Basic Field Grant

Basic Field Grant Program Updates

6/10/2021- Thank you for attending LSC’s Basic Field Grant Orientation Webinar on May 26. We have developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for your reference as you complete your application.

Many of the questions in the FAQ were pulled from questions asked during the May 26 webinar. In some cases, we have revised questions to appeal to the broader audience and have combined questions, where appropriate. We also added questions sent from grantees to and questions raised directly with program liaisons. In some instances, we are still working to find answers to a few questions and will continually update this FAQ, which is available on LSC’s website. The cover sheet and at the bottom of each page will indicate when the latest update occurred. If you have any additional questions, please send them to We often reference and as options for additional support. These email boxes are regularly monitored, and responses are provided as timely as possible.

We are providing links to useful resources below:

Previous Updates

May 10, 2021 Update
May 3, 2021 Update

Our Basic Field Grants provide funding to support delivery of high-quality civil legal services and access to justice to low-income people throughout the U.S. and U.S. territories through full-service grants for all eligible people in a service area and through specialized subpopulation grants to provide services for agricultural workers and their dependants or for people in Native American communities.


We provide Basic Field Grants through a competitive bidding process and award funding for up to three years to qualified attorneys, legal aid organizations, and entities as a means of improving access to justice for low-income people throughout the U.S. and U.S. territories.

We accept applications for specified service areas, which typically consist of several counties and cities in a state or an entire state.The three types of service areas are:

We cannot accept applications for portions of the specified service areas. We seek to fund legal aid organizations that provide a full range of legal services throughout each service area, consistent with the LSC Act and appropriations laws.

We evaluate applicants based on the
●    LSC Act,
●    LSC Regulations,
●    LSC Performance Criteria, and
●    ABA Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid.


To compete for a Basic Field Grant, you must be a

  • current recipient
  • nonprofit organization that has, as a purpose, the provision of legal help to eligible clients
  • private attorney or group of attorneys or law firms (either as a non-incorporated body or as a nonprofit)
  • state or local government
  • sub-state regional planning or coordination agency that is composed of sub-state areas whose governing boards are controlled by locally-elected officials

We cannot accept applications that plan to provide less than the full range of legal aid to eligible clients in a service area unless you demonstrate that you will be part of a delivery system that provides a full range of legal aid in the service area. Your grant application, in its totality, must meet this threshold requirement to be considered qualified.

The major categories of cases typically undertaken on behalf of low-income clients include

  • Consumer/Finance
  • Family
  • Housing
  • Education
  • Income Maintenance
  • Employment
  • Health

Reporting, Compliance Requirements & Applicable Law

All grants and grant recipients are subject to all the requirements of the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, as amended, and any applicable appropriations acts, laws, rules, regulations, policies, guidelines, instructions, and other directives. These provisions contain restrictions on the activities of those who receive our funds and may affect the eligibility of potential applicants. If you are awarded the Basic Field Grant, you will be required to comply with all requirements contained therein.

Each Basic Field Grant is subject to specific grant terms and conditions (or grant assurances) for that grant year.  

Visit Grantee Guidance for more detailed information about reporting and compliance requirements as well as applicable law.


In 2018, we awarded 133 legal aid organizations more than $376 million to improve access to justice for low-income communities.

Submission Deadlines