2019 Pro Bono Innovation Grant Recipients

August 15, 2019

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that 14 legal aid organizations will receive Pro Bono Innovation Grants totaling $4,347,185 to expand pro bono legal services for low-income clients.

The funded projects will engage pro bono lawyers and other volunteers to better meet the civil legal needs of low-income Americans. The projects offer effective, replicable solutions to persistent challenges in current pro bono delivery systems.

Many of the projects seek to remove barriers to success facing low-income Americans. For example, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas will use its grant to expand its Driver’s License Restoration Project. Losing a license can result in job loss and create a cycle of escalating debt. To prevent this, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas will enlist pro bono attorneys to assist low-income clients working to restore their driver’s licenses.

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association’s grant will allow it tolaunch two clinics to assist victims of wage theft and defendants in debt collection cases. Legal Action of Wisconsin will use its grant to improve employment outcomes for low-income technical college students by addressing the civil legal problems preventing them from getting a degree.

Several of the funded projects will focus on increasing the recruitment and training of pro bono attorneys. Other initiatives will foster community partnerships to better meet the needs of legal aid clients. For example, Maryland Legal Aid will use its grant to create weekly general legal advice and intake clinics located in Baltimore schools. Community Legal Aid Services in Ohio will partner with its local bar association and the judiciary to launch a pro bono clinic.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

LSC awarded these grants from its $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund. The creation of the fund was recommended by LSC’s Pro Bono Task Force in 2012.

The recipients of this year’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants are:

ARKANSAS
Legal Aid of Arkansas ($241,312)

ILLINOIS
Prairie State Legal Services ($331,148)

MAINE
Pine Tree Legal Assistance ($389,636)

MARYLAND
Maryland Legal Aid ($268,280)

MASSACHUSETTS 
Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association ($234,161)

MICHIGAN
Michigan Indian Legal Services ($181,084)

MISSOURI
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri ($316,361)

NEBRASKA
Legal Aid of Nebraska ($357,475)

NEW YORK
Legal Services NYC ($473,450)

OHIO
Community Legal Aid Services ($369,422)

TEXAS
Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas ($296,224)

VIRGINIA
Legal Services of Northern Virginia ($232,440)

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia ($285,596)

WISCONSIN
Legal Action of Wisconsin ($371,554)

Legal Aid of Arkansas Awarded $241,312 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Aid of Arkansas will receive a $241,312 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Aid of Arkansas will use the grant to develop a pro bono program that is technology-enabled, uses data and evaluation to make program decisions, and provides comprehensive support for volunteers. The project’s goal is to offer a variety of pro bono opportunities to attorneys and to collaborate closely with community partners and corporate legal departments.

To achieve this, Legal Aid of Arkansas will conduct an analysis of organizational policies and processes for pro bono and employ community asset-mapping to evaluate unmet legal needs and untapped resources. The organization will work with statewide partners to streamline pro bono processes and improve volunteer support. Legal Aid of Arkansas will also update its pro bono volunteer database.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Senator John Boozman (AR) applauded the grant:

“It is important that Arkansans have access to legal services regardless of their financial situation,” said Sen. Boozman. “This funding will help increase the visibility and efficiency of the legal services provided in the state so that volunteers can reach more individuals and families in need of assistance. I’m pleased it will go toward modernizing and improving the capabilities of Legal Aid of Arkansas to better serve those who rely on essential services within our judicial system.”

Legal Aid of Arkansas is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Prairie State Legal Services Awarded $331,148 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Prairie State Legal Services in Illinois will receive a $331,148 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Prairie State Legal Services will use the grant to enhance its pro bono program by incorporating new technologies to expand outreach to law firms and attorneys in Chicago. The project will collect and review data from other pro bono programs and conduct internal assessments to develop recommendations for integrating pro bono into overall legal services delivery.

Prairie State Legal Services’ goal is to increase accepted pro bono referrals over the next two years by 15% and then 20%. Staff will develop and set organizational goals for pro bono services in every office, project, or region. Prairie State Legal Services will also hire a new Director of Pro Bono and reshape its pro bono staffing and capacity.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Members of the Illinois congressional delegation applauded the grant.

Representative Sean Casten (IL-6):

“I am happy that Prairie State Legal Services has been awarded a Pro Bono grant. Investment in legal aid is one of the most effective ways to help Americans navigate the justice system,” said Rep. Casten. “Prairie State Legal Services has contributed greatly to ensuring fair treatment under the law for those in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District. I was proud to fight for funding at the Federal level for the Legal Services Corporation for fiscal year 2019 and I will continue to work to ensure that resources flow to important advocates like Prairie State Legal Services.”

Representative Robin Kelly (IL-2):

“I’d like to congratulate Prairie State Legal Services on winning this grant funding from the Legal Services Corporation,” said Rep. Kelly. “Access to a quality lawyer is a fundamental part of our justice system. All too often, many cannot afford critical legal services. Not only will grant funding expand access to pro bono service, it will also leverage technology to better deliver quality legal services to those who need it.”

Prairie State Legal Services is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Pine Tree Legal Assistance Awarded $389,636 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Pine Tree Legal Assistance will receive a $389,636 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Pine Tree Legal Assistance will use the grant to expand its existing pro bono program. The organization will research best practices and assess current pro bono projects and systems, making sure they align with the most recent client needs assessment. Staff will produce a three-year roadmap to integrate and restructure pro bono efforts.

Pine Tree will also launch a pilot project for new associates at large law firms to provide direct representation to low-income tenants and create training opportunities and resources. Finally, Pine Tree will develop print and online marketing materials to enhance the organization’s pro bono support and recruitment efforts.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Members of the Maine congressional delegation applauded the grant.

Senator Collins (ME):

“Access to quality legal services, regardless of one’s ability to pay, helps advance justice for all people,” said Sen. Susan Collins. “Attorneys who provide their expert advice and representation pro bono help ensure that individuals with limited means are treated with fairness and have equal access to our judicial system. This funding will support the great work performed by the experienced attorneys at Pine Tree Legal Assistance to protect the rights of low-income Mainers.”

Senator King (ME):

“Pine Tree Legal is a pillar of our state, but it also holds a special place in my heart for another reason–it’s where I began my career 50 years ago,” said Sen. King. “The time I spent providing legal counsel to low-income Maine people is one of my most formative experiences, because it showed me that justice isn’t self-executing –it relies on proper representation. You can’t overstate the impact Pine Tree Legal has had in our state for more than half a century, and I’m thrilled that this grant will allow them to continue and expand their efforts on behalf of Maine people.”

Pine Tree Legal Assistance is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Maryland Legal Aid Awarded $268,280 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Maryland Legal Aid will receive a $268,280 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Maryland Legal Aid will use the grant to support its Lawyers in Schools Project. More than half of students attending Baltimore City Public Schools are living in poverty. Low-income families often rely on schools for needed resources and information, such as medical services, food pantries, social workers, and mental health counselors. Schools are an ideal access point for families who already frequent the school building for student pick-up and drop-off and parent-teacher meetings. Maryland Legal Aid will establish weekly general legal advice and intake clinics in Baltimore City schools.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Members of the Maryland congressional delegation applauded the grant.

Senator Ben Cardin (MD):

“Our community schools serve as a central hub for City School students and their families,” said Sen. Cardin. “This grant from the Legal Services Corporation will allow City School community schools to provide critical services for Baltimore families and allow students to focus and be successful in the classroom.”

Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD):

"All Marylanders should be treated fairly and have access to the justice system to protect themselves from fraud and abuse, and funding from the national Legal Services Corporation helps make that happen by providing resources to Maryland Legal Aid,” said Sen. Van Hollen. “Those resources are used to help needy families in cases like home foreclosures and evictions, consumer protection, and custody disputes, and I'm pleased that this new funding for the City of Baltimore will ensure that more Marylanders receive fair treatment under the law.”

Representative John Sarbanes (MD-3):

“This grant from LSC will help Maryland Legal Aid provide additional legal services and counsel in underserved communities across Baltimore,” said Rep. Sarbanes. “By creating opportunities for students and families to access legal services through their local schools, we can ensure that more Baltimoreans receive valuable and affordable legal advice. I am a longtime supporter of both LSC and Maryland Legal Aid and I look forward to seeing the positive and empowering impact that this grant will make on our city.”

Maryland Legal Services is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association Awarded $234,161 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association will receive a $234,161 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association will use the grant to support its Economic Fairness Project. The project, a partnership between the Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, created two clinics that allow pro bono volunteers to assist victims of wage theft and defendants in debt collection cases.

In its first 18 months, the Economic Fairness Project has secured more than $640,000 in debt relief and $24,626 in lost wages for clients. It has provided legal assistance in 487 consumer debt cases and 44 wage theft cases. The clinics are now being replicated by courts in Massachusetts and legal aid organizations in other states. LSC’s funding will allow the Volunteer Lawyers Project to continue the work of this important initiative.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation applauded the grant.

Representative Joe Kennedy III (MA-4):

“Workers confronting predatory corporate practices and consumers fighting for debt relief should not be forced to navigate our judicial system alone,” said Rep. Kennedy. “With this generous grant from LSC, the Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Economic Fairness Project can pursue justice and economic security for our neighbors who might otherwise be silenced by powerful corporations.”

Representative Seth Moulton (MA-6):

"In places like Lynn and Gloucester, I’ve seen wage theft threaten the livelihoods of hardworking families and unfairly push small businesses to the brink of closing,” said Rep. Moulton. “Unfortunately, not everyone can afford high quality legal representation. That’s why I am so glad the LSC has taken an active role in standing up for workers with these grants.”

The Volunteer Lawyers Project is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Michigan Indian Legal Services Awarded $181,084 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Michigan Indian Legal Services will receive a $181,084 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Michigan Indian Legal Services will use the grant to increase access to high-quality legal assistance for Native populations residing throughout the state. The goal is to recruit late career and retired attorneys to offer community legal education on critical topics, to provide direct representation to individuals, and to mentor Michigan Indian Legal Services’ junior staff attorneys to build the organization’s capacity to serve clients.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Representative Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) applauded the grant.

“Legal Services Corporation plays an integral role in providing legal assistance to underserved communities throughout the country,” said Rep. Lawrence. “I am thrilled to see the Michigan Indian Legal Services (MILS) receive a Pro Bono grant for FY 2019 to ensure they can provide their clients with the high-quality legal services they deserve. These crucial funds will give MILS’ attorneys the resources necessary to train and expand outreach for its clients across the state.”

Michigan Indian Legal Services is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Awarded $316,361 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Services of Eastern Missouri will receive a $316,361 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri will use the grant to support its Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative. Launched in 2018, the project provides access to legal representation for urban neighborhoods and residents plagued by vacant and abandoned property. The project engages law firms and pro bono volunteers to help stabilize housing, return vacant property to productive use, and improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Senator Roy Blunt (MO) applauded the grant:

“For over 40 years, the Legal Services Corporation has provided quality, no-cost legal services to millions of low-income citizens,” said Sen. Blunt. “This grant will support Legal Services of Eastern Missouri’s important efforts to provide counsel to people in the community.”

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Aid of Nebraska Awarded $357,475 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Aid of Nebraska will receive a $357,475 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Aid of Nebraska’s grant will enable the organization to use Colorado Legal Services’ asset-mapping process to design and implement pro bono service-delivery models in three rural areas of the state. The project’s goal is to increase the number of clients in rural areas receiving legal assistance. 

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Representative Don Bacon (NE-2) applauded the grant:

“In Congress I have supported robust funding for legal assistance to low-income individuals and families, to ensure they have access to justice and due process,” said Rep. Bacon. “This grant will help identify those who need that access and I look forward to hearing how this assistance will benefit Nebraskans in need.”

Legal Aid of Nebraska is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Services NYC Awarded $473,450 in Pro Bono Innovation Grants

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Services NYC will receive two Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants totaling $473,450. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Services NYC will use a $310,663 grant to secure pro bono representation for low-income tenants in New York City who struggle with housing conditions, including mold, vermin, lack of heat, plumbing, and appliances. The project will increase pro bono tenant representation through innovative “study groups” of lawyers from large law firms and corporate legal departments. These hybrid study groups will commit to providing full representation in pre-screened cases. Legal Services NYC will support volunteers through structured training and mentorship designed to build expertise and momentum for the project.

Legal Services NYC has previously employed this hybrid model for “Military Mondays,” a monthly free legal clinic for low-income veterans. That project—which was initially supported with a 2017 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant—is now on track to help 800 veterans and other low-income clients on critical legal issues.  A second $162,787 grant will help the organization expand this program to reach more clients.

 “We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Members of the New York congressional delegation applauded the grant.

Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13):
 
“Everyone deserves to live safely and securely in their home,” said Rep. Espaillat. “This is why the work of Legal Services New York City for tenants most in need is so valuable. Legal Services New York City stands up for the rights of our neighbors who deserve fair and safe living to ensure protections for low-income tenants and residents. The organization’s work on behalf of residents including veterans and immigrant communities is an invaluable resource and this grant funding with help further the organization’s reach within our community. I applaud Legal Services New York City for its efforts and mission throughout New York City and Washington, D.C.  to advocate to ensure tenants’ rights and fairness.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14):

“We congratulate Legal Services NYC on procuring $473,450 in grants to uplift the most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. “By helping tenants and veterans get access to proper representation, LSNYC works to ensure our justice system serves those who need it most.”

Representative José Serrano (NY-15):

“As a longtime champion of efforts in Congress to protect and increase funding for the Legal Services Corporation, I’m proud to join in announcing these important grants in New York City,” said Rep. Serrano. “Legal Services NYC plays a key role in the Bronx, and these two grants will allow them to continue providing underserved tenants and veterans in the district with the legal services they need access to. In my role as Chairman of the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee, I intend to keep fighting for LSC and to reduce the justice gap.”

Legal Services NYC is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Community Legal Aid Services in Ohio Awarded $369,422 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Community Legal Aid Services, based in Akron, Ohio, will receive a $369,422 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Community Legal Aid Serviceswill use the grant to create a pro bono legal clinic located at the Trumbull County Bar Association offices. This project will be a partnership among the organization’s Volunteer Legal Services Program, the local bar, and the county’s eight courts. The pro bono project’s initial focus will be on issues relating to housing evictions, foreclosure, and consumer debt and credit matters.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Senator Sherrod Brown congratulated Community Legal Services on the award:

“Every Ohioan should have access to the legal services and representation they need during financial hardships,” said Brown. “These funds for Community Aid Legal Services will help ensure low-income Ohioans have the legal assistance to uphold their rights in cases of evictions, foreclosures and debt collections.”

Community Legal Aid Servicesis one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Awarded $296,224 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas will receive a $296,224 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas will use the grant to expand its Driver’s License Restoration Project to include pro bono volunteers. According to a 2019 report, 1.7 million Texans are unable to obtain a valid driver’s license because of nonpayment of fines, fees, or surcharges. In total, four out of five license suspensions in Texas are financially related, with only the remaining 20% directly resulting from unsafe driving. The loss of a license can perpetuate a downward cycle of escalating debt and job loss for low-income Texans. The majority of drivers requiring such services do not have the funds to hire an attorney. Expanding the Driver’s License Restoration Project to include pro bono attorneys will allow Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas to better meet the significant need for this type of legal assistance.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Representative Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26) released the following statement on the award: 

“Congratulations to Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, which recently received a grant of nearly $300,000 from the Legal Services Corporation,” said Rep. Burgess. “This grant will help Legal Aid of Northwest Texas provide additional counsel to Texans in need of legal services on a pro bono basis. I am grateful for LSC’s generosity, and am encouraged that this funding will make a positive difference for North Texans in the 26th Congressional District and beyond.”

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Services of Northern Virginia Awarded $232,440 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Services of Northern Virginia will receive a $232,440 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Services of Northern Virginia will use the grant to support its Veterans Law Pro Bono Project. The project provides holistic legal assistance to former service members on a variety of issues. Services offered include legal checkups conducted by law students, review of records by pro bono volunteers, civil legal aid assistance, and individual pro bono case placements. Legal Services of Northern Virginia has built up a strong referral network for the project and recruited corporations and law firms to take on discharge-upgrade and veterans’ benefits cases. The grant will allow the organization to continue meeting the legal services needs of former service members. This is the second grant the organization has received to support the project. It previously received a $290,283 grant in 2017.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Members of the Virginia congressional delegation applauded the grant.

Senator Tim Kaine (VA):

“My wife, Anne, was a legal aid attorney in Virginia for many years and I know how important these services are to ensure equal access to justice, regardless of who you are or how much you can pay,” said Sen. Kaine. “I’m so pleased that LSC is supporting Legal Services of Northern Virginia with a grant to provide legal aid to veterans. This will make a real difference in the lives of Virginians who sacrificed to defend our country.”

Senator Mark Warner (VA):

“I am thrilled to know that the Legal Services of Northern Virginia will be able to continue their good work on behalf of veterans,” said Sen. Warner. “This grant will help ensure that servicemembers and their families can get the free help they need to navigate civilian life and access the benefits they’ve rightfully earned.”

Representative Jennifer Wexton (VA-10):

“I know firsthand through my previous pro bono work with the Legal Services of Northern Virginia just how important their efforts are,” said Rep. Wexton. “They provide critical legal aid services to Virginia families who can’t afford it otherwise. I applaud the Legal Services Corporation’s decision to provide a pro bono grant to support LSNV’s Veterans Law Pro Bono project—this grant will make a real difference in the lives of our veterans and military families.”

Representative Abigail Spanberger (VA-7):

“As a Virginian, I’m incredibly proud of the dedicated work Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) continues to do for veterans in Virginia’s Seventh District and across the greater commonwealth,” said Rep. Spanberger. “That’s why I’m honored to help them announce this much-deserved grant award through the Veterans Law Pro Bono Project. Through a robust LSNV referral network, Virginia veterans are able to receive substantial help dealing with various legal issues and regulatory challenges related to their veterans benefits. This organization continues to exemplify the best of our area, and I thank them for their commitment to those who’ve selflessly served our country.”

Legal Services of Northern Virginia is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia Awarded $285,596 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia will receive a $285,596 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Neighborhood Legal Services Program will use the grant to support its Housing Cooperative Preservation Initiative. The project provides legal services to Low Equity Cooperatives (LECs) in the District of Columbia. LECs make up a significant—but increasingly threatened—portion of affordable housing in the District. There are currently more than 100 LECs in D.C. providing more than 3,000 residents affordable housing. Many LECs were formed under D.C.’s first right of purchase law, which allows tenants to acquire buildings slated for sale. The pro bono grant will allow Neighborhood Legal Services Program to expand the initiative’s reach by recruiting pro bono volunteers who can provide services in their areas of expertise.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Action of Wisconsin Awarded $371,554 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Action of Wisconsin will receive a $371,554 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Action of Wisconsin will use the grant to help low-income students attending technical colleges. The project will develop new pro bono opportunities to improve the education and employment outcomes of these students by resolving or mitigating civil legal problems that prevent them from getting a degree, using their degree, or achieving the highest level of occupational credentialing and licensing. The project also aims to build and test a new place-based model of pro bono delivery for replication in other communities that have technical or community colleges as partners.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing and increasing support for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “These grants stimulate more participation by pro bono volunteers. They enhance public-private partnerships, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI) applauded the grant:

“I have been proud to support Legal Action of Wisconsin throughout my career in public service because they work hard every day to keep the promise of ‘justice for all,’” said Sen. Baldwin. “I know that Legal Action of Wisconsin will put this grant to work developing new pro bono opportunities to help low-income technical college students overcome barriers to accessing the degrees or credentials that can help them gain the skills to succeed and move our economy forward. Wisconsin will be well served with this investment by the Legal Services Corporation.”

Legal Action of Wisconsin is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the sixth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.