Model Practices & Innovations

Showcasing innovations, best practices, and technical assistance in civil legal aid

These resources are a collection of ideas, innovations, projects, and best practices. The legal aid community has contributed these as examples, models, or guidance in the quest to provide the highest quality and most effective legal services to low-income communities. Many of the resources available here can be adapted and replicated at your legal aid organization.

LSC also produces a newsletter called the Best Practices Corner. It alerts subscribers to information, best practices, and resources available throughout this website that may be helpful to our grantees and the legal services community in general. To see past issues of the newsletter, click here.

Plan Strategically

Strategic planning is especially critical in times of limited resources when the demand for service continues to rise. Strategic planning starts with assessment of the most pressing legal needs and covers internal management, organization mission growth, and relations with your local community.

Learn how to:

  • Conduct needs assessments and set priorities
  • Develop and implement strategic plans
  • Evaluate your organization's effectiveness and make adjustments

Provide Legal Services

Legal aid organization should treat those seeking assistance and clients accepted for services with dignity and compassion. Effective representation begins with a relationship of mutual trust and respect. Everyone at your legal aid organization should continually strive to maximize the effectiveness of legal services and achieve meaningful and lasting results on behalf of clients.

Learn how to:

  • Provide client access and conduct intake
  • Engage diverse populations
  • Provide language access
  • Represent clients effectively
  • Manage and supervise legal work
  • Engage volunteers
  • Assist unrepresented people in your community

Lead & Manage the Organization

A well-run legal aid organization is governed by a committed and involved board of directors that exercises independent judgment in carrying out its fiduciary responsibility to the organization. Key leadership, starting with the executive director, sets the tone for excellence by establishing a shared vision and mission and managing efficiently and effectively so that resources are preserved and allocated to achieve the greatest impact in the community.

Learn how to:

  • Achieve effective board governance
  • Lead effectively
  • Manage and administer the organization
  • Use technology
  • Establish responsible financial management
  • Communicate effectively internally and externally
  • Continue to grow resources


The use of technology in legal aid programs is constantly evolving in ways that increase efficiency and enhance service delivery for LSC grantees. The Best Practices Corner’s technology resources are designed to help grantees understand the current state of technology in legal aid offices, plan for future developments, and review successful projects and systems.