Lakeshore Legal Aid receives a $364,740 Pro Bono Fund grant

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced recently that Lakeshore Legal Aid will receive a $364,740 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.

Lakeshore Legal Aid, which has 14 locations across Southeast Michigan, will use the grant to improve pro bono operations by developing a case management system to expand offsite volunteer-led clinics, reduce case assignment times, increase pro bono case placements, and reduce staff time on administrative tasks according to Ashley Lowe, CEO of Lakeshore Legal Aid. The goal is to increase efficiency in key pro bono processes by as much as 50 percent, allowing the program to use more volunteers more effectively in removing the legal barriers to employment, a key strategic priority for Lakeshore Legal Aid.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, president of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Members of the Michigan congressional delegation, including U.S. Senator Gary Peters, applauded the grant.

“Communities across Southeast Michigan rely on Lakeshore Legal Aid to provide critical services that help people facing a range of issues from consumer protection to family law to civil rights,” said Senator Peters. “I’m pleased to support this vital funding that will enable Lakeshore Legal Aid to help even more Michiganders get the legal assistance they need.”

Representative Debbie Dingell echoed the remarks. “The Constitution is clear that everyone has a right to be represented by an attorney during a trial. This important funding will help Lakeshore Legal Aid ensure everyone gets the representation they deserve no matter how much money they have,” said Dingell, a Democrat representing the 12th District.

Representative Sander “Sandy” Levin, a Democrat representing the 9th Congressional District, concurred. “Lakeshore Legal Aid continues to provide vital, pro bono assistance to low-income families in our community by providing services across a range of issues, including employment, housing, and public benefits,” said Levin. “I continue to support robust funding in Congress for the Legal Services Corporation through which today’s Pro Bono grant award will help Lakeshore Legal Aid increase the efficiency and reach of its services.”

Lakeshore Legal Aid is one of 15 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 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 fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants

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

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