Rulemaking - LSC's Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) Regulation

Background  •  Workshop 1 (July 23,  2013 - Denver, Colorado)  •  Workshop 2 (Sept. 17,  2013 - Washington, DC)  •  Comments Submitted After the Workshops  •  Related Materials

Final Rule Published

LSC published in the Federal Register a final rule on October 15, 2014, which is effective on November 14, 2014.  The board adopted the rule at the the October 8, 2014, meeting in Albany, New York.

Proposed Rule Published for Comment

LSC published a proposed rule as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on April 15, 2014.  The comment period for the proposed rule will close on June 16, 2014. Written comments must be submitted to Stefanie K. Davis, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007; (202) 337-6519 (fax) or Electronic submissions are preferred via email with attachments in Acrobat PDF format. Written comments sent to any other address or received after the end of the comment period may not be considered by LSC.

 Comments on the April 15, 2014 NPRM


The LSC Pro Bono Task Force (PBTF) released a report of its findings and recommendations on October 1, 2012. The PBTF's recommendation 2 addresses LSC’s Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) regulation, which requires grantees to expend an amount equivalent to 12.5 percent of their basic field grants to encourage the involvement of private attorneys in the delivery of legal assistance to eligible clients. The regulation prescribes certain activities that can be counted as meeting the PAI requirement. The PBTF found that the PAI regulation poses a number of challenges to grantees as they seek to expand pro bono resources and assistance. In light of the findings and recommendations of the PBTF, on January 26, 2013, the LSC Board of Directors authorized initiation of rulemaking to explore rulemaking options regarding the PAI requirement.

Recommendation 2 contains three recommendations, which are the three topics for this rulemaking.

  • Topic 1: LSC Pro Bono Task Force Recommendation 2(a)—Resources spent supervising and training law students, law graduates, deferred associates, and others should be counted toward grantees’ PAI obligations, especially in “incubator” initiatives.
  • Topic 2: LSC Pro Bono Task Force Recommendation 2(b)—Grantees should be allowed to spend PAI resources to enhance their screening, advice, and referral programs that often attract pro bono volunteers while serving the needs of low-income clients.
  • Topic 3: LSC Pro Bono Task Force Recommendation 2(c)—LSC should reexamine the rule, as currently interpreted, that mandates adherence to LSC grantee case handling requirements, including that matters be accepted as grantee cases in order for programs to count toward PAI requirements.

More information on these three topics and and related questions are available to download on this link.

On April 15, 2013, the LSC Board approved plans to convene two rulemaking workshops. Held on July 23 and September 17, these workshops involved an open discussion among LSC, panelists, and public participants regarding the three topics identified by the PBTF for possible revisions to the PAI regulation. LSC accepted further written comments through October 17. 

March and April 2014 Consideration of Publication of a Proposed Rule for Public Comment

The Operations and Regulations Committee (Committee) of the LSC Board of Directors met on March 3, 2014, to discuss proposed changes to the rule in advance of the April 6-8, 2014 meeting of the Board of Directors. LSC will present a full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for part 1614 to the Committee and the Board for review and possible approval at the April meeting. Upon approval of the Board, the NPRM will be published for a sixty-day public comment period. 

Workshop 1 - July 23, 2013

PAI Rulemaking Workshop 1was conducted in Denver, Colorado, on July 23, 2013. The following resources are specific to that workshop:


Written Comments:


Workshop 2 - September 17, 2013

PAI Rulemaking Workshop 2 was coducted in Washington, DC, on September 17, 2013. The following resources are specific to that workshop:


Click here to download all of the panelist materials and comments for the September workshop in a single file.

Written Comments:


Comments Submitted After the Workshops


Related Materials

Federal Register Notices: Published Notice of Rulemaking Workshops and Revised Notice with Additional Questions and Extension of Deadline

LSC’s Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) regulation - 45 C.F.R. Part 1614

Checklist for Panelists' Expressions of Interest

Report of the Pro Bono Task Force

Documents initiating rulemaking:

Opinions Referenced in the Pro Bono Task Force Report: