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MLSA gets $237K grant to help retired attorneys give advice, limited services

Friday, August 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Menden
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Montana Legal Services Association will receive a $236,797 grant to help retired attorneys to provide advice and limited-scope services to low-income clients.

Legal Services Corporation announced in early August that MLSA will receive one of the organization’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants. The fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

MLSA will use its grant to develop and support a statewide network of retired attorneys to provide advice and limited-scope services to low-income clients throughout the state. Volunteers will provide legal advice through the Montana Pro Bono Connect Phone Advice Program. They will also mentor and provide litigation support to MLSA attorneys.   

MLSA is among 15 legal aid organizations in 11 states that received grants totaling $4.5 million.

“We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund and for increasing funding by $500,000 this year,” said Jim Sandman, President of LSC. “These grants stimulate more volunteer participation by the private bar, leverage the federal investment in civil legal aid, and allow our grantees to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance.”

Both of Montana’s senators applauded the grant.

“Going to court can be challenging especially when you don’t have the resources,” said Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. “Organizations like Montana Legal Services are critical to helping those Montanans who need assistance. I’m glad to support the recent funding and will continue to be a supporter of important programs like Montana Legal Services.”

 “By connecting experienced legal professionals with Montanans, these resources will help give a voice to the voiceless, said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. “In our system, justice tends to go to the highest bidder, but Montana Legal Services is helping level the playing field to make sure justice is served, regardless of means.” 

This is the fifth year LSC has awarded Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants.