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FAQs

For any questions not listed, email competition@lsc.gov. For LSC Grants Tech Support, email at techsupport@lsc.gov.

General Information

Locating and Accessing Documents

Completing the Application

NIC Questions

For Renewal Applicants

For Post-PQV Applicants

  • Will my program be submitting a Post-PQV application?
  • What is the difference between Schedule B and Schedule C?

For Those Applying to More Than One Service Area

Technical Questions

Regarding PAI (Private Attorney Involvement)

What are the eligibility requirements to apply for a grant?

The following persons, groups, and entities are eligible to compete for a grant:

  1. current recipients
  2. non-profit organizations that have as a purpose the provision of legal assistance to eligible clients
  3. private attorneys, groups of attorneys or law firms
  4. state or local governments
  5. sub-state regional planning or coordination agencies that are composed of sub-state areas whose governing boards are controlled by locally elected officials

All successful applicants must have a governing or policy body consistent with the requirements of 45 C.F.R. Part 1607 of the LSC regulations. An applicant that is not in compliance at the time the grant is awarded will be required to be in compliance with 45 C.F.R. Part 1607 within sixty days from the date the grant award is made.

See Threshold Requirements for Qualified Grant Applications and Applicant Eligibility for more information on eligibility. Applicants should also review the provisions of the LSC Act, regulations, guidelines, the 1996 LSC appropriations act and subsequent appropriations acts. These provisions contain restrictions on the activities of recipients of LSC funds and may affect the eligibility of potential applicants. All of these documents are available from the Reference Materials page. 

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What is a service area? What service areas are in competition this year?

There are three types of service areas: Basic Field-General, Basic Field-Native American, and Basic Field-Migrant. To view a description of each LSC service area and when each service area is next expected to be in Competition, see the Where We Fund page.

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Is more than one grant awarded per service area?

LSC generally will not award more than one grant per service area. Please refer to LSC Regulation 45 C.F.R. § 1634.3(d) (Competitive Grants and Contracts) for more information.

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Where are the forms referenced in the RFP located?

All grant application forms are completed and submitted through our online application system at www.lscgrants.lsc.gov

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Are grant renewal applicants required to submit a NIC?

No, renewal applicants do not file a NIC. After logging into the LSC Grants Online Application System at www.lscgrants.lsc.gov, Renewal Applicants will have a link in their To Do list indicating for each service area. Click on the "Submit Renewal Application" (or the "Submit Post-PQV Renewal Application" for Post-PQV Applicants) to access the application.

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I have submitted a NIC. What are the next steps? How long will it take LSC to process the NIC?

LSC Grants will send an automated message to the email address on file confirming the submission. Allow 48 hours for LSC to review the NIC. You will receive another automated message to the email address on file when the NIC has been approved. The "Submit Application" link will now appear in the To Do list after the user logs in to LSC Grants. Click on the "Submit Application" link to begin work on the application.

Note: NICs for Post-PQV Applicants will not be approved until the Post-PQV RFP is published in May, 2013 (for PQV reports received by April 30, 2013) or July 1, 2013 (for PQV reports received by July 1, 2013).

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What are the instructions for the PAI plan?

Applicants are required to upload the current year PAI Plan as a separate PDF file. Applicants are encouraged to review 45 C.F.R. Part 1614 before developing their Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) plan. Pursuant to 45 C.F.R. § 1614.4(b) applicants are required to present their PAI plans to all local bar associations and to summarize responses received. 
 
New applicants who do not have a current year PAI Plan/project should submit a prospective plan for the following year that will address the RFP Inquiries at Performance Area Three, Criterion 2. 
 
These instructions are also available in each of the grant application instruction documents. Download the full set of instructions from the Application Documents page.

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What are the instructions for the Technology plan?

LSC encourages applicants to develop and submit a comprehensive plan that addresses applicant’s current and planned uses of technology in all facets of its operations, including how the applicant is using and will use technology to innovate and improve its services. At a minimum, the technology plan should address the applicant's use of technology in the following areas: management of client and case data, intake (including online), telephone advice, case management, case supervision, document management, needs assessments, resource development, support for private attorneys, use of websites and other web-based resources, data security, and training. Applicants should consult the Technologies That Should Be in Place in a Legal Aid Office Today document when preparing their plans at www.lsc.gov/sites/default/files/LSC/pdfs/technologybaselinereport.pdf
 
These instructions are also available in each of the grant application instruction documents. Download the full set of instructions from the Application Documents page.

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I've completed my grant application, but the system won’t let me submit. What should I do?

The LSC Grants system will not allow a user to submit an incomplete application. If the system is not letting you submit, there must be a form that is not complete.

Use the Review and Submit page to verify that all forms have been completed and all required uploads have been submitted. Find a link to the Review and Submit page at the bottom of the blue navigation bar on the left-hand side of the page.

Review and Submit Screenshot

The Review and Submit page displays a green check mark for every complete form and a red X when information is missing. The page also details which specific inquiries on each form remain to be answered in order for the form to be complete. When all forms are complete the application may be submitted.

Green Checkmarks

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I am completing a NIC. In the Key Staff Members section, our program has a key staff member who does not fit into the title categories in the drop-down list provided by LSC. Should I include that staff member?

No. In this section of the NIC, include only those staff members whose titles reflect the five choices provided under "Key Staff Members." Those five choices are:

  • Executive Director
  • Deputy Director
  • Director of Litigation
  • General Counsel
  • Fiscal Officer

Applicants will have the opportunity to more fully discuss their staff within the Proposal Narrative and upload the resumes of key staff such as Chief of Operations and the Chief Financial Officer.

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Do I have to complete forms D-2 and D-4?

Current LSC recipients do not complete forms D-2 (Current Year Expenses) or D-4 (Current Year Revenue).

Applicants that are not current LSC recipients do have to complete these forms.

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Do I have to complete form E-1?

Current LSC recipients do not complete form E-1 (Actual Staffing Information).

Applicants that are not current LSC recipients do have to complete this form.

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Do I have to complete form G-1?

Current LSC recipients do not complete form G-1 (Current Year Client Services).

Applicants that are not current LSC recipients do have to complete this form.

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Do applicants submit resumes of Board Members and key staff in the NIC?

No, applicants do not submit resumes in the NIC. Use two or three brief sentences to provide relevant biographical and experience information. Applicants will submit resumes with the application.

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What file format do the resumes need to be submitted in?

Bundle all resumes into a single PDF file, and upload the single PDF file with all resumes included.

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Several online RFP forms have red asterisks next to various items. What do the red asterisks indicate?

The red asterisks denote questions that are required for all applicants. LSC Grants will not allow users to submit the application until all required questions have been answered.

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In our application forms, the D-12, D-13, and D-14 were pre-populated. Where did the figures come from?

That information comes from the most recent competitive grant or grant renewal application submitted.

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There will be no subgrants included in our application. Is it necessary to upload the Subgrant Inquiries with a note that says "Not Applicable"?

If you do not plan to use subgrants, the Subgrant Inquiries are not required.

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We don't have a PAI project for our Native American and/or Migrant service area. How should we respond to questions regarding Private Attorney Involvement (PAI)?

If your program does not have a PAI program for a Native American or migrant service area, or if your program was granted a waiver of the PAI requirement, simply respond to PAI questions in the RFP by stating "Our program does not have a PAI program for this service area," or state that "The program has received a PAI waiver from LSC." Enter zeros or "none" for the forms that have to do with the PAI program. 

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Our organization is applying for more than one service area. When I accessed the Applicant Organizational Overview form for our second service area, the form was already complete. Where did that information come from?

For applicants applying to more than one service area, the Applicant Organizational Overview is linked for all service areas. Any changes made to this form while working on one service area’s application will automatically be transferred to the applications for other service area(s). When responding to questions in the Applicant Organizational Overview form, ensure the response addresses all service areas applied for.

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What is meant by the most senior attorney(s)?

Senior attorneys are those attorneys who are in senior positions, e.g., General Counsel, Director of Litigation, or Managing Attorney.

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How do I submit a grant application to LSC?

All grant applications must be submitted online through our online application system at https://lscgrants.lsc.gov

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Can an applicant compete for a portion of a service area of for less than the full amount of grant funds available for a service area?

An applicant must compete for the full service area and the full amount of estimated grant funds available for the service area. Where applicants plan to provide less than the full range of legal services to clients in a service area, e.g., services limited to representation in a single area of the law or a few areas of law such as housing, divorces, or bankruptcy, or proposals limited to a particular type of representation such as advice and brief service – the grant application will not be accepted, unless the applicant demonstrates to LSC's satisfaction, that it is or will be, part of a delivery system that ensures the availability of a full range of legal assistance in that service area. The grant application in its totality must meet this threshold requirement to be considered qualified.

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Our program is applying for more than one service area. What is required of us?

Applicants are required to respond to the RFP Inquiries and Charts for each service area for which they are competing. In each application, you must specifically describe the service delivery system for that service area.

In some instances, the response to an RFP Inquiry may be the same for two or more service areas applied for. In those instances, enter a response in the application for the service area receiving the largest grant, and in the grant proposals for the additional service area(s), enter “Services and activities are the same for this service area as for (state the service area).”

You are also required to submit discrete budget and revenue data for each service area. Refer to the RFP Narrative Instruction for details on application submission requirements.

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Does LSC require that our full governing/policy body approve the grant application we submit to LSC?

No. LSC requires that the executive director (or functional equivalent) and the governing/policy body Chair certify, on Form I, that a copy of the proposal submitted in response to the Request for Proposals has been made available to each member of its governing/policy body and key staff members.

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What documents must be submitted as part of the grant application?

The required documents are listed for each type of application. On the Application Process page, click the link to select the type of application you plan to file to see more information. 

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Where can I access the full RFP?

The RFP contains general information and the instructions for preparing the proposal narrative. There are four separate instructions: one for Standard RFP Competition Applicants, one for Standard RFP Renewal Applicants, one for Post-PQV Competition Applicants and one for Post-PQV Renewal Applicants. Visit the Application Documents page to download any of the 2014 instruction documents.

The RFP forms are completed and submitted online through the LSC Grants Online Application System at www.lscgrants.lsc.gov

It is also useful to review reference materials. Click to review the Reference Materials page.

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What are the steps and the deadlines for preparing and submitting grant application documents to LSC?

The required steps and deadlines are listed for each type of Application. On the Application Process page, click the link to select the type of application you plan to file to see more information. 

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What is a McCollum Attorney?

A McCollum Attorney is an attorney member of a Board appointed by the governing body of a State, county or municipal bar association which represents a majority of attorneys in a recipient’s service area, or which is one of two or more such bar associations which collectively represent a majority of attorneys in the service area.

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How do I access the Notice of Intent to Compete (NIC)?

The NIC for 2014 grants will be available on or around April 12, 2013. Before beginning a NIC, confirm that the service area you would like to apply for is in competition for 2014 by consulting the Where We Fund page. 

To submit a NIC, you must first log in to LSC Grants. Current grantees use the email address currently on file and existing password; new applicants will be prompted to register.

Once logged in, from the home page, scroll down to the heading "Service Areas in Competition for 2014 LSC Grants" and click the link to create a new NIC.

On the following page, review the instructions and select the service area for which you want to submit a NIC. Please note that not all service areas will appear in the drop-down menu; only service areas in competition will appear. 

Select Service Area Screenshot
 

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I forgot my password for the LSC Grants Online Application System. How can I get my password?

Click the Forgot your password? link located beneath the Log In button on the LSC Grants Login page. Then enter your primary email address and click Submit. Your password will be sent to the primary email address.

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My LSC Grants account is locked. How can I get into the system?

Please email LSC Grants Tech Support at techsupport@lsc.gov to request that your account be unlocked. Note that your account is locked after four unsuccessful login attempts.

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How do I print out my application?

Log into your account at www.lscgrants.lsc.gov. From the home page, scroll down to the To Do list. Click the "View PDF" button for the application you wish to print out. The PDF document may then be saved or printed.

View PDF button Screenshot

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What is the log-in information for our organization?

If you have forgotten your log-in information for your organization, email LSC Grants Tech Support at techsupport@lsc.gov to request your log-in information.

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The instructions state that applicants must upload the IRS 990 form for the previous year. However, my program has received a filing extension from the IRS, and the 990 form will not be available until after the grant application deadline. What should we do?

If your program has received a filing extension from the IRS, please submit the approved extension request, and then submit the 990 form once it is available by emailing it to competition@lsc.gov.

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What is a Certificate of Good Standing?

A Certificate of Good Standing is a certificate issued by the Secretary of State's Office evidencing that a business (corporation, LLC, partnership, etc.) has complied with the applicable provisions of the laws of the state, is in good standing, and authorized to transact business or to conduct affairs within the state.

LSC requires that applicants submitting competitive grant applicatons submit a Certificate of Good Standing as part of the fiscal application. (Renewal applicants are not required to submit this.)

To obtain Good Standing Certificate a company:

  • must be registered as a legal entity in the state,
  • cannot be in default of corporate rules or suspended by the state, and
  • must be current on all tax filings and obligations (certificate will be issued only if the taxpayer is in full compliance).

Check with the Secretary of State’s office in their jurisdiction to determine what the equivalent form/document would be.

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Will my program be submitting a Post-PQV application?

The Post-PQV grant application and Post-PQV renewal application are for applicants that meet these four requirements

  • are current LSC grantees
  • have had an LSC program quality visit (PQV) in the past two years
  • have been notified that they will receive the final PQV report by July 1
  • are the only applicant for the service area

Your program should have been notified that you should plan to file a Post-PQV application. If you are not sure, email competition@lsc.gov

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What is the difference between Schedule B and Schedule C?

Schedule B and Schedule C are both for Post-PQV applicants. 

If you are a Post-PQV applicant, and you received the final Program Quality Visit (PQV) report on or before April 30 of this year, plan to file using Schedule B. The application will be available through the online application system around mid-May and will be due around mid-June.

If you are a Post-PQV applicant, and you received or expect to receive the PQV report between May 1 and July 1 of this year, plan to file using Schedule C. The application will be available through the online application system around July 1, and will be due around mid-August.

Email competition@lsc.gov with any questions about which schedule to use. 

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