WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation announced today that Bay Area Legal Aid will receive a 24-month $280,111 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant to restructure its pro bono case placement process to require less staff intervention.

Using technology that streamlines and automates case placement and processing, the project will also help place specialized pro bono opportunities with law firms that will help benefit a larger number of low-income people.

The goal is to use business process analysis to increase impact and build broader and deeper relationships with law firms to meet their desire to work on more complex and far-reaching issues for low-income communities.

“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.”

Members of the California congressional delegation applauded the grant:

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11): “As the only organization in California to receive these federal grant funds, I am pleased Bay Area Legal Aid was successful in this competitive process. The funds will go towards better serving low-income residents who are often most in need of legal assistance in their communities.”

Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18): “Bay Area Legal Aid formed in 2000 when three area legal services teams came together with a shared mission—provide quality legal services to our most vulnerable community members. Since then, Bay Legal has helped countless people seek justice, including many of my constituents. With this federal grant, Bay Legal will be able to expand its legal services by implementing new technology that keeps clients better informed of their casework and optimizes the efforts of Bay Legal’s attorneys to assist their clients.”

Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17): “This grant will greatly advance the Bay Area Legal Aid’s mission: to protect their livelihoods, health, and their families. By streamlining the process, assistance will reach those most in need more quickly and efficiently. I congratulate Bay Legal on being awarded this grant and wish them continued success in making a difference in Silicon Valley and the entire Bay Area.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13): “I am pleased that Bay Area Legal Aid was selected to receive this critical funding.  All Americans, regardless of their socio-economic status, should have access to justice. This funding will develop more opportunities for Bay Area Legal Aid and its partners to provide quality legal assistance to the underserved, primarily low-income communities and communities of color, and help them resolve their civil legal problems.”

Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-09): "This grant is great news for the communities in California's 9th District that depend on Bay Area Legal Aid's services through its advocacy site in Antioch. Economic status should not prevent people from accessing quality legal aid when they need it most. This grant will allow Bay Area Legal Aid to employ new technology to update their service model to enable them to expand pro bono opportunities and ensure that more low-income individuals and families are able to get assistance with complex litigation and legal issues."

Bay Area Legal Aid 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.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 134 independent non-profit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.