What can and cannot be done: Representation of clients by LSC-funded programs

Excellent, detailed summary of restrictions as of 2018. 10-page PDF.

Item details

Focus organization: NLADA
Publisher: NLADA
Date (approx.): Jul 1, 2018
Actual title: What can and cannot be done: Representation of clients by LSC-funded programs
Creator: Buerger, Christopher
Format: Report
State: National
Law type: Civil
Topics: LSC: Restrictions
Content availability: Full text: PDF here
File: Download
External link:
Last modified: 2023-10-05 03:03


See the entire 10-page document for details.

What can be done
The LSC restrictions imposed by the FY96 appropriations legislation, modified slightly and incorporated in the subsequent appropriations legislation, resulted in federal statutory and regulatory restrictions on LSC-funded entities. Nevertheless, there continue to be many critically important representational activities that can still be done by LSC-funded entities, and in the years since these additional restrictions were first introduced, some of them have been modified to allow recipients greater flexibility or outright repealed. To list just a few examples: the U.S. Supreme Court decision in LSC v. Velazquez restored recipients’ ability to more fully represent individual clients in welfare cases; the Kennedy Amendment and others revisions expanded the categories of eligibility for clients who are neither U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals; and the prohibition of LSC recipients collecting attorneys’ fees was repealed in its entirety in 2010.

Recipients of LSC funding can continue to address many systemic problems faced by low-income people in virtually all substantive areas. Even more critical to low-income populations, legal services can undertake advocacy in a variety of forums to expand opportunities and promote progressive social policy.

What cannot be done
As a result of the 1996 restrictions, programs receiving LSC funds are subject to numerous restrictions on the types of clients they can represent and the nature of the representation that can be provided, and they are subject to certain administrative requirements. This is a summary, but not an exhaustive list, of these restrictions and requirements based on interpretations by the Legal Services Corporation in their final regulations.

There are some activities that are prohibited under any circumstances for any entity who receives LSC funding. These “Entity Restrictions” apply to a recipient regardless of which funds they might use to carry out the task. There are also “Fund Restrictions,” which prohibit the use of LSC funds for certain activities, but allow for a program to engage in certain activities with non-LSC funds. There are also some restrictions that prohibit the use of LSC funds and private funds, but allow for the activities to be carried with other non-LSC public funds.