What We Do
The United States Congress, in the declaration of purpose of the Legal Services Corporation Act, found that "there is a need to provide equal access to the system of justice in our Nation for individuals who seek redress of grievances;" that "there is a need to provide high quality legal assistance to those who would be otherwise unable to afford adequate legal counsel;" and that "providing legal assistance to those who face an economic barrier to adequate legal counsel will serve best the ends of justice and assist in improving opportunities for low-income persons." In keeping with this mandate, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) establishes as our mission:
To promote equal access to justice in our Nation and to provide high quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons.
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 131 independent legal aid organizations. With 851 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.