Legal aid groups prepare for loss of federal funds

Legal aid organizations across California are bracing for what could be a devastating financial blow following the release of the Trump administration’s draft budget last week.

News Story (California)

Dominic Fracassa
San Francisco Chronicle
March 21, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Bay Area Legal Aid (San Francisco), California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. (CRLA), Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


Nationwide, many legal aid groups rely on grants from the agency to make up significant portions of their budgets each year. Without them, some fear that they’ll have to significantly scale back their operations as they search for other sources of funding. In 2016, Legal Services received $385 million from Congress, 90 percent of which went directly to fund legal aid organizations.

“Right now, a lot of our energy is spent on generating new funds that may offset a loss in federal funds,” said Alex Gulotta, executive director of Bay Area Legal Aid, commonly known as BayLegal, which serves around 60,000 people in the region each year.