July 1, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC-The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) today released its 2008 Annual Report, highlighting efforts by the nation's single largest funder of civil legal assistance to promote equal access to justice and to ensure the provision of high-quality legal aid to low-income Americans.
The annual report, Serving the Most Vulnerable Among Us, focuses on critical legal services provided to clients of LSC-funded programs across the nation, organized around four major themes: protecting families, saving homes, helping consumers and securing incomes.
During 2008, a time of recession when many more Americans were pushed into poverty, LSC provided $333 million in grants to 137 independent nonprofit legal aid programs that deliver legal assistance to low-income individuals and families.
The programs closed 889,155 civil legal aid cases, including more than 312,000 cases involving family law issues, such as domestic violence, and more than 229,500 cases involving housing matters, such as unlawful evictions, predatory lending and foreclosure actions.
"Our programs find solutions to pressing civil legal problems that help low-income individuals and families obtain or maintain the basic necessities of life and achieve physical security, stability and self-sufficiency," LSC President Helaine M. Barnett wrote in the report.
LSC Board of Directors Chairman Frank B. Strickland paid tribute in the report to the more than 35,700 attorneys in private practice who volunteer to help legal aid programs by taking cases. "These private lawyers help sustain LSC's grantee programs, allowing them to develop broad support in the communities they serve," Strickland wrote.
LSC President Barnett and Board Chairman Strickland also thanked legal aid program staff for their work to help clients achieve access to justice.