State nonprofit receives $700K in LSC grants

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has announced that Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) will receive two Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) in the amounts of $102,950 and $598,970. MAP will use this funding to strengthen its use of technology in providing services to low-income citizens of Michigan with civil legal needs.

Established in 2000, the TIG program distributes grants annually to legal services providers. This year, LSC is awarding 33 Technology Initiative Grants totaling $4,679,135 to 29 legal services organizations across the country.

“In the face of our country’s vast justice gap, legal aid providers are constantly looking for tools that will help them provide increased legal assistance to more low-income Americans in critical need,” said LSC President Ronald S. Flagg.

He said the funds “will empower our grantees to use technology in innovative ways that strengthen legal services for families facing issues like eviction, domestic violence and natural disasters.”

LSC has awarded 859 grants since the program’s inception —totaling more than $81 million to fund legal technology projects.

Grant recipients have used this funding to enhance cybersecurity, build educational platforms, strengthen program capacity and support the work of pro bono attorneys.

MAP will use the $102,950 grant to upgrade and implement the next iteration of document assembly tools for Michigan’s self-represented litigants and those working with limited counsel in partnership with the Michigan Legal Help Program (MLHP).

LHP operates the statewide self-help website and has developed a comprehensive library of do-it-yourself legal tools. These tools help Michiganians create legally accurate, complete, and legible documents to file in court or otherwise use to solve their legal issues.

The $598,970 grant will be used by MAP to manage the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP) for the next two years.

LSNTAP is a national platform that ensures that LSC-funded legal services providers across the across the country can utilize technology effectively within their organizations.

The project offers LSC grantees free access to an annual technology webinar series, an individualized technology assistance program and a library of robust toolkits on emerging technology topics.

Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation congratulated the MAP on receiving TIG funding.

“There are still too many barriers to due process and adequate representation in our justice system,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell. “This funding will help the Michigan Advocacy Program expand access to crucial legal resources, including tools for self-represented litigants and technical assistance for legal service providers, allowing more people to get the help and representation they need.

“Every Michigander deserves legal assistance, regardless of their income level. Justice starts with equal access to representation, and I am pleased to see the Michigan Advocacy Program receive new federal
grants to help provide legal aid to Michiganders in need,” said Rep. Dan Kildee  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.