Legal Services Program

The goal of the Oregon State Bar’s Legal Services Program is to use filing fee revenues and other funds granted from the Oregon Legislature to fund an integrated, statewide system of free civil legal services for the poor which is centered on the needs of the client community; and to work with providers to assure delivery of a broad range of quality legal services to low-income Oregonians. The Legal Services Program includes increasing access to civil legal services by increasing the amount of pro bono services by Oregon lawyers and the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). The LSP also manages the receipt and distribution of Unclaimed Lawyer Trust Account funds appropriated to legal services pursuant to ORS 98.368(2).

The Legal Services Program began in 1998, following the Oregon Legislature’s appropriation of a portion of court filing fees to support civil legal services to the poor. The legislation required the OSB to manage the funds. The legislation also mandated the development of Standards and Guidelines for providers, and the creation of a Legal Services Program Committee to provide ongoing oversight, evaluation and support to legal services providers, to ensure compliance with the Standards and Guidelines, and to further the program’s goals.

As part of the compliance phase, the Director of the LSP conducts a periodic accountability review. The goals of the review are to assure compliance with the OSB LSP Standards and Guideline; assure accountability to clients, the public and funders; and to assist with provider’s self-assessment and improvement. A report is generated and provided by the OSB LSP to the OSB Board of Governors and other stakeholders.