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Raw Data on Civil Legal Needs and Services


The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is committed to increasing access to data to help grantees, the media, researchers and the public understand the nature of civil legal needs and services. In addition to making data open and accessible via DATA.GOV, LSC provides access to research data in a variety of formats for secondary analysis. Each data file comes with a detailed codebook.

Justice Gap Survey

The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans explores the extent of the justice gap in 2017, describing the volume of civil legal needs faced by low-income Americans, assessing the extent to which they seek and receive help, and measuring the size of the gap between their civil legal needs and the resources available to address these needs. For the latest Justice Gap Report, click here.

The programmed survey instrument, codebook, and data files from the 2017 Justice Gap Measurement Survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago are available for download.

American Community Survey

LSC obtains current demographic information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The Data File is a compilation of tables that have been requested from the Census Bureau to be disaggregated at the LSC Service Area and State summary levels. LSC Service Area summary level data are unpublished, special tabulations. State summary level information are published by the U.S. Census Bureau and are available via American FactFinder.

Grantee Activity Report Data

The Grantee Activity Report (GAR) is the largest and longest running data collection effort on civil legal aid in the United States. Dating back to 1976, the Legal Service Corporation (LSC) has recorded and reported data from our grantees in a variety of ways. GAR data is distributed to the public in the LSC Fact Books, which are now called By the Numbers. The data are gathered annually from all grantees on a calendar year basis. Grantees use automated reporting forms that are accessible via the Internet.