Legal Services Corporation

Since 1975, the private, non-profit, and federally funded Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has provided civil legal services to the poor. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently published a report on LSC's background and funding. LSC's primary responsibility is to oversee federal funds granted to local legal services providers, called LSC grantees. LSC grantees supplement LSC monies with other government and private funding, from such programs as the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), private foundations, and national, state, and local bar associations. In FY2007 Congress appropriated $348.6 million to LSC. In FY2006, Hawaii received approximately $1.46 million from LSC, 22% of a total $6.6 million in funds to serve low-income clients.

According to the report, under federal law LSC grantees may not engage in certain actions, such as those related to redistricting, abortion, assisted suicide, drug-related eviction proceedings, or reforming a federal or state welfare system.

In 2006, CRS reports, LSC funded 138 local programs with 3,600 attorneys, down from 320 local programs with 4,500 attorneys in 1994.

Legal Services Corporation: Background and Funding, CRS Report RL34016 (pdf, 14pp/112kB, from Open CRS), May 23, 2007

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