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Kentucky Legal Aid Society receives Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant from Legal Services Corp.

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has awarded a Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant of $198,090 to Kentucky’s Legal Aid Society.

Legal Aid Society is one of 17 legal aid organizations receiving a grant. In total, LSC is awarding $5 million to support efforts to expand and improve pro bono legal services for low-income Americans.

In the face of a vast justice gap — where low-income people do not receive sufficient legal help for 92% of their civil legal problems — pro bono services are one of the approaches that LSC advances to address the disparities in access to justice. Expanding pro bono and other volunteer services gives legal aid providers increased bandwidth to assist low-income Americans in civil issue areas like housing, family, employment and income maintenance, consumer debt, and natural disaster recovery.

Legal Aid Society will use this grant to sustain its previous 2021 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant project, the Volunteer Eviction Defense Project, which is on track to represent 240 low-income tenants through pro bono services by the end of the original grant’s term. In the first 18 months the project created a Volunteer Resource Library, represented 118 low-income renters in court (80% of whom avoided eviction), and recruited over 60 volunteers with 24 providing representation to clients.

“LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund supports grantees’ tireless efforts to expand access to legal services,” said LSC President Ron Flagg. “Pro bono volunteers are an invaluable resource for the millions of low-income Americans in need of legal aid.”

LSC is awarding these grants from its Pro Bono Innovation Fund (PBIF) included in its FY 2023 congressional appropriation. Since the inception of PBIF in 2014, LSC has awarded 139 grants totaling more than $40 million. Each organization’s project involves creating solutions to persistent challenges in pro bono delivery systems or exploring new ways to implement pro bono services to reach low-income Americans with legal needs. The funds are directed to grantee projects that are replicable and scalable, and which focus on critical, unmet need.

Representative Morgan McGarvey (KY-3) congratulated Legal Aid Society on receiving the grant for pro bono services. 

“Everyone deserves quality legal representation, regardless of income,” said Rep. McGarvey. “This grant to the Legal Aid Society will lend a much needed helping hand to communities across the commonwealth, allowing more Kentuckians to access pro bono legal assistance during eviction proceedings. Housing is absolutely fundamental to so many aspects of life. Without stable housing, everything else becomes secondary. The Legal Aid Society’s Volunteer Eviction Defense Program means fewer Louisvillians will be wrongfully evicted.”

Legal Services Corporation

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