Michigan Advocacy Program awarded $358,600 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced on August 20 that the Michigan Advocacy Program will receive a $358,600 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant. LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

The Michigan Advocacy Program will use the grant to elevate and integrate pro bono in the organization’s broader service delivery model. The project aims to modernize pro bono data tracking, referrals and reporting systems with the new case management system in Michigan. To enhance efficiency, the Michigan Advocacy Program will identify needed technology and reporting capacity, update its pro bono attorney roster and integrate individual, local pro bono management with a centralized, program-wide pro bono system.

“Pro bono assistance enables the Michigan Advocacy Program to leverage its limited government-funded staff resources with privately contributed services,” said LSC President Ronald S. Flagg. “This grant will promote this leverage and help the Michigan Advocacy Program to assist many more people in need.”

“Access to justice is essential if we are to have due process in this country. But sadly, there are just too many barriers that remain," said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12). "There’s no substitute for a competent lawyer, and now more than ever people must have access to proper legal counsel to ensure their rights are protected. That’s why I’m so pleased that the Michigan Advocacy Project received this critical grant from the Legal Services Corporation. With technology and communication systems transforming every day, it’s imperative that technology in the legal community is modern so people have an easy, reliable way to find legal counsel when they need it."

The Michigan Advocacy Program is one of 19 recipients of Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants totaling $4,347,185. Eleven legal aid organizations are receiving new grants to significantly expand their pro bono efforts and eight current Pro Bono Innovation Fund grantees are receiving supplemental funding to continue their efforts to transform pro bono delivery in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

LSC awarded these grants from its $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund included in its FY 2020 congressional appropriation. The creation of the fund was recommended by LSC’s Pro Bono Task Force in 2012. This is the seventh year LSC has received a designated appropriation to award pro bono grants. In all, LSC has awarded 102 grants totaling more than $27.8 million.

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 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.


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