How We Work
LSC is a grant-making organization, distributing nearly 94% of its federal appropriation to eligible nonprofit organizations delivering civil legal aid. LSC awards grants through a competitive process and currently funds 132 independent legal aid organizations. With nearly 852 offices nationwide, these organizations serve thousands of low-income individuals, children, families, seniors, and veterans in every congressional district.
LSC grantees handle the basic civil legal needs of the poor, addressing matters involving safety, subsistence, and family stability. Most legal aid practices are focused on family law, including domestic violence and child support and custody, and on housing matters, including evictions and foreclosures.
LSC conducts robust oversight of its grantees. To ensure grantee compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and with sound financial management practices, LSC conducts regular on-site fiscal and programmatic compliance reviews and investigations. LSC also assesses the quality of legal services its grantees deliver and provides training and technical assistance to them.
Fulfills Critical Need at Low Cost
Investing in civil legal aid provides access to justice—a fundamental American value, reflected in the first line of our Constitution and in the closing words of our Pledge of Allegiance. The need for civil legal assistance has never been greater. Today, low-income Americans continue to struggle to keep their jobs, stay in their homes, and provide basic necessities for their families. Without adequate funding for legal aid, low-income Americans will be unable to access courts effectively to protect their legitimate legal interests.
Assures Fairness in the Justice System
Civil legal aid provides access to legal help for people to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. Civil legal aid makes it easier to access information through easy-to-understand forms, legal assistance, representation, and self-help centers to enable people to know their rights – regardless of their income.
Provides Critical Constituent Services
LSC grantees help constituents who live in households with annual incomes at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. LSC-funded legal aid ensures that eligible constituents will not have to navigate the legal system alone. Eligible clients include the working poor, veterans and military families, homeowners and renters, families with children, farmers, the disabled, and the elderly.