There are several reasons why a client or applicant should first file a grievance with the local program. First, this is required by the regulations - if you file a complaint with LSC without having gone through the local process, we will probably ask you to complete this step first. Beyond the mere regulatory requirement, there are several practical reasons for going through the local process first:
It has been our experience that the local program, staffed with advocates, will strive to understand your concerns and to address them in a thorough, professional manner.
Nevertheless, there are instances, given the several hundred clients served annually by legal services programs, that the concerns raised are not adequately addressed. Those that address a violation of the LSC Act and related authorities will be thoroughly reviewed by the Office of Compliance and Enforcement.