Legal Services Advisory Committee (LSAC)

The Legal Services Advisory Committee (LSAC) makes grants to legal services and alternative dispute resolution programs serving low-income clients.  

LSAC funds programs serving every county in Minnesota, with grantees annually providing service to nearly 50,000 low-income clients statewide. LSAC grant funding comes from several sources including:
  • funds appropriated by the legislature for civil legal services, governed by Minnesota Statutes 480.242;
  • a portion of the attorney registration fee dedicated to civil legal services;
  • IOLTA revenue; and
  • a statewide cy pres endowment dedicated to civil legal services.
The LSAC grant cycle for FY18-19 is now closed. The next grant application will be available in January 2019.

The FY20-21 LSAC grant cycle is now open.  The deadline for submitting a completed grant application is Friday, March 15, 2019 by 4:30pm.

FY20-21 Grant Materials:

Effective July 1, 2008, attorneys can receive CLE credit for pro bono work.  The CLE for Pro Bono Rule is primarily administered by the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education.

Under the rule, only pro bono work done through an "approved legal services provider" is eligible for CLE credit.  The rule defines an "approved legal services provider" as:
  1. an organization funded by the Legal Services Corporation or the Minnesota Legal Services Advisory Committee (the CLE Board Website inlcudes links to lists of organizations that are eligible under this part of the rule), OR
  2. an organization designated by the Minnesota Legal Services Advisory Committee.  Eligibility for designation is limited to: (a) programs providing pro bono legal representation within 501(c)(3) organizations that have as their primary purpose the furnishing of legal services to persons with limited means; (b) law firms, law libraries or bar associations that conduct programs that have as their primary purpose the furnishing of legal services to persons with limited means and are under the supervision of a pro bono coordinator or designated lawyer; (c) law firms that provide pro bono legal services on behalf of a Minnesota Judicial Branch program, including but not limited to, the Guardian ad Litem Program.

If an organization is not an "approved legal services provider" under the first part of the rule but meets the criteria under the second part of the rule, an Application for Designation as Approved Legal Services Provider may be submitted to the Legal Services Advisory Committee.

The following organizations have submitted applications and been approved under Rule 2.B. as eligible for CLE credit for qualifying pro bono under the rule:

  • Dorsey & Whitney Low-Income Pro Bono Program - Effective 10/13/08
  • Faegre Baker Daniels Low-Income Pro Bono Program - Effective 8/29/08
  • Faegre Baker Daniels Judicial Branch Pro Bono Program - Effective 8/29/08
  • Fredrikson & Byron Low-Income Pro Bono Program - Effective 8/25/08
  • Innocence Project of Minnesota - Effective 4/1/09
  • Deinard Legal Clinic (Affiliated with Stinson Leonard Street) - Effective 9/23/08
  • Ballard Spahr (formerly Lindquist & Vennum) Low-Income Pro Bono Program - Effective 10/1/08
  • Robins Kaplan Guardian ad Litem Pro Bono Program - Effective 2/18/09
  • Robins Kaplan Low-Income Pro Bono Program - Effective 8/12/09
  • Institute for Justice Low-Income Pro Bono Program - Effective 6/30/10
  • Cancer Legal Line - Effective 9/28/10
  • Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter, Pro Se Project - Effective 9/22/10
  • Twin Cities Christian Legal Aid - Effective 8/23/11
  • Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans Pro Bono Program - Effective 11/29/11
  • Anoka County Law Library - Effective 7/1/13
  • Carver County Law Library - Effective 7/1/13
  • Ramsey County Law Library - Effective 7/1/13
  • Scott County Law Library - Effective 7/1/13
  • Washington County Law Library - Effective 7/1/13
  • Minnesota State Law Library - Effective 7/1/13
  • Disability Rights Oregon - Effective 10/17/14
  • HOME Line - Effective 11/10/14
  • Legal Rights Center - Effective 11/25/14
  • Children's Law Center of Minnesota - Effective 7/1/16
  • Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center - Effective 7/5/16
  • Minnesota State Law Library Appeals Clinic - Effective 7/19/16
  • Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network - Effective 8/29/18
  • Casa Corneilia Law Center - Effective 8/29/18
  • Family Preservation Foundation - Effective 12/13/18

The Minnesota Client Access, Barriers and Solutions Study ("MN-CABS Study") was a joint project of the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA), the Bremer Foundation, the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition and the Legal Services Advisory Committee.  The purpose of the MN-CABS Study was to identify specific groups of legal services-eligible clients around Minnesota, the barriers they face to obtaining legal services, and strategies for overcoming those barriers.  

This study was the first of its kind in Minnesota and in the country. Its innovative methodology - using direct surveys and focus groups of eligible clients, much of it conducted by staff from legal services and pro bono programs that have been trained by University of Minnesota researchers - provides a model of client-centered analysis that goes well beyond generic needs assessments.

The study was released on September 13, 2011, and is available at the following link:  Final MN-CABS Report

The Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee of the MSBA has developed a program self-audit for organizations that provide civil legal services, which is available through the following link:  Program Self-Audit

Map of Minnesota indicating regions for Minnesota Client Access and Barriers Study

Legal Services Grant Program Manager
Send an email via our contact form

Minnesota Judicial Center (MJC)
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155