Basic Field Grant

Basic Field Grant Program Updates

3/25/2020 - LSC released the Key Dates and Activities for the FY21 grants process (See the March 24th announcement from Lynn Jennings). Please visit the Key Dates page to learn more about this year’s application deadlines, training dates and significant changes to the grants process.

Previous Updates

March 4, 2020 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:

  • Basic Field - General
  • Basic Field - Native American
  • Basic Field - Agricultural Worker

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.

Learn more about our grantees and the work that they've accomplished by visiting Grantee Data.

Submission Deadlines

Deadlines for the four types of Basic Field Grant applications, follow one of three schedules: Schedule A, Schedule B, and Schedule C.

Go to How to Apply