Recommendations of the Minnesota Legal Services Planning Commission on the Configuration of the LSC-Funded Programs
51 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 20, 2005
In the summer of 2003, the Minnesota Supreme Court convened the Legal Services Planning Commission. Chaired by Justice Sam Hanson and Judge Terri Stonebumer, the Commission was charged with, first, evaluating the present configuration of legal services programs receiving funding from the federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC); second, recommending a reconfiguration of those programs; and, third, engaging in statewide strategic planning of the delivery of civil legal services to the disadvantaged. The Commission finished its first two tasks at the end of 2003, and issued a report about the reconfiguration of the legal aid programs that received LSC funding. The first part of this report summarizes the work the Commission did in connection with those issues.
The remainder of this report details the results of a year of work done by the full Commission and its Committees. Across the course of that year, members of the Commission continued to meet and discuss how Minnesota's system of delivering civil legal services to the disadvantaged could be improved. As set out below, that "system" consists of a network of staffed legal aid programs, some receiving LSC funding and some not; a host of volunteer programs; and thousands of private attorneys contributing pro bono services. The Commission struggled with how to improve the communication and cooperation among all the contributors to this system and, at the same time, preserve the system's energy, creativity, flexibility, and capacity. With an eye firmly fixed on the maxim, "First, do no harm," the Commission adopted the recommendations contained in this report.
Keywords: LSC, legal services, pro bono, law students
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