Legal Services Corporation
May 16, 2017
WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) asked Congress today for $527.8 million for Fiscal Year 2018 because of the overwhelming need for civil legal services in the United States. LSC is the largest single funder of civil legal aid in the country, distributing more than 93% of its funding to 133 independent legal aid organizations serving every county in every state and the territories. The $25.1 million increase over last year’s request will enable LSC grantees to serve 3.35% more people in FY 2018 than in FY 2016.
“LSC’s bipartisan Board of Directors recognizes the pressing need to expand access to our country’s civil justice system through the delivery of legal aid,” said LSC Chair John G. Levi. “We agree that a significant increase in LSC funding is needed if we are to fulfill the promise of justice reflected in the first line of our Constitution. As Congressman Tom Emmer declared at our recent Access to Justice Forum, ‘What [LSC] has been committed to for years has nothing to do with party lines or partisanship. It has everything to do with our shared goal that everyone in this country has the right to equal and fair representation under the law.’”
Every day, legal aid offices provide critical constituent services to Americans. More than 60% of all cases closed by LSC grantees involve family law and housing matters. Last year, 527,444 women were helped by LSC grantees, mostly mothers seeking custody of their children and protection orders from abusive spouses. Seniors victimized by consumer scams and veterans seeking earned benefits also frequently turn to civil legal aid offices for help. Last year, LSC grantees helped nearly 100,000 veterans and their family members nationwide.