Since 1996, Congress has imposed substantial restrictions on lawyers funded by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). These restrictions include banning LSC-funded attorneys from filing class action lawsuits, prohibiting them from claiming any statutory right to attorneys' fees, and barring them from bringing any challenges to an agency's rule-making authority. Congress has also slashed the LSC budget by a third. However, alternative funding strategies do exist for states and public interest firms seeking to fill gaps gouged by the LSC restrictions. By focusing on these piecemeal changes in fundraising, legal aid attorneys inevitably empower themselves to move away from the inefficiencies of achieving social change through litigation, and into a more holistic and collaborative vision of lawyering for the poor.
When Congress Gives you Lemons: Alternatives to Legal Services Corporation Funding in the Quest to Provide Access to Justice,
2 Hastings Race & Poverty L.J. 83
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_race_poverty_law_journal/vol2/iss1/3