Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM)

Independent nonprofit that provides civil legal aid to 21 counties in eastern Missiouri. Headquartered in St. Louis.
Organization website

Primary geographic focus: Missouri
Organization type(s): Provider
Acronym or short name: LSEM
Lists: LSC

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri is an independent, non-profit organization that provides high quality civil legal assistance and equal access to justice for low-income people and the elderly in eastern Missouri. LSEM is a tax exempt 501 (c) (3) corporation.

Approximately 286,000 low-income people live in the 21 counties that LSEM serves.

The first organized response to the civil legal needs of indigent residents of St. Louis occurred in 1935 when the city and the Bar Association of St. Louis established a volunteer legal aid bureau. The bureau became The Legal Aid Society for the City and County of St. Louis, and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1956. The national Legal Services Corporation was created in 1974 to take over the function of providing funding to local legal services programs.

In 1977, our name was changed to Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. In 1993, we merged with Legal Services of Northeast Missouri in Hannibal, expanding our service area to 21 counties. In 2001, a Union office was opened to serve residents in Franklin, Warren and Washington counties.


News Story

To Address Race Gap, Missouri AG Pushes Debt Collection Fixes

Paul Kiel
December 3, 2015
Missouri’s attorney general proposed reforms to the state court rules to address the prevalence of debt collection suits in black neighborhoods.

Letter to Editor

Missourians do not have to lose food stamp benefits

Joel Ferber, Jamie Rodriguez
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 20, 2016
While thousands of unemployed childless adults will lose benefits due to recent policy changes i Missouri, it is not true that 58,000 participants must lose benefits.

News Story

When a nonprofit health system outsources its ER, debt collectors follow

Samantha Liss
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 17, 2016
A Post-Dispatch analysis found that CP Medical has filed at least 1,078 lawsuits in St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County between Dec. 2, 2014, and March 10, 2016.

News Story

Doctors pair up with lawyers to find cures for those in need

Durrie Bouscaren
St. Louis Public Radio
August 3, 2016
Your doctor can refer you to a specialist … but what if she could refer you to free legal help, too?

Audio , Feature

7.5 million Americans are victims of stalking every year — here are some ways to address the issue

Kelly Moffitt
St. Louis Public Radio
October 6, 2016
Laura Halfmann and Holly Yoakum are part of the St. Louis Family Violence Council Annual Conference on Stalking. Here are some things we learned about stalking from this interview.

News Story

Doctors pair up with lawyers to find cures for those in need

Durrie Bouscaren
St. Louis Public Radio
October 12, 2016
In St. Louis, attorneys for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri are making the rounds at community health clinics to help patients whose health issues may need a legal remedy.

News Story

If the Payday Lending Industry Goes Out of Business, What Will Replace It?

Geoff Williams
U.S. News & World Report
October 14, 2016
Experts predict both good and bad consequences.

News Story

LSEM Warns of Health Insurance Changes

Gregg Jones
Washington Missourian (MO)
October 27, 2016
Two major health insurance carriers have exited from a state health insurance program, which may leave some low-income families and individuals in the area without coverage.

News Story

Donald Trump Plans to Eliminate Legal Aid Funding That Supports Survivors of Domestic Violence

Jordan Smith
Intercept, The
March 20, 2017
When Sonota thinks about funding for legal aid being discontinued, she gets choked up. She believes defunding the LSC would sound a death knell for people like her.

Letter to Editor

Dismayed by attempt to curtail Legal Services Corp.

Greg Campbell
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 26, 2017
As an attorney who occasionally performs pro bono work for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, a local grantee of the agency, I am dismayed by this attempt to kill a highly efficient program that has enjoyed bipartisan support for decades.

News Story

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri introduces new Education Justice Program

Sophie Hurwitz
St. Louis American
July 20, 2017
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) has created a new unit with a big goal: ending the school-to-prison pipeline and creating an equitable educational system.

News Story , Video

Effort to crack down on illegal evictions in St. Louis

Christina Coleman
KSDK (St. Louis)
September 13, 2017
Illegal evictions are leaving hundreds of people homeless in the area every year.


From locked out to homeless, a St. Louis rental tragedy

Tony Messenger
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 17, 2017
She was robbed on a Thursday, told to get out on Friday, and locked out of her home, with all of her possessions, by Sunday.

News Story , Video

News 4 Investigates: Racial disparities in school discipline News 4 Investigates: Racial disparities in school discipline

Lauren Trager
KMOV (St. Louis)
February 6, 2018
In a lawsuit filed against administrators at Hazelwood School District, Staci's lawyers outline multiple times they say Staci's daughter was attacked: in August 2016, twice in October that year and again in March 2017.

News Story

St. Louis commits $100,000 to Legal Services for vacancy initiative

Jacob Barker
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 16, 2018
Looking to chip away at the thousands of abandoned properties throughout the city, the St. Louis Development Corporation agreed Thursday help fund a new attorney at the region’s premier nonprofit legal clinic.

News Story

SLPS settles with family of suspended student

Jessica Karins
St. Louis American
March 30, 2018
In a first for Missouri, the plaintiff received a monetary award and an order for the district to change its policies.

News Story

Suspended St. Louis student settles case after lost school year

Kristen Taketa
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 16, 2018
Here’s how a St. Louis student completed his freshman year without earning a single high school credit.

News Story

Legal Aid Funder Faces Existential Crisis Under Trump

RJ Vogt
October 28, 2018
Following Donald Trump's election to the presidency, the LSC and its grantees face an existential crisis — for the first time since President Ronald Reagan left office, the executive branch has repeatedly called for LSC's elimination.

News Story

Medicaid rolls fall in Missouri, Tennessee, worrying advocates for poor

Phil Galewitz
Kaiser Health News (KHN)
February 7, 2019
Social workers worry that the states’ efforts to weed out improperly enrolled residents has led to wrongful terminations.

News Story

More than 50K eligible children dropped from Medicaid in MO

Sandra Jordan
St. Louis American
February 12, 2019
Cumbersome paperwork, state computer systems that don’t communicate with one other, call center troubles and language barriers are causing some children in Missouri to fall through the cracks and get kicked off of Medicaid benefits.


For poor families, dropped Medicaid coverage in Missouri burdens lives full of trauma

Tony Messenger
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 16, 2019
In the last two years, Missouri has led the nation in this avoidable problem, seeing the number of children covered by Medicaid drop more than 16%, according to the latest numbers from the state.

News Story , Video

Rise in Loans Linked to Cars Is Hurting Poor

Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Michael Corkery
New York Times (NYT)
December 25, 2014
With a crackdown on payday lenders, subprime borrowers are increasingly using auto title loans, whose high interest rates can lead to repossession and financial ruin.


Missouri Still Has A Justice Gap Say St. Louis Attorneys Who Serve The Poor

Camille Phillips
St. Louis Public Radio
January 9, 2014
A 50-minute radio show about the justice gap featuring Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Executive Director Dan Glazier.


The importance of equal access to justice for all

Dan Glazier
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 15, 2015
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Executive Director Dan Glazier discusses the importance of access to civil legal aid.

This page last modified: Sat, April 25, 2015 -- 8:16 pm ET