As the largest grantor of funds for civil legal aid for low-income individuals in the U.S., LSC offers guidelines to its grantees and subgrantees on a range of subject matter. Grantees seeking guidance not found on this website are encouraged to contact us directly with questions.
Applicable Laws, Regulations, Guidelines & Instructions
As an independent corporation created by Congress and charged with distributing government funds, LSC is governed by federal law. Federal law also applies to recipients of LSC grant funds. The following provide guidance on the operation and responsibilities of LSC and its grantees:
LSC has also issued separate guidelines and instructions relating to fiscal and regulatory compliance and oversight, and case service reporting requirements.
- Accounting Guide for LSC Recipients (2010 Ed.)
- Audit Guide for Recipients and Auditors (1996, issued by LSC's Office of Inspector General)
- Property and Acquisition Management Manual (2001)
- Property Management Manual (1981)
- Case Service Report Handbook
- Access to Grantee Records Protocol (2015)
Grantees seeking interpretive or special guidance or instructions on specific topics or subject matter should also refer to:
- External Advisory Opinions
- Program Letters
- Orderly Conclusion of the Role & Responsibilities of a Recipient of LSC Funds
- Subgrant Agreements Guidance
- Private Attorney Involvement FAQs
LSC also issues guidance on the above-referenced laws, regulations, guidelines, and instructions through webinars, remote meetings, and at national and local conferences.
All grants and grant recipients must submit reports and other information to LSC.
- table of reporting requirements and related dates
- annual reports
- semi-annual reports
- grant applications and renewals
- prior approval requirements applying to certain events
- waivers of requirements applying to certain events
- reports contingent on the occurence of certain events
- case service reporting
- other services reporting
Grant recipients who are awarded Technology Initiative Grant funding and/or Pro Bono Innovation funding have additional reporting requirements that must be submitted to LSC by the due dates provided as part of the acceptance of the award.
LSC Performance Criteria
The LSC Performance Criteria, revised in 2007, has been used for LSC program reviews and the competitive grants process since 1995. The most recent edition contains references to the American Bar Association Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid.
The performance criteria is divided into four performance areas:
- Effectiveness in identifying the most pressing civil legal need of low-income people in the service area and targeting resources to address those needs
- Effectiveness in engaging and serving the low-income population throughout the service area
- Effectiveness of legal representation and other program activities intended to benefit the low-income population in the service area
- Effectiveness of governance, leadership, and administration