42 U.S.C. § 2996f - Grants and contracts

Cite as:42 U.S.C. § 2996f
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)

(a) Requisites

With respect to grants or contracts in connection with the provision of legal assistance to eligible clients under this subchapter, the Corporation shall-

(1) insure the maintenance of the highest quality of service and professional standards, the preservation of attorney-client relationships, and the protection of the integrity of the adversary process from any impairment in furnishing legal assistance to eligible clients;


(A) establish, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and with the Governors of the several States, maximum income levels (taking into account family size, urban and rural differences, and substantial cost-of-living variations) for individuals eligible for legal assistance under this subchapter;

(B) establish guidelines to insure that eligibility of clients will be determined by recipients on the basis of factors which include-

(i) the liquid assets and income level of the client,

(ii) the fixed debts, medical expenses, and other factors which affect the client's ability to pay,

(iii) the cost of living in the locality, and

(iv) such other factors as relate to financial inability to afford legal assistance, which may include evidence of a prior determination that such individual's lack of income results from refusal or unwillingness, without good cause, to seek or accept an employment situation; and

(C) insure that (i) recipients, consistent with goals established by the Corporation, adopt procedures for determining and implementing priorities for the provision of such assistance, taking into account the relative needs of eligible clients for such assistance (including such outreach, training, and support services as may be necessary), including particularly the needs for service on the part of significant segments of the population of eligible clients with special difficulties of access to legal services or special legal problems (including elderly and handicapped individuals); and (ii) appropriate training and support services are provided in order to provide such assistance to such significant segments of the population of eligible clients;

(3) insure that grants and contracts are made so as to provide the most economical and effective delivery of legal assistance to persons in both urban and rural areas;

(4) insure that attorneys employed full time in legal assistance activities supported in major part by the Corporation refrain from (A) any compensated outside practice of law, and (B) any uncompensated outside practice of law except as authorized in guidelines promulgated by the Corporation;

(5) insure that no funds made available to recipients by the Corporation shall be used at any time, directly or indirectly, to influence the issuance, amendment, or revocation of any executive order or similar promulgation by any Federal, State, or local agency, or to undertake to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by the Congress of the United States, or by any State or local legislative bodies, or State proposals by initiative petition, except where-

(A) representation by an employee of a recipient for any eligible client is necessary to the provision of legal advice and representation with respect to such client's legal rights and responsibilities (which shall not be construed to permit an attorney or a recipient employee to solicit a client, in violation of professional responsibilities, for the purpose of making such representation possible); or

(B) a governmental agency, legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof-

(i) requests personnel of the recipient to testify, draft, or review measures or to make representations to such agency, body, committee, or member, or

(ii) is considering a measure directly affecting the activities under this subchapter of the recipient or the Corporation.

(6) insure that all attorneys engaged in legal assistance activities supported in whole or in part by the Corporation refrain, while so engaged, from-

(A) any political activity, or

(B) any activity to provide voters or prospective voters with transportation to the polls or provide similar assistance in connection with an election (other than legal advice and representation), or

(C) any voter registration activity (other than legal advice and representation);

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