Technology Initiative Grant Program

LSC Technology Initiative Grants seek to improve legal services delivery to the low-income population and to increase access by low-income persons to high quality legal services, to the judicial system, and to legal information.  

Technology can and must play a vital role in transforming service delivery so that all poor people in the United States with an essential civil legal need obtain some form of effective assistance.” - LSC’s Report of The Summit on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice 

Overview

Since 2000, when Congress first appropriated special funds for the Technology Initiative Grants program, LSC has been a leader in the development and use of technology to more effectively meet the legal needs of low-income Americans.  

Over the past 20 years we have awarded nearly $70 million in grants for more than 750 projects that leverage technology to help meet the civil legal needs of low-income people. The amount of TIG funding available for the fiscal year 2020 is $4 million. In 2019, 30 TIG projects received funding with a median funding amount of $103,739.

The key goals of the TIG program are to encourage grantees to use technology in innovative ways to: 

  1. Effectively and efficiently provide high-quality legal assistance to low-income persons and to promote access to the judicial system through legal information, advice, and representation; 
  2. Improve service delivery, quality of legal work, and management and administration of grantees; and 
  3. Develop, test, and replicate innovative strategies that can enable grantees and state justice communities to improve clients’ access to high-quality legal assistance through an integrated and well-managed technology system. 

TIG funding has provided LSC with a remarkable opportunity to explore new ways to serve eligible persons, to help build legal aid programs' capacities, and to support the efforts of pro bono attorneys. These projects use a broad range of technologies -- including mobile, cloud computing, data analysis, and automated document assembly -- to make the delivery of legal services in the United States more efficient and effective.  

Eligibility

TIGs are only available to current LSC basic field grant recipients. Although other entities are not eligible to apply, they are encouraged to participate as project partners. 

Applicants must be up to date according to the milestone schedule on all existing TIG projects prior to submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) or have requested and received an adjustment to the original milestone schedule. TIGs will not be awarded to any applicant unless the applicant has made satisfactory progress on all TIGs previously awarded to it and is not currently subject to any short funding (i.e., less than one year) on basic field grants.

Special LSNTAP Funding Opportunity

On August 25, LSC published a special notice seeking letters of intent (LOI) for the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP). The deadline for LOI submissions for this opportunity is September 25, 2020. Please review the Special TIG Notice Seeking Letters of Intent for the LSNTAP Program for more information.

LSC received three questions from prospective applicants about the LSNTAP opportunity. Please see the below document for answers to these inquiries. 

How to Apply

The TIG program has a two-step application process.

Step 1. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)

The TIG application process begins with the submission of a brief (2-5 page) letter of intent (LOI) to apply for funding. The submission of a LOI enables a prospective applicant to get feedback on their project idea. We invite full proposals for those projects that have a reasonable chance of success in the grant competition process based on LSC’s analysis of the information provided in the LOI. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact TIG staff with any questions or to get information about prior TIG projects. 

2020 TIG Request for Letters of Intent

Download the Request for Letters of Intent to Apply for 2020 TIG Funding for instructions and guidance on the program requirements and application process.

Application Categories

  1. Innovations and Enhancements
  2. Replication and Adaptation
  3. Technology Improvement Projects

Areas of Interest

LSC is interested in receiving a broad range of proposals to help improve access to high-quality legal help for low-income people. We also have two areas of interest which are meant to encourage ideas, but not limit the scope of proposals. The areas of interest for 2020 are:

  1. Projects that develop national technology solutions related to federal laws affecting the clients of LSC recipients.
  2. Projects to take advantage of regulatory changes to improve access to justice.

2020 TIG Cycle Informational Webinar

LSC hosted a webinar on the 2020 TIG cycle on February 13, 2020. Please click here to access the recording of the 2020 TIG informational webinar. This webinar reviewed the TIG cycle rules and requirements, the initial Letter of Intent process, and TIG's area of interest under which applicants may elect to submit applications. 

LSC has also posted three sample letters of intent in the resources below. These documents are intended to provide general guidance to applicants and may not meet all requirements.

Resources for Preparing TIG Letters of Intent 

Letters of Intent deadline: May 15, 2020.

Step 2. Submit a Full Application

LSC invites successful LOI applicants to submit a full application in the LSC Grants online system. In 2019, applicants submitting in the Innovations and Improvements or Replication and Adaptation categories used the instructions found here. Applicants submitting in the Technology Improvement Project (TIP) category used special instructions for TIPs available here. LSC hosted a webinar for 2020 TIG applicants on June 25, 2020.

Applications were due on July 24, 2020. Deadlines for the 2021 TIG cycle will be posted in early 2021.

Sample Grant Applications 

Applicants can utilize these sample application components when preparing their funding requests. These documents are intended to provide general guidance to applicants and may not meet all requirements for the current TIG cycle. Programs should review the full application instructions before they begin drafting. 

Grant Application Resources 

Reporting, Compliance Requirements & Applicable Law

TIGs are subject to the same rules and regulations as other grants from LSC. For guidance on the operation and responsibilities of LSC and its grantees, review the Rules & Regulations page on the LSC website. TIG awards are also subject to TIG Grant Assurances found on the TIG Compliance page. See also the TIG Reporting section under Grantee Guidance for information on:

Awards

Submission Deadlines

  • Letter of Intent Notice Issued: February 6, 2020
  • Letters of Intent Due: May 15, 2020
  • Invitations for Full Applications: June 12, 2020
  • Full Applications Due: July 24, 2020
  • Final Award Announcements: Fall 2020