LSC Restrictions and Other Funding Sources

LSC grants are subject to statutory and regulatory restrictions that prohibit the grantee from specific activities and from representing specific categories of clients.  Many of these restrictions also apply to a grantee’s use of non-LSC funds (private funds, tribal funds, and public funds).  In most states, funds from an interest on lawyers trust account program are public funds.  Tribal funds are not covered by most of these restrictions (subject to the purposes and rules in those grants).  This table provides an overview of the major restrictions, but it is not a comprehensive guide to all restrictions and exceptions.

Entity restrictions apply to all activities of every LSC grantee using LSC funds, private funds, and federal, state, local or other public funds. 

Funds restrictions apply to all uses of LSC funds and most uses of private funds (e.g., private donations, United Way funds, private foundation grants).  They do not apply to most uses of public funds from state and local governments or other federal grants (subject to the purposes and rules in those grants). 

Generally, these restrictions do not apply to advising eligible clients about their rights, even when the grantee cannot provide representation.

Restricted Activities LSC Funds Private Funds Public Funds
Abortion Litigation—No participation in any abortion litigation.  Pub. L. 104-134, Tit. V, § 504(a)(14) X X X
Abortion Non-Litigation—No participation in non-litigation activities involving abortions except for some therapeutic situations (but not against providers with religious or moral objections). 42 U.S.C. 2996f(b)(8) X X
Aliens—No representation of aliens (non-U.S. citizens) unless specifically allowed by statute.  45 C.F.R. Part 1626.  Statutory exceptions include:
  • permanent residency and limited other lawful statuses.
  • victims of domestic violence, trafficking, and other abuses.
X X X
Assisted Suicide—No assisted suicide or euthanasia activities.  45 C.F.R. Part 1643 X X
Census—No influencing the time and manner of a census.  45 C.F.R. Part 1632 X X X
Class actions—No participation in any class actions. 45 C.F.R. Part 1617 X X X
Criminal Cases—No criminal cases, except for in tribal courts or some court appointments.  45 C.F.R. Part 1613 X X
Demonstrations and Strikes—No engaging in or encouragement of public demonstrations, picketing, boycotts, or strikes. X X
Desegregation of Public Schools—No involvement in public-school desegregation proceedings.  42 U.S.C. § 2996f(b)(9) X X
Draft Registration or Desertion—No involvement in proceedings involving selective service registration or desertion. 42 U.S.C. § 2996f(b)(9) X X
Elected Office—Grantee attorneys may not run for partisan elected offices.  45 C.F.R. Part 1608 X X X
Evictions from Public Housing Involving Illegal Drugs—No defense of persons charged with making, selling, or distributing illegal drugs in most public-housing evictions involving health and safety.  45 C.F.R. Part 1633 X X X
Fee-generating Cases—No representation in fee-generating cases unless private lawyers are not available.  45 C.F.R. Part 1609 X X
Habeas Corpus—No habeas corpus cases challenging criminal convictions.  45 C.F.R. Part 1615 X X
Labor Training—No trainings for labor or anti-labor activities, boycotts, strikes, demonstrations, or supporting activities.  45 C.F.R. Part 1612 X X X
Lobbying—General—No lobbying or of any government office, agency, or legislature and no lobbying regarding oversight of LSC or its recipients, subject to the statutory exceptions below—No lobbying training.  45 C.F.R. Part 1612 X X X
Lobbying—State and Local Funding—A grantee may use non-LSC funds for lobbying on issues involving its own state or local funding. 45 C.F.R. Part 1612 X
Lobbying—Public Rulemaking and Government Requests—A grantee may use non-LSC funds for responding to public rulemakings or to written requests from the government.  45 C.F.R. Part 1612 X
LSC Lawsuits—No filing or pursuing a lawsuit against LSC. Pub. L. 104-134, Tit. V, § 506 X
Organizing—No organizing any association, federation, labor union, coalition, network, alliance, or similar entity.  45 C.F.R. Part 1612 X X
Political Activities (Other Than Lobbying, Organizing or Training)—No participation in political activities, election campaigns, ballot measures, initiatives or referendum, voter registration, or voter assistance.  45 C.F.R. Part 1608 X X
Political Tests—No political test for any decision or actions.  45 C.F.R. Part 1608 X X X
Political Training—No trainings for or providing information about lobbying, political activities, advocacy for public policies, or supporting activities.  45 C.F.R. Part 1612 X X X
Prisoner Representation—No civil litigation for prisoners.  45 C.F.R. Part 1637 X X X
Prohibited Activities Support—No communications or expenses associated with any of the entity restrictions. Pub. L. 104-134, Tit. V, § 504(a)(6) X X X
Redistricting—No involvement in any legislative, judicial, or elective redistricting.  45 C.F.R. Part 1632 X X X
Rioting or Illegal Activities—No grantee employee may engage in or encourage rioting, civil disturbances, or violations of law, court injunctions, or professional rules for attorneys.  45 C.F.R. Part 1612 X X X
Solicitation In-Person—No representation of persons after giving them unsolicited, in-person advice to take legal action (or obtain a lawyer) for their specific legal problems.  45 C.F.R. Part 1638 X X X
Welfare Reform—No activities involving welfare reform other than cases for individual benefits or otherwise allowed uses of non-LSC funds for responding to government requests or public rulemakings.  45 C.F.R. Part 1639 X X X