FUNDING CIVIL LEGAL AID

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

The importance of legal service corporations (LSC) and how the recent decline in state and federal funding places our already challenged civil legal aid system in crisis.

Legal Partners:

Phelps Dunbar


Community Partners:

Louisiana Bar Foundation

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

Acadiana Legal Service Corporation

Access to Justice Commission

Louisiana State Bar Association

Civil legal aid is free legal advice, representation or other legal assistance provided to low-income and vulnerable people who cannot otherwise afford legal help. The responsibility for meeting the civil legal needs of Louisiana’s poor falls primarily on a network of nonprofit, civil legal aid providers who serve our poorest citizens with free civil legal assistance.


For every $1 invested in Louisiana’s civil legal aid services, there is a $9.13 return in immediate and long-term financial benefits. The net economic impact value resulting from Louisiana civil legal activities during the 2018 fiscal year totaled $94,741,000. The total net social return on investment for Louisiana’s civil legal aid programs during the 2018 fiscal year was 913%.


Declines in federal and state funding combined with Louisiana’s high poverty, place our already challenged civil legal aid system in crisis. According to Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson of the Louisiana Supreme Court “dollars spent on Louisiana’s civil legal aid providers are well spent and deliver unmistakable economic returns to the state. Continued funding of the civil legal aid providers will provide a substantial impact to the state.”


Read more about the program here.


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