The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced that Legal Aid of Western Missouri will receive a $190,420 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.
“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund to increase pro bono support for civil legal aid,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “This grant program stimulates more volunteer participation in legal aid and allows our grantees to serve more people.”
The grant will fund Legal Aid’s Adopt a Neighborhood project. This project enlists volunteer attorneys from Kansas City’s largest law firms to provide free legal services to low-income residents of urban neighborhoods.
Under a previous grant from LSC, the program enrolled seven private law firms, engaged more than 50 pro bono attorneys, and opened more than 115 cases for clients. These cases represent more than 3,000 hours of pro bono legal service. With this new grant, Legal Aid plans to expand the project to two more neighborhoods with new law firm partners. It also plans to improve data collection and continuing legal education offerings for pro bono volunteers.
Senator Roy Blunt congratulated Legal Aid on the award. “For more than 40 years, LSC has provided quality legal services to countless low-income citizens, making a difference in the lives of thousands of Missourians each year,” said Blunt. “I’m glad this grant will give Legal Aid of Western Missouri additional resources to continue providing counsel to those who need it most.”
Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II also applauded the grant: “I am excited to hear that thousands will be able to benefit from the services and expertise of the Legal Aid of Western Missouri. This grant will give Missourians the assistance they need when seeking an attorney or legal advice. Often, people who have become victims of unfair labor practices, discrimination or unjust situations do not fight back because they lack the funds. With this grant, people will feel more confident to seek justice knowing they have support.”
Legal Aid is one of 15 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4 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 fourth 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 provides funding to 133 independent non-profit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.