Legal Services Corporation

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Legal Services Corporation

Legal Services Corporation "is the single largest provider of civil legal aid for the poor" in the United States and was established by Congress in 1974. The LSC operates as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that "distributes more than 95 percent of its total funding to 137 independent nonprofit legal aid programs with 918 offices that provide legal assistance to low-income individuals and families throughout the nation."[1]

Profile from Heritage

A 1995 report from the Heritage Foundation stated in part:[2]

"The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was established by the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974 to provide free legal assistance to the indigent in civil, non-criminal matters. Its origins lie in President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, specifically with the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which in 1965 began making direct grants to local legal aid organizations.
"Despite its name, however, the Corporation does not use its budget (currently $400 million) to provide direct legal services to the poor. Rather, it distributes federal tax dollars to 323 private groups around the country. These grantees also receive another $255 million from lawyer groups, local and state governments, interest on lawyers' trust accounts (IOLTA), and private sources."


"Legal Services suffers from an institutionalized ideological bias. Attorneys have promoted racial preferences and illegal immigration, and grantees are sufficiently politicized to become involved in congressional redistricting, litigation, and campaigning on ballot referendum questions. For the past 30 years, the LSC has been the legal pillar of the welfare state. Through litigation, advocacy, and lobbying, it has caused an increase in local, state, and federal welfare spending by hundreds of billions of dollars and has effected the addition of millions of people to the welfare rolls."

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