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Legal Aid Assistance

Legal Services Corporation (LSC)

» Established by Congress in the 70’s, the Legal Services Corporation receives funding annually and allocates the
funding to State Legal Aid Services Offices across the United States to assist the poor.

» Mission Statement: To promote equal access to justice in our Nation and to provide high quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons.

» State Legal Services Offices Supported by LSC

» More than 50 million Americans are eligible to receive civil legal aid from LSC-funded programs, including 13 million children — one in five. Most are at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level threshold, an income of approximately $25,000 a year for a family of four.

On average, LSC provides about half the budget of the programs it funds. LSC encourages programs to leverage limited resources by partnering and collaborating with other supporters of civil legal aid, including state and local government, the private bar, philanthropic foundations, and the business community.

Other surveys indicate that 80 percent of the need is unmet. Even this may be an understatement — many people who are eligible for civil legal aid do not seek it. Moreover, the analysis for the Justice Gap Report was completed before Hurricane Katrina simultaneously swelled the need for civil legal aid and the number of people without access to it.
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