About MSBA

Call to Action – Support Funding for the Legal Services Corporation

The President's 2019 budget proposal calls for eliminating federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC) funding. Contact your Representative and Senators today and tell them that you support LSC.

‘What [LSC] has been committed to for years has nothing to do with party lines or partisanship. It has everything to do with our shared goal that everyone in this country has the right to equal and fair  representation under the law.’
- Congressman Tom Emmer (R - MN 6th District)

Take Action Today!

Become a Legal Aid Defender

Contact Your Representative

Contact Your Senators


Up-to-Date News on LSC Funding

American Bar Association


Legal Aid's Impact (an economic impact report specific to MN)

2017 Justice Gap Report by Legal Services Corporation


Talking Points

  • LSC helps thousands of Minnesotans access legal help when they face critical issues like domestic violence, unlawful eviction from their homes, and the unjust denial of essential services for veterans, the disabled, and seniors.
  • Rural areas are hardest hit.  It is particularly difficult to access critical legal assistance in rural areas of our state. Five Minnesota civil legal aid programs rely on $4.4 million in annual LSC funding, and many of those programs are located outside of the metro area.
  • Funding civil legal aid programs makes economic sense. Everyone benefits when we are able to keep our most vulnerable residents housed, safe, and stable. In 2015 alone, civil legal aid programs in Minnesota served 47,000 individuals and families. A recent economic impact report by the  Minnesota Legal Services Coalition and Minnesota State Bar Association showed that for every dollar invested in civil legal aid programs in Minnesota, the return on investment is $3.94.
  • We can't provide pro bono legal service without civil legal aid programs. LSC-funded civil legal aid programs serve many clients through leveraging pro bono attorney resources with the private bar.  Private attorneys rely on civil legal aid programs for training, support, and volunteer opportunities. In 2016, 1,010 MSBA members provided over 113,000 hours of pro bono services through civil legal aid programs, valued at over $22 million.
  • LSC funding does not meet the need. The 2018 omnibus appropriations act included a welcomed increase in funding for LSC—a $25 million increase over Fiscal Year 2017 to $410 million. This is below 2010 levels when adjusted for inflation. Even with the funding increase, the need for legal assistance far exceeds appropriations.
  • Civil legal aid programs in our state are forced to turn away three out of every five eligible callers due to a lack of resources. 
The MSBA delegation meets with Senator Amy Klobuchar at ABA Day in Washington DC in April 2018.
The MSBA delegation in Washington for the ABA’s annual ‘ABA Day on the Hill,’ a time to lobby Congress to support Legal Services Corporation funding for civil legal aid programs. Pictured here (left to right): Michael Miller, Hon. Cara Lee Neville, MSBA President-Elect Paul Unger, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Past MSBA President Michael Unger, and MSBA President Sonia Miller Van Oort. (April 2018)