Los Angeles, July 16, 2009 —-The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), the second largest public interest law firm in the nation, joins the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) this month in observing 35 years of dedicated federal funding to provide civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families. This year, LAFLA celebrates 80 years of service.
The Corporation, known as LSC, provides federal funds to 137 independent nonprofit organizations across the nation, including LAFLA. The funding provided by LSC is vital to LAFLA, making up approximately 36 percent of LAFLA’s annual budget, enabling the Foundation to provide direct services to 14,000 clients annually, and assisting an additional 55,000 through referrals, workshops and community outreach activities.
Nationwide, LSC is the single largest funder of civil legal aid for the poor. Established by Congress in 1974, LSC operates as a nonprofit corporation that promotes equal access to justice and provides grants for high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.
"We deeply appreciate the bipartisan support of Congress and LSC in ensuring we receive this critical federal funding," said Silvia Argueta, Interim Executive Director of LAFLA. With the support of LSC and the dedication of LAFLA’s attorneys and advocates, we can bring social justice to those without a voice and change lives.
In these difficult economic times, LSC funding has never been more important and critical to the success of legal aid programs. Millions of Americans continue to fall deeper into poverty and millions more are facing poverty for the first time. The low-income individuals and families who seek legal assistance include victims of domestic violence, families facing unlawful evictions or foreclosures that could leave them homeless, disaster victims trying to obtain emergency assistance, persons with disabilities, military veterans and others with pressing civil legal problems.
For fiscal year 2009, Congress appropriated $390 million to LSC. The Corporation is headed by a bipartisan board of directors whose 11 members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. For more information, please visit www.lafla.org and LSC, at www.lsc.gov.