Legal Services Corporation celebrates 35 years
Maryland Legal Aid joins the Legal Services Corporation in observing 35 years of dedicated federal funding to provide civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families.
LSC provides federal funds to 137 independent nonprofit organizations across the nation, including Maryland Legal Aid, one of the largest such programs in the U.S. The funding provided by LSC is vital to Legal Aid, making up nearly 20 percent of the our total annual budget.
Nationwide, LSC is the single largest funder of civil legal aid for the poor. Established by Congress in 1974, LSC operates as a nonprofit corporation that promotes equal access to justice and provides grants for high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.
“We deeply appreciate the bipartisan support of Congress and LSC in ensuring we receive this critical federal funding,” said Legal Aid Executive Director Wilhelm H. Joseph Jr. “In these difficult economic times, LSC funding has never been more important and critical to the success of legal aid programs. Millions of Americans continue to fall deeper into poverty and millions more are facing poverty for the first time.”
Legal Aid served more than 50,000 clients across Maryland in 2008, making a meaningful difference in their lives.
The low-income Americans who seek legal assistance include victims of domestic violence, families facing unlawful evictions or foreclosures that could leave them homeless, disaster victims trying to obtain emergency assistance, persons with disabilities, military veterans and others with pressing civil legal problems.
For fiscal year 2009, Congress appropriated $390 million to LSC. The corporation is headed by a bipartisan board of directors whose 11 members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.