LSC Updates | March 2015

LSC, WHITE HOUSE SEND FISCAL YEAR 2016 BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS TO CONGRESS

Earlier this month, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) asked Congress for $486.9 million for Fiscal Year 2016, approximately the same level of funding requested for the past two years.

In addition to $451.3 million for basic field grants that fund the delivery of civil legal assistance to low-income Americans, the LSC budget request includes $5 million each for the Technology Initiative Grants program and the Pro Bono Innovation Fund. The request includes $1 million for student loan repayment assistance to legal aid lawyers, $19.5 million for management and grants oversight, and $5.1 million for the Office of the Inspector General.
budget book cover image
READ THE LSC FISCAL YEAR 2016 BUDGET REQUEST
The White House recommended $452 million in funding for LSC in its Fiscal Year 2016 budget, an increase of $77 million over current funding and $22 million more than last year’s White House budget recommendation.

Congress appropriated $375 million to LSC for Fiscal Year 2015, $10 million more than the previous year. Compared to its largest appropriation of $420 million in Fiscal Year 2010, LSC’s funding has decreased by nearly 11 percent, or $45 million.

“We are grateful for the recent increases in our congressional funding,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “Given the current record-high need for LSC-funded services, we hope very much that Congress will continue this trend.” 
VIEW WHITE HOUSE BUDGET APPENDIX SECTION ON LSC

FLORIDA CHIEF JUSTICE LABARGA, LEADING JURISTS AND LAWYERS GATHER IN MIAMI FOR LSC PANEL DISCUSSION

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga joined leading judges and lawyers on Jan. 23 in Miami to discuss the importance of access to justice issues for the judiciary.

The panel discussion was sponsored by LSC in conjunction with its quarterly Board of Directors’ meeting January 22-24.

Panelists included Judge Marcia G. Cooke of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida; Leefe, Gibbs, Sullivan & Dupré founding partner Richard K. Leefe; Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico Chief Justice Liana Fiol Matta; and retired Florida First District Court of Appeals Judge William A. Van Nortwick, Jr. Martha Minow, vice chair of the LSC Board and Dean of Harvard Law School, moderated the discussion.

A second panel focused on how technology can expand access to justice, showcasing LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants program. Panelists included Glenn Rawdon, LSC’s program counsel for technology; Jane Ribadeneyra, LSC program analyst; and Bethany A. Bandstra and William D. Mueller, legal interns for the University of Miami School of Law Health Rights Clinic.

LSC BoD-Miami - Panel: The Importance of Access to Justice to the Judiciary
Video: The Importance of Access to Justice to the Judiciary
LSC BoD-MIami - Using Technology to Expand Access to Justice: A Showcase of LSC's Technology Initiative Grants
Video: Using Technology to Expand Access to Justice: A Showcase of LSC's Technology Initiative Grants. 
CLICK TO WATCH THE VIDEOS: 2015 LSC BOARD MEETING FORUMS ON ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND LEGAL AID TECHNOLOGY
Following the panels at the University of Miami School of Law, LSC hosted a Pro Bono Service Award Reception in recognition of the recipients' extraordinary commitment to equal justice.

Speakers at the event included Francisco R. Angones of Angones, McClure & Garcia and former president of the Florida Bar; Melissa Pershing, director of grants and development  for the Florida Bar Foundation; Judge Vance E. Salter of the Florida Third District Court of Appeals; and Dean Patricia D. White of the University of Miami School of Law.

The Pro Bono Award winners pose with LSC Board Chair John Levi, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, and LSC President Jim Sandman. From left to right: John Levi, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, Judge Ashley B. Moody, Frank E. Maloney Jr., Robin Mossell (on behalf of Russell E. Carlisle), Allison Kernisky (accepting on behalf of Holland & Knight), David E. Steckler, Wendy S. Loquasto, Jim Sandman. Front: Timothy Moran. (January 23, 2015)

Recipients of the Pro Bono Service Award are:
  • Russell E. Carlisle, a retired legal aid champion instrumental in leading the national effort to establish IOLTA programs;
  • Wendy S. Loquasto, a managing partner at the Tallahassee office of Fox & Loquasto, P.A.;
  • Frank E. Maloney, Jr., a Baker County, FL family law attorney;
  • Judge Ashley B. Moody, a Thirteenth Judicial Circuit judge in Hillsborough County;
  • Timothy Moran, a Central Florida attorney and certified housing counselor;
  • David E. Steckler, a Florida Gulf Coast University professor and founder of a weekly domestic violence clinic; and
  • Holland & Knight’s Miami office.
READ MORE ABOUT THE PRO BONO SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS
CLICK TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

LSC CONVENES 15TH ANNUAL TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE GRANTS CONFERENCE IN SAN ANTONIO


Nearly 300 technology consultants, software developers, academics, lawyers, and legal aid staff gathered in San Antonio January 14-16 for LSC's 15th Annual Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) Conference.

The TIG Conference is the nation's largest meeting of experts and persons interested in the use of technology to address the civil legal needs of low-income Americans.

Participants shared information, exchanged ideas with colleagues from across the country, and explored innovative ways of using technology to promote access to justice for all Americans.
VIEW 2015 TIG CONFERENCE SESSION MATERIALS
Congress allocated $4 million in the FY2015 budget to fund innovative uses of technology through the TIG program. LSC held a webinar on the 2015 Technology Initiative Grants application cycle on February 24 that addressed requirements, including eligibility; areas of interest; the letter of intent process; and the online application system.
REGISTER FOR THE 2015 TIG CYCLE WEBINAR
Maine Senator Angus King and LSC President Jim Sandman joined Pine Tree Legal Assistance Executive Director Nan Heald in Portland in December to announce the Maine grantee's 2014 TIG award to support the development of a mobile technology outreach tool designed for female veterans. The project will be completed in partnership with the NuLawLab at Northeastern School of Law.
(L-R) LSC President Jim Sandman, Maine Sen. Angus King, Pine Tree Legal Assistance Executive Director Nan Heald.

LSC AWARDS FIRST MIDWEST LEGAL DISASTER COORDINATION GRANTS

In January, LSC announced that Iowa Legal Aid and Legal Aid of Nebraska are the recipients of the first grants from the new Midwest Legal Disaster Coordination Fund, which supports projects to develop coordinated plans between disaster preparedness organizations and legal service providers in the Midwest.

map of disaster grants
These grants will help the legal aid organizations address the need for civil legal aid in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters and integrate a legal component for low-income individuals into statewide disaster preparedness plans.

Iowa Legal Aid - $367,700 (20 months):
Using its extensive experience in disaster recovery, Iowa Legal Aid will develop mobile technology to help disaster survivors better reach legal aid programs after a disaster occurs. Iowa Legal Aid will partner with Pro Bono Net to adapt its mobile template for an application that provides disaster-related resources to clients and attorneys. In addition, Iowa Legal Aid will create a multi-component toolkit for use by other legal aid organizations across the country.

Legal Aid of Nebraska - $400,000 (20 months):
Legal Aid of Nebraska will create an interactive web portal and a statewide legal disaster response training program for attorneys and other stakeholders to better prepare Nebraskans to access free legal services when disaster strikes. Legal Aid of Nebraska will host disaster preparedness workshops throughout the state and work closely with local pro bono attorneys to provide free onsite legal aid services to disaster victims in afflicted areas.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LSC’S MIDWEST LEGAL DISASTER COORDINATION PROJECT

LSC AND ARNOLD & PORTER FOUNDATION PARTNER TO LAUNCH
G. DUANE VIETH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
FOR CIVIL LEGAL AID

Earlier this month, LSC announced the launch of the G. Duane Vieth Leadership Development Program, LSC’s first national grant initiative to support training in leadership skills in the field of civil legal aid. The program is generously funded by the Arnold & Porter LLP Foundation and named after Arnold & Porter’s long-time managing partner, G. Duane “Bud” Vieth.
(L-R) Richard Alexander, managing partner of Arnold & Porter; LSC President  Jim Sandman and former managing partner of Arnold & Porter; and Thomas Milch, chairman of Arnold & Porter.
Each year, LSC will award up to 15 grants to leaders of LSC-funded legal aid programs. The grants may be used to support training, coaching, or other professional development in non-profit leadership skills, including data management and evaluation, maximizing client service with limited resources, finance and accounting, and smart use of information technology.
 
The program honors long-time Arnold & Porter Managing Partner G. Duane “Bud” Vieth, who joined the firm in 1949 and is now retired.
This is the first named initiative to result from LSC’s 40th Anniversary Campaign for Justice, a groundbreaking private fundraising effort to expand the impact and capacity of civil legal aid providers across the country. The campaign’s new Leadership Development Program will provide civil legal aid leaders with support they cannot access through general grants by creating a dedicated pool of funds specifically for leadership development.

LSC will administer a competitive application process for the Vieth Leadership Development grants. The 134 LSC-funded legal aid programs will each be eligible to receive one grant of up to $10,000 every five years.

SENATE CONFIRMS EIGHT RE-APPOINTMENTS TO LSC BOARD,
BROWNE RESIGNS

The Senate confirmed the re-appointment of eight members of the LSC Board of Directors.
In a vote in late December, it approved President Obama’s nominations of the following to terms expiring July 13, 2017:
  • John G. Levi, current Board chair and partner in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP.
  • Martha L.  Minow, current Board vice chair and Dean of the Harvard Law School.
  • Robert J. Grey, Jr., partner in the Richmond and Washington offices of Hunton & Williams LLP
  • The Rev. Pius Pietrzyk, O.P., priest of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), Province of St. Joseph.
  • Gloria Valencia-Weber, professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law.
The Senate also confirmed the following nominees to terms expiring on July 13, 2016:
  • Charles N. W. Keckler, presidential scholar at George Mason University.
  • Victor B. Maddox, partner in Fultz Maddox Hovious & Dickens in Louisville, Ky.
  • Laurie I. Mikva, assistant clinical professor at Northwestern Law School Bluhm Legal Clinic.
Harry J.F. Korrell, a partner in the Seattle office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and Julie A. Reiskin, executive director of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition also serve on the Board.

Sharon L. Browne, former principal attorney in the Pacific Foundation’s Individual Rights Practice group and an LSC Board member since 2010, resigned for health reasons on December 31, 2014.

SANDMAN GUEST BLOGS FOR NATIONAL CENTER FOR
MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIP

LSC President James J. Sandman recently wrote an article for the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership’s “Bridging the Divide” blog.

The post, “Five Things the Civil Legal Aid Community Can Learn from Medical-Legal Partnerships,” features tips and lessons for civil legal aid agencies working with healthcare institutions.
READ 'FIVE THINGS THE CIVIL LEGAL AID COMMUNITY CAN LEARN FROM MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIPS'

Sandman also wrote an op-ed with Montana Legal Services Association Executive Director Alison Paul on veterans legal aid, commemorating LSC’s 40th anniversary.
READ THE OP-ED

LEVI RECEIVES 2014 UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS AWARD

LSC Board Chair John G. Levi, a partner in the firm of Sidley Austin LLP, was honored with a 2014 University of Rochester Distinguished Alumnus Award "for his outstanding career achievements and his generous service to his country, his community, and his alma mater".

Established in 1984, the Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes graduates of Arts, Science, and Engineering whose exceptional professional achievements, contributions to their chosen field, and service to their alma mater have brought honor to themselves and to the University of Rochester.
READ MORE ABOUT THE 2014 RECIPIENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS AWARD

Levi also discussed civil legal aid funding and access to justice in an op-ed for the Miami publication Daily Business Review. 
READ THE ARTICLE

NEWS FROM THE FIELD

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