1981-1996: Struggle for Survival

Although in most parts of the country legal services had come to be respected and accepted as an institutional presence, the expansion of the program into previously unserved areas was sometimes still met with suspicion on the part of the local bar, local politicians, and business and community leaders, who feared that the business environment and social order that they had come to expect would be upset by the new breed of lawyers whose role was to assist the poor to assert their rights. Many of the issues that had led to controversies a decade earlier in areas served by OEO legal services arose again in newly served areas. These issues, particularly the representation of migrant farmworkers and immigrants, came to the attention of Members of Congress elected from those areas. As a result, Congressional scrutiny of the legal services program and concerns about its advocacy began to increase.

Related oral histories

Askew, Hulett “Bucky” — Interview by Victor Geminiani, 1991 Jul 22 LSC
Directed the southern regional office in Atlanta, then deputy director of an LSC office in Washington, DC.

Houseman, Alan — Interview by Linda Perle, 2018 Jan 22 LA/LSC
General Counsel for LSC legal aid programs. Lobbyist to preserve LSC.

Bergmark, Martha — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2015 May 15 LSC
Head of the project advisory group. VP of NLADA. VP of lsc. P of lsc.

Eakeley, Douglas — Interview by Victor Geminiani, 1994 Feb 12 LSC
Chair of LSC board during President Clinton’s administration.

Forger, Alexander — Interview by Martha Bergmark, 2002 Sep 12
President of LSC during during President Clinton’s administration.

Battle, LaVeeda — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2016 May 12 LSC
LSC board member.

Brooks, Terry — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2016 Nov 09
Staff director of the legal services division of ABA. Key player during the period for the ABA, which played a key role in preserving LSC.

Clark, Julie — Interview by Don Saunders, 2002 Oct 02
Director of govt relations at NLADA. Head lobbyist for NLADA starting in 1981 and through this period.

Clinton, Hillary – Interview by Victor Geminiani, 1991 Jul 21 LSC
Second board chair of LSC.

Dana, Howard — Interview by Don Saunders, 2002 Aug 06
Key member of LSC board.

Erlenborn, John — Interview by Don Saunders, 2002 Jul 30
Key member of Congress. Later became chair of LSC board.

Groudine, Bev – Interview by Alan Houseman, 2018 May 10 ABA

Lyons, Clinton “Clint” — Interview by Victor Geminiani, 1991 Jul 23 LSC
Was acting president of LSC. Became President of NLADA.

Shestack, Jerome — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2002 Aug 08
Became president of ABA during the period.

Singsen III, Antoine G. — Interview by Victor Geminiani, 1991 Nov 01
LSC staff insider and consultant.

Smegal, Thomas — Interview by Linda Perle, 2002 Sep
Key LSC board member.

Smith, William Reece — Interview by Robert Rhudy, 2002 Aug 09
President of ABA. Led the effort to preserve LSC during the early Reagan Administration.

Tull, John — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2016 Nov 10

Whitehurst, William — Interview by Alan Houseman, 2015 May 07
Founder of Bar Leaders for the Preservation of Legal Services.

The Late 1970s and the Beginnings of a Backlash

Two issues became particularly contentious during the late 1970s—legislative advocacy and representation of illegal immigrants. In 1978, Carlos Moorhead, a Republican Congressman from California, added a rider to the legal services appropriations bill that prohibited the use of LSC funds “for publicity or propaganda purposes designed to support or defeat legislation pending before Congress or any state legislature.” The Moorhead Amendment passed the House by a vote of 264 to 132 and was accepted by the Senate. However, LSC interpreted the Moorhead Amendment narrowly and found it consistent with the existing LSC Act’s provisions on representation before legislative bodies, an interpretation that was subsequently criticized by the Government Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

An alien restriction was added to the 1980 fiscal year (FY) appropriation. The provision prohibited LSC and legal services programs from using LSC funds to undertake any activity or representation on behalf of known illegal aliens. LSC also interpreted this rider narrowly as only prohibiting representation of those aliens against whom a final order of deportation was outstanding. Under this interpretation, LSC-supported representation of most aliens continued until 1983, when a much more restrictive rider was added to the FY1983 appropriations act.

The Reagan Era

The election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980 was a critical turning point in the history of federally funded legal services, ending the years of expansion and growth of political independence for LSC and its grantees. The Reagan Administration was openly hostile to the legal services program. Reagan initially sought LSC’s complete elimination and proposed to replace it with law student clinical programs and a judicare system funded through block grants. In response to pressure from the White House, Congress reduced funding for the Corporation by 25 percent, slashing the appropriation from $321 million in FY 1981 to $241 million in FY 1982.

The cut represented an enormous blow to legal services providers nationwide, which were required to go through a painful period of retrenchment planning to decide how to allocate the 25 percent funding cut.

Programs were forced to close offices, lay off staff, and reduce the level of services dramatically. In 1980, there were 1,406 local field program offices; by the end of 1982 that number had dropped to 1,121. In 1980, local programs employed 6,559 attorneys and2,901 paralegals. By 1983, those figures were 4,766 and 1,949, respectively. Programs also cut back significantly on training, litigation support, community education, and a host of other efforts. LSC was forced to eliminate the Research Institute and to significantly downsize the Office of Program Support, both of which had been invaluable resources for the legal services community. LSC also began a contraction of its regional offices, which had played a crucial role in the expansion of the legal services program during the late1970s and had served as a repository within LSC for much of the history of local program development and the knowledge about the critical actors on the state and local levels.

In the early 1980s, Congress also began an effort to impose new restrictions on legal services advocacy. In 1981, the House adopted an LSC reauthorization bill that would have severely limited lobbying and rulemaking activities, imposed significant restrictions on alien representation, prohibited class actions against government agencies, prohibited representation in abortion and homosexual rights cases, required the establishment of judicare programs, mandated that attorneys’ fees obtained by recipients be remitted to LSC, and required that a majority of local program boards of directors be appointed by state and local bar associations, in addition to other changes in the LSC Act. While this legislation died in the Senate and was never enacted, it established the basis for a number of restrictions that Congress later attempted to impose through the appropriations process. In 1982, Congress added new restrictions on the use of LSC funds for lobbying and rulemaking and expanded the alien restriction by explicitly prohibiting the representation of certain categories of aliens using LSC funds. Congress also required that state and local bars make appointments to program boards and imposed new procedural requirements for class actions. Those appropriations riders were in effect until1996 when more stringent restrictions were imposed.

At the end of 1981, President Reagan replaced a majority of the LSC Board, originally appointed by President Carter, with new recess appointees (appointments made when Congress is in recess and thus not available to confirm them). The balance of the Carter Board members was replaced in January 1982. The Senate refused to confirm these individuals when the Reagan Administration formally nominated them, and for much of the Reagan presidency, LSC was governed by a series of Boards consisting of recess appointees and holdover members.

Many of the Board members who served during that period, including William Harvey and Clark Durant who served as Board Chairmen, expressed outright hostility to the program they were charged with overseeing. Several sought to totally revamp legal services into a judicare-based program that did no significant litigation and did not engage in any policy advocacy. Others professed to support the concept of legal services for the poor, but advocated changes that would have eviscerated the program. For example, some board members advocated expansion of PAI allocations to 25 percent of a program’s LSC funding, elimination of all funding for national and state support services, lowering financial eligibility limits from 125 percent to 100 percent of the official poverty line and permitting service only to those individuals who had no assets.

Several Board members wanted to preclude programs from engaging in any legislative and administrative advocacy. Many LSC Board members, including Operations and Regulations Committee Chairman Michael Wallace, expressed open disdain for the organized bar, particularly the ABA, which had emerged as a vigilant protector of the legal services program. Despite the hostility of the majority of the Board, throughout the Reagan Administration, several Board members remained steadfastly supportive of the program they had been appointed to oversee, although they were almost always outvoted by their more hostile colleagues. Thomas Smegal, who served on the Reagan Board and was later reappointed by President Clinton, was a consistent voice in the wilderness in support of the program during the darkest days of the Reagan Administration.

The Corporation’s management and staff also became increasingly hostile to the programs they funded. Dan Bradley had resigned as LSC President and was replaced on an interim basis by Gerald Caplan, a prominent Republican law professor with prior experience in the Justice Department. Caplan was supportive of effective legal services. He was replaced on a temporary basis by Clinton Lyons, the former Director of the Office of Field Services. The Reagan Board soon dismissed Lyons and appointed a series of shortlived presidents who were generally antagonistic to the idea of federally funded civil legal assistance and who brought in senior staff members who were similarly opposed to the basic mission of the program. Regional office staff was marginalized—many staff members were dismissed, and several of the offices were closed.

The new LSC staff began a highly intrusive and exhaustively detailed program of monitoring for compliance. Monitoring visits were conducted in an extremely adversarial atmosphere and required the local programs to expend extraordinary amounts of time and resources during the visits and in responding to the findings of the monitoring teams. LSC monitors often demanded access to client files and other confidential information,placing program attorneys at odds with their ethical obligations to their clients. There was no emphasis in the program monitoring on the quality of client representation or program performance. In some instances, LSC withheld funds from programs or provided only short-term funding because of minor technical violations, such as board vacancies, and attempted to reduce funding levels for a number of programs that LSC found were out of compliance with new and often unannounced policies and previously unarticulated interpretations of the LSC Act and regulations.

Throughout the 1980s there was constant hostility and friction between the LSC Board and staff and supporters of legal services, including legal services providers, the organized bar,national organizations concerned about and supportive of civil legal aid, including NLADA and PAG, and key members of Congress from both parties. As a result of this dynamic, efforts by the LSC Board to make major policy changes, to pass restrictive new regulations, and to eliminate key components of the national program, such as national and state support centers and training entities, were repeatedly thwarted by Congress or, in some instances, by the courts.

On the legislative front, LSC staff members actively lobbied Congress and paid others to lobby against LSC appropriations. LSC hired a consultant to write a legal opinion expressing the view that the Corporation was unconstitutional.

LSC staff and Board members developed a series of new regulations and policies designed to restrict legal services activities far beyond the Congressionally imposed limitations of the LSC Act and subsequent appropriations riders. Despite these efforts by LSC and the continued hostility of the Reagan Administration and some members of Congress,bipartisan support for the mission of LSC continued to grow, and by the mid-1980s,Congress, which earlier in the decade had cut LSC funding and imposed new restrictions,had become the protector of the legal services program.

Led by Senator Warren Rudman, a conservative Republican from New Hampshire, along with Senators Fritz Hollings (D-SC) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Congressmen Neal Smith (D-IA), Bruce Morrison (D-CT), Robert Kastenmeier (D-WI), Barney Frank (D-MA),Howard Berman (D-CA), and others, Congress frequently interceded to block actions by the Corporation. As its very first formal action, the first Reagan recess Board passed a motion instructing the LSC staff to not make funding awards for 1982 (a move that had no effect, as the LSC staff had already issued the 1982 grants before the Board members were appointed)and later in 1982 attempted to impose new conditions on funding. Congress then enacted an appropriation rider that required LSC to refund all existing grantees under the terms of their current grants. Later, Congress enacted appropriation provisions that precluded LSC from implementing a number of its initiatives, including changes to migrant programs and support entities. Congress required LSC to award 12-month grants; prohibited the use of competitive bidding and a proposed timekeeping system; overturned regulations on fee-generating cases, lobbying, and rulemaking; and eliminated restrictions on the use of private non-LSC funds.

Congressional supporters also led an unprecedented effort to prevent the Reagan Administration from eliminating LSC and replacing it with funding through social services block grants. Legal services supporters adopted provisions that limited LSC’s rulemaking authority. By 1994, there were 22 riders on the LSC appropriation, most of which limited LSC’s authority to take action.

The hostility and mistrust toward the LSC Board and staff during the 1980s, felt by Senator Rudman and other legal services supporters in Congress, are perhaps best expressed by Senator Rudman’s statement during the Congressional debate in December of 1987:

“I do not trust the board of the Legal Services Corporation farther than I can throw the Capitol. They have double-crossed the Senator from South Carolina (Senator Hollings) and the Senator from New Hampshire at every possible opportunity. Frankly, I am sick of it…. I find[in] dealing with this group of people that nothing they tell me can I believe.”

The Legal Services Community Weathers the Storm

One of the major sources of strength and support for legal services during this period of turmoil was the private bar. Two new requirements that Congress and LSC had imposed on programs during the early 1980s significantly increased the involvement of individual private attorneys and the organized bar in the governance and delivery of legal services.

Congress had required that a majority of each local program’s board of directors be attorneys appointed by state or local bar associations. In addition, LSC had required each program to devote an amount of funds equal to 12.5 percent of its LSC grant award to PAI activities that involved private attorneys in the delivery of legal services to the poor on either a pro bono or a low-fee compensated basis. Despite the fact that the legal services community had resisted both of these requirements, fearing they would undermine the independence of the legal services program and divert scarce resources, in fact they had resulted in several positive outcomes. The new requirements helped those private attorneys who participated as board members or PAI attorneys to appreciate the difficulties of serving poor clients with severely limited resources, enabled them to view legal services attorneys as respected peers within the legal community, and strengthened the role of the organized bar as a champion of federally funded legal services.

In addition to the ABA, acting through SCLAID, and state and local bar associations, other bar-led entities emerged in support of the legal services program, including Bar Leaders for Preservation of Legal Services, founded by key bar leaders Jonathan Ross from New4Hampshire, Michael Greco from Massachusetts, and Bill Whitehurst from Texas. The organized bar and these bar-led legal services support groups, working with NLADA, PAG,and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), were able to effectively advocate before Congress to prevent implementation of many of the hostile policies that the LSC Board and staff had attempted to impose.

Another positive development in the 1980s was the growth of non-LSC funding for legal services. In most areas of the country, programs had always received some limited funds from private donations, foundations, or state or local governments. However, prior to the1980s, outside funding for most programs represented only an insignificant portion of their budgets. When faced with a major funding cut and the threat of losing all federal funding, legal services programs began aggressive efforts to obtain funding from other sources, including United Way agencies, foundations, bar associations, private donations,state and local government grants and contracts, as well as non-LSC federal funds, such as the Older Americans Act, Community Development Block Grants, and Revenue Sharing.

Also during the early 1980s, a completely new source of funding for civil legal assistance was created. Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) programs were first conceived in Florida,after changes were made in the federal banking laws permitting interest to be paid on certain kinds of bank accounts. IOLTA programs were instituted by state bars, courts, and legislatures,in cooperation with the banking industry, to capture pooled interest on small amounts or short-term deposits of client trust funds used for court fees, settlement proceeds, or similar client needs that had previously been held only in non-interest-bearing accounts.

Since these deposits were permitted to be pooled, interest could be earned in the aggregate,even though individually these nominal or short-term deposits would not earn interest for the client. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, more and more states adopted IOLTA programs,and by 2000, every state, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, had an IOLTA program. While resources created by IOLTA are used to fund a variety of public service legal and law-related activities, most IOLTA funding has gone to civil legal services programs, and IOLTA quickly became the second largest source of funding for LSC grantees.

Despite this infusion of non-LSC funds, the cuts in LSC funding, inflation, and a growth in the number of those living in poverty all contributed to a devastating decline in the resources available for legal services. By 1990, the poor were served by many fewer legal services advocates than in 1981, when the modest level of “minimum access” was briefly achieved.

A Slight Resurgence

The 1990s began with a small but significant improvement in the situation of the legal services community. The Corporation’s appropriation, which had been stagnant for several years, began to move upward, to $328 million for FY 1991 and $350 million for FY 1992. The first Bush Administration abandoned the overt hostility to legal services and the efforts to reduce or eliminate funding and to restrict legal services advocacy. The Bush Administration instead consistently recommended that Congress continue to appropriate money for the Corporation, albeit at level funding. The first President Bush appointed a Board with a majority of legal services supporters, breaking from the tradition of the Reagan Administration. Under the leadership of Board Chairman George Wittgraff and Operations and Regulations Chairman Howard Dana, the LSC staff, led by President John O’Hara, also took a more conciliatory stance and began to work somewhat more closely with the organized bar and with the leaders of the legal services community, reducing the level of the overt hostility that had characterized the previous eight years.

The LSC Act had last been reauthorized in 1977, and that authorization had expired in 1980. Despite the fact that Congress had not reauthorized LSC, legal services funding continued to be appropriated under a waiver of the rules that ordinarily prohibited such appropriations. In the early 1990s, for the first time in many years, Congress began to consider reauthorization of the LSC Act. In the summer of 1992, the House adopted legislation reauthorizing LSC and incorporated many of the changes that supporters of the program had proposed.

However, it was not clear that the Bush Administration would support this legislation, and the Senate failed to act on the bill.

With the election of President Bill Clinton, the legal services community anticipated an end to the long period of insecurity and inadequate funding. Congress increased the LSC appropriation to $400 million for the 1994 fiscal year, the largest increase since the early years of the Corporation. Congress also prepared to take up the LSC reauthorization bill again, starting from where the House had left off.

With the majority of Congress in favor of a broad role for federally funded civil legal assistance and a supportive president in the White House, it seemed likely that a new statutory framework for the program could be enacted that would carry the legal services program through the rest of the 1990s.

Clinton’s appointees to the LSC Board, confirmed in late 1993, were uniformly supportive of a strong, well-funded LSC. They included Chairman Douglas Eakeley, former Board members F. William McCalpin and Thomas Smegal, and Hulett “Bucky” Askew who had served as Atlanta regional director and as deputy director in the Office of Field Services at LSC. The Board hired a well-known New York lawyer, Alex Forger, to be LSC president, and he assembled a number of respected legal services leaders that included Martha Bergmark and John Tull to serve in key LSC staff positions.

The new LSC administration initially focused on redesigning the monitoring system. In lieu of the old system that was focused only on compliance and was intended to intimidate programs, the new system was designed to ensure that LSC grantees both complied with Congressional mandates and regulatory requirements and provided high-quality services.

By late 1994, the Corporation had completed a new system for compliance monitoring and enforcement that relied, as did other federal agencies, on auditing by independent CPAs and ending the intrusive on-site monitoring by LSC staff and consultants of the previous decade. LSC also developed a new peer review system designed to evaluate program performance and improve quality—objectives that the Corporation had made no serious effort to achieve since 1981. Finally, together with the ABA and organizations representing legal services programs, the Corporation, under the leadership of Operation sand Regulations Committee Chair LaVeeda Morgan Battle, began an effort to revise and update all of the key LSC regulations affecting grantee operations.

The 104th Congress

With the 1994 congressional elections, the Corporation suffered a dramatic reversal of political fortune. Conservatives included the elimination of LSC in the infamous “Contract for America.” In much the same way as the Reagan Administration in the early 1980s, the leadership of the new Congress, under House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), committed itself to the elimination of LSC and ending federal funding for legal services. The House leadership sought to replace LSC with a system of limited block grants to the states that would severely restrict the kind of services for which the funds could be used. The House of Representatives adopted a budget plan that assumed that LSC’s funding would be cut by one-third for FY1996, another third in FY 1997, and completely eliminated thereafter. Opponents of legal services dubbed this funding plan “the glide path to elimination.” It seemed possible that the federal commitment to equal justice might be abandoned altogether.

Despite the efforts of the House leadership, a bipartisan majority in the Congress, led by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), remained committed to maintaining a federally funded legal services program. Nevertheless, key congressional decision makers, led by Congressmen Bill McCollum (R-FL) and Charles Stenholm (D-TX), determined that major “reforms” in the delivery system would be required if the program was to survive.

Grants were to be awarded through a system of competition, rather than through presumptive refunding of current recipients. Funding was to be distributed on a strict,census-based formula, eliminating any LSC discretion over funding amounts. A timekeeping system was imposed on all attorneys and paralegals working in programs.

Programs were subject to a host of new organizational and administrative requirements.

LSC funds could no longer be used to pay dues to nonprofit organizations, including the ABA and NLADA, or to sue LSC. The LSC Office of Inspector General was given new powers over local program audits, and LSC was given expanded access to recipient and client records.

More fundamentally, the Congressional majority was determined to redefine the role of federally funded legal services by refocusing legal services advocacy away from law reform,lobbying, policy advocacy, and impact litigation and toward basic representation of individual clients. Congress set out to accomplish this goal by restricting the broad range of activities that programs had engaged in since the early days of OEO, many of which had been mandated in the past. These restrictions applied to all activities that a recipient undertook, regardless of the source of the funding that was used to support the activity.

Thus, with certain limited exceptions, LSC-funded programs were prohibited from using the public funds that they received from federal, state or local governments, or the private funds they received from bar associations, charitable foundations, private donations, and any other non-LSC sources for the LSC-restricted activities.

In essence, when Congress passed the LSC appropriation riders in April 1996, it determined that federal funds should go only to those legal services programs that focused on individual representation and concentrated on clients’ day-to-day legal problems, while broader efforts to address the more general systemic problems of the client community and to ameliorate poverty should be left to those entities that did not receive LSC funds. As former LSC President John McKay recently wrote:

“Taken as a whole,the restrictions on the types of cases LSC programs are allowed to handle convey a strong Congressional message: federally funded legal services should focus on individual case representation by providing access to the justice system on a case-by-case basis.”

Congress prohibited representation of certain categories of clients, including prisoners and public housing residents who were being evicted based on drug-related charges. Only certain specified categories of aliens were permitted to be served, although later amendments lifted the restriction on providing a range of legal services to aliens who were victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Perhaps even more damaging and insidious, Congress limited the kinds of legal work that LSC-funded programs could undertake on behalf of eligible clients, prohibiting programs from participating in class actions, welfare reform advocacy, and most affirmative lobbying and rulemaking activities. In addition, programs were prohibited from claiming or collecting attorneys’ fees (endnote 5) , cutting off a significant source of funding and limiting programs in their ability to use an effective strategic tool. These prohibitions were written to be “entity” restrictions and applied not just to LSC funded activity, but to all of a grantee’s non-LSC funds as well. Finally, Congress eliminated LSC funding for national and state support centers, the Clearinghouse Review,and other entities that had provided support, technical assistance, and training to LSC funded legal services programs.

Along with the new restrictions came a major reduction in funding. The LSC appropriation was cut by 30 percent, from $400 million for FY 1995 to $278 million for FY 1996. Final1996 statistics revealed the staggering cost of the funding cuts: the number of cases that were closed fell from 1.7 million in 1995 to 1.4 million in 1996; during the same period, the number of attorneys working in LSC-funded programs nationwide fell by 900, and 300local program offices closed.

Reaction to the Restrictions

LSC worked quickly to develop new regulations to implement the restrictions imposed as part of the 1996 appropriations act. In response to a report by the General Accounting Office, LSC also tightened its case reporting requirements and resumed and significantly expanded its monitoring efforts to ensure compliance with these reporting rules as well as numerous other regulatory requirements and restrictions that had been imposed by Congress. The LSC Office of Inspector General (OIG) began a series of special program audits around a variety of specific issues.

Although the leadership of the legal services community recognized that Congressional support for continued legal services funding was, to a large degree, premised on the notion that the legal services program had been “reformed,” opposition to the restrictions remained intense within the legal services community.

In January 1997, legal services programs filed two separate lawsuits against LSC challenging the constitutionality of the new statutory prohibitions, the substantive restrictions, and the limitations that had been imposed on the use non-LSC funding. In the first of the two suits, LASH v. LSC, the federal District Court held that the statutory restrictions were constitutional, but the regulatory scheme restricting non-LSC funds violated the First Amendment. In response to the lower court decision in LASH, LSC revised its regulations and imposed a new set of “program integrity” requirements that required strict legal, financial, and physical separation between LSC-funded programs and entities that engaged in restricted activity. The Court of Appeals approved the new LSC scheme and held that the restrictions were constitutional.

In the second suit, Velazquez v. LSC, the Court of Appeals did strike down part of one of the restrictions. The Court found that the provision in the welfare reform restriction that prohibited legal services advocates from challenging welfare law as part of the representation of an individual client who was seeking relief from a welfare agency violated the First Amendment because it constituted impermissible viewpoint discrimination. In February 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that decision. After the Supreme Court issued its decision, LSC announced that it would no longer enforce the specific provision addressed by the Court, and in May 2002, LSC formally eliminated it from the welfare reform regulation.

In the years since the imposition of the restrictions, there have been numerous conversations within the legal services community and among its supporters about the impact of the restrictions on the ability of legal services providers to provide a full range of services to low-income clients. Efforts have been made in Congress by a coalition including NLADA, CLASP, the Brennan Center, the ABA and the United Auto Workers, to eliminate some or all of the restrictions. Special efforts were made to limit the reach of the restrictions to only LSC funds rather than the non-LSC funds of recipients. To date, the only change in the restrictions occurred in late 2009, when Congress eliminated the restriction on seeking attorneys’ fees. Otherwise, LSC programs have, for the most part, learned to live within the restrictions, albeit unhappily.