2018 Pro Bono Innovation Grant Recipients

August 2, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that 15 legal aid organizations will receive Pro Bono Innovation Grants 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.

Five of the projects focus on providing representation to tenants in eviction cases. Legal aid organizations in Florida, New York, Vermont, and Wisconsin will recruit and train private attorneys to provide assistance and full representation to clients facing eviction.

Several of the funded projects seek to partner with schools, bar associations, and other community organizations to better reach and serve clients. Other projects focus on streamlining administrative processes and improving volunteer training. 

For example, Montana Legal Services Association will use its grant to create a statewide network of retired attorneys to provide advice to low-income clients throughout the state. These volunteers will also mentor and offer litigation support to Montana Legal Services Association attorneys.    

Legal Services of Greater Miami will use its grant to enhance its case management system and develop client intake and referral processes in cooperation with a local bar association. A grant to Alaska Legal Services Corporation will help the program recruit and train local community leaders and enlist the support of Indian Child Welfare Act workers, health aides, tribal employees, and law and paralegal students to help expand services to rural areas throughout the state. increased funding for the Pro Bono Innovation Fund to $4 million.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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:

ALASKA
Alaska Legal Services Corporation

CALIFORNIA
Bay Area Legal Aid

Legal Aid Society of Orange County

Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County

FLORIDA
Legal Services of Greater Miami

GEORGIA
Atlanta Legal Aid Society

IOWA
Iowa Legal Aid

MICHIGAN
Lakeshore Legal Aid


MONTANA
Montana Legal Services

NEW YORK
Legal Assistance of Western New York


Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

VERMONT
Legal Services Law Line of Vermont

VIRGINIA
Central Virginia Legal Aid Society

WEST VIRGINIA
Legal Aid of West Virginia

WISCONSIN
Legal Action of Wisconsin 


Alaska Legal Services Corporation Awarded
$304,297 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Alaska Legal Services Corporation will receive a $304,297 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Alaska Legal Services will use the grant to expand available legal services for rural residents by increasing the types and number of pro bono providers. The grant will support the creation of legal training modules for advocates in specific subject areas where there is the most need. Alaska Legal Services will recruit and train local rural community leaders, such as Indian Child Welfare Act workers, health aides, tribal employees, and law and paralegal students to expand the program’s outreach efforts.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 Alaska congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Senator Lisa Murkowski: “In rural Alaska it’s often difficult to ensure individuals have access to the legal services they need. Alaska Legal Services has been one of the nation's leading legal services providers for decades. For many, it is the only option available. This grant will allow Alaska Legal Services to take an innovative approach toward expanding access to pro bono legal services to some of our most remote communities.” 

Senator Dan Sullivan: “As a former Attorney General for the State of Alaska, and now as a U.S. Senator, I have worked closely with Alaska Legal Services and have seen firsthand the invaluable representation it offers Alaskans. Alaska Legal Services does excellent work and I thank the Legal Services Corporation for awarding this grant to ALS so that it can provide even more needed legal services to Alaskans.” 

 Alaska Legal Services is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Bay Area Legal Aid Receives $346,602 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Bay Area Legal Aid will receive a $346,602 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Bay Area Legal Aid will use its grant to partner with pro bono attorneys to protect low-income consumers with its Fair Bargain project, which will focus on helping clients with consumer issues and training pro bono volunteers to assist in consumer rights clinics. 

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 California congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Senator Kamala Harris: “Legal Services Corporation is critical to ensuring that every American, regardless of their circumstance, can rely on that great American promise of equal justice under law. I’m proud that Bay Area Legal Aid, Legal Aid Society of Orange County and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County are being supported by LSC and Congressional funding, and will bring more justice and access to justice to Californians.” 

Representative Barbara Lee: “I am so pleased that Bay Area Legal Aid will receive this well-deserved grant. Bay Area Legal Aid does invaluable work in our community helping veterans, the working poor, seniors, and those with disabilities receive critical legal assistance. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will keep fighting for robust funding for these programs and partnerships that provide justice, equity, and advocacy to our community.” 

Representative Eric Swalwell: “My compliments to Bay Area Legal Aid on the award of this Pro Bono grant. So many of our region’s residents need assistance with consumer issues, and I know that Bay Area Legal Aid has an exemplary track record of providing it.” 

Bay Area Legal Aid is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Aid Society of Orange County Receives $361,083 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that the Legal Aid Society of Orange County will receive a $361,083 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Aid Society of Orange County will use the grant to develop written guidelines to ensure the use of pro bono best practices throughout the organization and create a system to evaluate the efficacy of their pro bono work. The goal is to focus first on “legal deserts”—areas where there are significant poverty rates and few available legal resources. 

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Senator Kamala Harris applauded this award and two others to California legal aid providers.  “Legal Services Corporation is critical to ensuring that every American, regardless of their circumstance, can rely on that great American promise of equal justice under law,” said Harris. “I’m proud that Bay Area Legal Aid, Legal Aid Society of Orange County and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County are being supported by LSC and Congressional funding, and will bring more justice and access to justice to Californians.” 

Legal Aid Society of Orange County is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County Receives $305,776 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles Countywill receive a $305,776 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles Countywill use its grant to support its Antelope Valley Online Community Assistance Team. The project employs technology to connect private attorneys in Los Angeles to rural clients in the Antelope Valley. Pro bono volunteers will assist low-income clients on a variety of legal issues, but particularly focus on helping remove barriers to employment. 

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 California congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Senator Kamala Harris: “Legal Services Corporation is critical to ensuring that every American, regardless of their circumstance, can rely on that great American promise of equal justice under law. I’m proud that Bay Area Legal Aid, Legal Aid Society of Orange County and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County are being supported by LSC and Congressional funding, and will bring more justice and access to justice to Californians.” 

Representative Steve Knight: “I’d like to congratulate Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County on receiving this grant from the Legal Services Corporation. Legal representation and advice is a vital asset for any business, family, and citizen in the United States. The money awarded in this grant will go a long way towards ensuring clients in the Antelope Valley have a wide array of legal services.” 

Representative Norma Torres: “The residents of Los Angeles County deserve access to justice and equal protection under the law, regardless of their income. I’m proud our community is receiving this grant, which will help the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County provide thousands of low-income individuals and families in our communities with the free legal representation they need.”

Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Services of Greater Miami Receives $383,270 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Services of Greater Miami will receive a $383,270 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Services of Greater Miami will use the grant to recruit more pro bono attorneys and volunteers to address low-income clients’ critical legal problems. The grant will allow the organization to implement enhancements to its case management system and develop client-centered intake and referral processes with Dade County Bar Association Legal Aid’s Put Something Back Pro Bono Project. It will also develop a pilot pro bono eviction defense project in a Miami-Dade County courtroom. 

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 Florida congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Representative Carlos Curbelo: “Working class South Floridians that cannot afford quality professional services such as lawyers rely on organizations like the Legal Services of Greater Miami to provide them access to essential assistance. The most vulnerable among us are typically the ones most in need of legal assistance, and I’m grateful the Legal Services Corporation has recognized the important work Legal Services of Greater Miami does and will be funding more pro-bono lawyers to help those in need access services to ensure they get a fair deal.” 

Representative Mario Diaz-Balart: “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I am pleased to have worked with my colleagues to fund important grants through Legal Services Corporation. LSC's Greater Miami program gives low-income South Floridians access to free, professional legal consultation and service. I have seen firsthand the work LSC of Greater Miami does to help those struggling through difficult times. As I have in the past, I will continue working with the Florida delegation to continue supporting LSC's mission and the communities they serve.” 

Legal Services of Greater Miami is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Atlanta Legal Aid Society Awarded $371,475 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Atlanta Legal Aid Societywill receive a $371,475 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Atlanta Legal Aid Society will use the grant to respond to client needs by linking volunteer, staff, and client data. Atlanta Legal Aid will develop online tools that match and track client needs with volunteer availability and interests in real time. It will also create an online library for pro bono volunteers and a pro bono project management toolkit with information for volunteers and staff to propagate best practices and coordinate pro bono project management.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Representative Hank Johnson congratulated Atlanta Legal Aid Society on the award. “The work the Atlanta Legal Aid Society performs in our community is critical to helping protect low-income families deal with a range of issues from housing and foreclosure prevention to health crises and consumer rights cases,” said Johnson. “As a former judge and criminal defense attorney, I know how complicated navigating the legal system can be. I applaud the 70 staff attorneys currently handling more than 20,000 cases a year, and I tip my cap to the 1,200 volunteers who help make it all work.”

Atlanta Legal Aid Society is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Iowa Legal Aid Receives $341,339 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Iowa Legal Aid will receive a $341,339Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Iowa Legal Aid will use the grant to create an asset-mapping process to better understand the needs and resources of the community. This will allow Iowa Legal Aid to determine which pro bono projects will build on existing resources, increase the participation of pro bono volunteers, and provide more civil legal services to low-income clients in need.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 Iowa congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Senator Joni Ernest: “It’s encouraging to hear that Iowa Legal Aid is receiving a grant that will support the organization and allow them to continue to help victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Victims of domestic violence and human trafficking need support, as do the organizations who are helping the victims of these terrible crimes.”

Representative Dave Loebsack: “By providing free legal services to low-income Iowans, Iowa Legal Aid ensures that anyone in need will have access to resources to assist with issues including child support, disability claims, and landlord and tenant disputes. I am pleased that Iowa Legal Aid has been awarded this competitive Pro Bono grant from the Legal Services Corporation to expand their pro bono partnerships in communities across the state. I proudly support Iowa Legal Aid’s mission and look forward to seeing the results of this important funding.” 

Representative David Young: “I always advocate for Iowans and work on behalf of my bosses in the Third District, and these funds will help low income Iowans get legal services they need. Iowa Legal Aid does critical work for Iowans and as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I was proud to ensure these funds were available for organizations like Iowa Legal Aid.” 

Iowa Legal Aid is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Lakeshore Legal Aid Receives $364,740 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Lakeshore Legal Aid will receive a $364,740Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Lakeshore Legal Aid will use the grant to improve pro bono operations by developing a case management system to expand offsite volunteer-led clinics, reduce case assignment times, increase pro bono case placements, and reduce staff time on administrative tasks. The goal is to increase efficiency in key pro bono processes by as much as 50%, allowing the program to use more volunteers more effectively in removing the legal barriers to employment, a key strategic priority for Lakeshore Legal Aid.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 Michigan congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Senator Gary Peters: “Communities across Southeast Michigan rely on Lakeshore Legal Aid to provide critical services that help people facing a range of issues from consumer protection to family law to civil rights. I’m pleased to support this vital funding that will enable Lakeshore Legal Aid to help even more Michiganders get the legal assistance they need.” 

Representative Debbie Dingell: “The Constitution is clear that everyone has a right to be represented by an attorney during a trial. This important funding will help Lakeshore Legal Aid ensure everyone gets the representation they deserve no matter how much money they have.” 

Representative Sander “Sandy” Levin: “Lakeshore Legal Aid continues to provide vital, pro bono assistance to low-income families in our community by providing services across a range of issues, including employment, housing, and public benefits. I continue to support robust funding in Congress for the Legal Services Corporation through which today’s Pro Bono grant award will help Lakeshore Legal Aid increase the efficiency and reach of its services.” 

Lakeshore Legal Aid is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Montana Legal Services Receives $236,797 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Montana Legal Services will receive a $236,797 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Montana Legal Services will use the grant to develop and support a statewide network of retired attorneys to provide advice and limited-scope services to low-income clients throughout the state. Volunteers will provide legal advice through the Montana Pro Bono Connect Phone Advice Program. They will also mentor and provide litigation support to Montana Legal Services Association attorneys.    

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 Montana congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Senator Steve Daines: “Going to court can be challenging especially when you don’t have the resources.  Organizations like Montana Legal Services are critical to helping those Montanans who need assistance.  I’m glad to support the recent funding and will continue to be a supporter of important programs like Montana Legal Services.”

Senator Jon Tester: “By connecting experienced legal professionals with Montanans, these resources will help give a voice to the voiceless. In our system, justice tends to go to the highest bidder, but Montana Legal Services is helping level the playing field to make sure justice is served, regardless of means.”  

Montana Legal Services is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Assistance of Western New York Receives $264,904 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Assistance of Western New York will receive a $264,904 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY) will use the grant to create a new pro bono team that will be led by a director, regional pro bono coordinators, and staff in every office throughout the program’s service area. The program’s first goal will be to integrate current volunteer attorneys into LawNY’s newest practice areas—the consumer unit and community economic development project.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 Tom Reed: “I care about those who seek legal assistance but cannot afford attorneys. Legal Assistance of Western New York gives their clients a fair shot and this grant will enable more partnerships to form to help as many people as possible. I thank Legal Services Corporation for selecting Legal Assistance of Western New York to receive this federal grant.” 

Legal Assistance of Western New York is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley Receives $210,140 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Services of the Hudson Valley will receive a $210,140 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley will use the grant to expand its Pro Bono Housing Project. The grant will allow the program to recruit and train pro bono volunteers from law firms to provide full representation to clients facing evictions.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Representative Nita Lowey applauded the grant. “Legal Services of the Hudson Valley does critical work, providing high-quality, comprehensive legal services to low-income individuals and families throughout the Lower Hudson Valley,” said Lowey. “Every person, regardless of their economic status, deserves full access to legal protections, and, with this funding, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley will ensure that more people in our community receive that access. As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to secure these types of federal resources to directly benefit the Lower Hudson Valley.” 

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Services Law Line of Vermont Receives $186,960 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Services Law Line of Vermont will receive a $186,960 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Services Law Line of Vermont will use the grant to expand its successful Pro Bono Eviction Clinic. Launched last year, the clinic has worked to help low-income clients avoid evictions by increasing the number of active pro bono attorneys available to help them. The program will use the grant to increase pro bono attorney recruitment and offer volunteer-led information and educational sessions to clients.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 Vermont congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Senator Patrick Leahy: “People and their communities from coast to coast rely on LSC to provide accessible legal assistance so they can stay in their homes, keep their families together, and recover from predatory lenders and fraud.  In Vermont, nearly 3,000 Vermonters -- including veterans, the elderly, and victims of domestic violence -- rely on LSC, and I’m proud that Congress, led by bipartisan support on the Appropriations Committee, has rejected President Trump’s repeated attempts to eliminate this vital program.” 

Representative Peter Welch: “Every Vermonter has the right to legal representation, regardless of economic standing. This grant will allow Legal Law Line of Vermont to expand its important mission of providing pro bono legal representation to Vermonters facing eviction. For those who struggle to keep up with skyrocketing rent and mortgage payments, Legal Law Line of Vermont has offered candid, free legal consultation, community education, and justice. This $186,960 in additional funding will allow this excellent organization to expand education services, increase attorney recruitment, and serve more Vermonters in need.” 

Legal Services Law Line of Vermont is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Central Virginia Legal Aid Society Receives $184,927 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Central Virginia Legal Aid Society will receive a $184,927 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Central Virginia Legal Aid Society will use the grant to better serve the diverse needs of low-income clients through its Triage Project Partnership. The project will recruit volunteer private attorneys and organize them into substantive teams focused on 10 underserved areas of law. Central Virginia Legal Aid staff will arrange and administer volunteer training, schedule clinics for clients, refer cases to volunteers, and monitor the progress of cases.  

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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: “I am glad Central Virginia Legal Aid Society received funding from LSC’s Pro Bono Grant program to engage the legal community in providing access to justice for Virginia’s most vulnerable communities. Much of the good work by CVLAS would not be possible without the dedicated work of its pro bono partners. This grant funding will help ensure that these relationships continue to benefit marginalized communities, including the elderly, veterans, low-income families, disabled Americans, and victims of domestic violence.” 

Senator Mark Warner: “I want to congratulate the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society on winning this generous grant from the Legal Services Corporation. This funding will help low-income Virginians access professional help in an often complicated and confusing legal system. I want to thank the Virginia Legal Aid Society for the work they do to provide unobstructed access to justice to disadvantaged communities.” 

Central Virginia Legal Aid Society is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Aid of West Virginia Receives $202,439 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Aid of West Virginia will receive a $202,439 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Aid of West Virginia will use its grant to expand its Lawyer in the School Project. The project assists students at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary in the west side neighborhood of Charleston, home to many of Charleston’s low-income residents. Trained volunteer lawyers provide on-site legal assistance to families. Legal Aid of West Virginia will use the grant to enhance the program to improve data collection, engage more volunteers, and expand to Grandview Elementary, which serves students from the same neighborhood.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, 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 West Virginia congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Senator Joe Manchin: “This funding will give smart, hardworking professionals in West Virginia communities the resources to properly advocate for students and families. I’m glad that Legal Aid of West Virginia will receive this funding to continue to offer pro bono legal services to those in need. It’s these types of programs that make the difference in West Virginia, and I will continue to work to secure more grant opportunities so these organizations like the Legal Aid of West Virginia can continue these important services.” 

Representative Evan Jenkins: “Legal Services Corporation’s grant will help Legal Aid of West Virginia expand their “Lawyer in School” program and allow them to provide legal aid to more West Virginians. I would like to thank the Legal Services Corporation for investing in West Virginia and will continue to support their efforts to help our state.” 

Legal Aid of West Virginia is one of 15 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.

Legal Action of Wisconsin Receives $340,000 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Legal Action of Wisconsin will receive a $340,000 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

Legal Action of Wisconsin will use its grant to expand the work of its Eviction Defense Project. Launched in January 2017, the project is a court-based pro bono program that has more than quadrupled representation for tenants in eviction cases. The project helps clients defend against evictions, minimizing the harmful impact of eviction filings on their long-term housing stability. Almost 100 volunteer attorneys and 25 students have already partnered with the Eviction Defense Project, providing help to nearly 700 low-income clients. The grant will allow the project to increase service hours.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Representative Gwen Moore applauded the grant. “Too often families and tenants facing evictions do not have access to legal representation or the resources they need to attend court summons, especially in Milwaukee where we have one of the highest eviction rates for low-income individuals in the country,” said Moore. “Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Eviction Defense Project has had a monumental impact on the lives of low-income Milwaukeeans struggling with housing instability, and I am thrilled they will be able to continue this critical mission with the help of the Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant.”

Legal Action of Wisconsin is one of 15 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 fifth 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 133 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.