Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc. Receives $276,000 Pro Bono Innovation Grant

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation announced today that Idaho Legal Aid Services will receive a 24-month $276,000 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant to create a Pro Bono Opportunities website that will make pro bono services a more robust part of Idaho’s low-income legal service-delivery system.

This portal will create a searchable online space where Idaho attorneys can find statewide pro bono opportunities. The goal is to help improve services to low-income clients by increasing pro bono representation and expanding the cases and services for which attorneys can volunteer. 

“Competent legal representation is a foundation of our legal system and necessary to protect the constitutional rights of the people,” said Rep. Raul Labrador (ID-01). “Thousands of low-income Idahoans rely on volunteer lawyers, particularly in civil matters. Providing attorneys an online portal to search for cases of interest promises to improve the quality of justice in our great state.”

Idaho Legal Aid Services will be partnering on this project with the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program, which currently relies on a telephone-based system for placing clients with attorneys. The web portal will allow attorneys to search case opportunities by criteria such as legal issue, geographic area, veteran’s status, and other factors. If no case opportunity meets their search criteria, the system will be able to automatically notify them when cases that do meet their criteria are posted.

“We are grateful to Congress for funding this competitive grant program to increase pro bono support for civil legal aid,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “The grants we are funding will expand the resources available to serve low-income people, engage more private lawyers in rewarding pro bono work, and leverage our federal appropriation.”

Idaho Legal Aid Services is one of 15 recipients of LSC’s $4 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive grant program that invests in projects that identify and promote replicable innovations in pro bono for low-income legal aid clients. This is the second year LSC has awarded the funds. 

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Posted: September 21, 2015