Established in 1974, the Legal Services Corporation is entrusted with the mission of providing equal access to justice for low-income Americans. Over the years, millions of people have counted on LSC-funded programs to provide them with high-quality civil legal services. LSC is the bedrock on which our national system of access to civil justice stands—and its foundation for the future.
LSC awards grants to local nonprofit legal aid programs across the nation for the delivery of civil legal assistance. The matters these programs handle often involve safety, subsistence, and family stability – such as foreclosures, evictions, domestic violence, and child custody. Every day, the attorneys, paralegals and support staff at LSC-funded programs are making the promise of access to justice real to the most vulnerable among us.
Access to justice is a paramount American value, reflected in the very first line of our Constitution and in the closing words of our Pledge of Allegiance. LSC’s work promotes the rule of law and enhances respect for the nation’s civil legal system.
We have a long way to go before our nation fulfills the pledge of “equal justice under law.” Our challenges are great: the legal needs of low-income Americans are many and increasing, and legal aid programs lack adequate resources to meet those needs.
We are working with LSC-funded programs to maximize their efficiency, effectiveness, and quality, to promote innovation in the delivery of legal services, and to serve as many people as possible. Through LSC’s Technology Grants Initiative, for example, LSC-funded programs are leading the use of technology to develop self-help forms and online information—assisting people in navigating the legal system and improving the efficiency of the courts.
I often tell people that being LSC President is the best job in American law. I mean it. I can think of no more important objective of our legal system than to provide meaningful access to justice. And I can think of no better platform from which to pursue that objective than the Legal Services Corporation.
--James J. Sandman