What We Fund
Maryland Legal Services Corporation makes grants to nonprofit organizations that provide civil legal assistance for low-income Marylanders. The use of MLSC funds is governed by the Maryland Legal Services Corporation Act, which describes activities for which MLSC funds may and may not be used.
MLSC funds must be used to serve clients who meet income eligibility, defined in the statute as at or below 50% of Maryland median income.
All grant decisions are made by the MLSC Board of Directors. MLSC requires annual programmatic and financial audits of each grantee to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the grant award. We also encourage coordination among grantees and provide technical assistance to promote improvements in legal services delivery.
Current MLSC Grant Programs
- Operating Grants: Our largest grant program, these general operating grants support a wide range of legal services. Applicants may also request challenge grants, to be used to encourage new fundraising efforts.
- Judicare: This invitation-only program pays private attorneys reduced fees to accept contested family law cases. In addition to MLSC funds, Judicare is funded through a grant from the Maryland Judiciary’s Access to Justice Department.
- Foreclosure Prevention Legal Services: This invitation-only program serves low-income Marylanders facing foreclosure, as well as low-income tenants facing displacement due to their landlord's foreclosure.
- Workforce Legal Services: This invitation-only program embeds legal service providers at job training and other workforce development sites. It is funded through restricted bank settlement money received from the Department of Justice.
- Eviction Prevention (formerly Extended Representation) Project: MLSC launched this project in FY19 in response to a changing legal services delivery system. The project funds full representation of clients in judicial litigation or administrative proceedings. Thanks to receipt of restricted funding, in FY22 MLSC transitioned this project to focus solely on eviction prevention.