s compliance experience with LSC or other funding sources or regulatory agencies, including, but not limited to, Federal or State agencies, bar associations or foundations, courts, IOLTA programs, and private foundations.
  5. The reputations of the Applicant’s principals and key staff.
  6. The Applicant’s knowledge of the various components of the legal services delivery system in the State and its willingness to coordinate with the various components as appropriate to assure the availability of a full range of legal services, including: (a) its capacity to cooperate with State and local bar associations, private attorneys and pro bono programs to increase the involvement of private attorneys in the delivery of legal assistance and the availability of pro bono legal services to eligible clients; and (b) its knowledge of and willingness to cooperate with other legal services providers, community groups, public interest organizations and human services providers in the service area.
  7. The Applicant’s capacity to develop and increase non-LSC resources.
  8. The Applicant’s capacity to assure continuity in client services and representation of eligible clients with pending matters.
  9. The Applicant does not have known or potential conflicts of interest, institutional or otherwise, with the client community and demonstrates a capacity to protect against such conflicts.

Award Period

Grants awarded will be for periods of up to three years. LSC anticipates that most grants will be awarded for periods ranging between one and three years. Some grants may also be awarded for less than one year. Oversight on compliance with the terms of the grant, the LSC Act, regulations, guidelines, and instructions may be conducted during the grant period. Noncompliance with the grant terms, applicable laws, or regulations may result in termination of the grant award at any time during the grant period. Applicants awarded multi-year grants will be required to submit reports and a grant renewal application as part of the annual grant renewal process.

Applicable Law

Applicants should be thoroughly familiar with the provisions of the LSC Act, regulations and guidelines, and with the provisos contained in current and pending Congressional appropriations acts. Recipients will be required to comply with all requirements contained therein. The terms and conditions are subject to change, pending Congressional action on any appropriations and authorization bills.

LSC Reporting Requirements

All recipients of LSC funds will be subject to compliance oversight for the period of the grant award. This will include, but will not be limited to, audits conducted according to the LSC Audit Guide for Recipients and Auditors and the Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients (2010 edition).  LSC may require submission of periodic reports of program activity and financial status during the grant period. Additionally, the LSC Act authorizes LSC to require reports and other information from recipients to assure compliance with LSC regulations and other requirements. LSC reporting requirements are at LSC Reporting Requirements.

Final Award Decisions

Final award decisions are made by the President of LSC. LSC reserves the right to choose other alternatives to ensure the provision of legal assistance to the service area.