LAS's Volunteer Lawyers Program Receives $50,000 Grant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. June 4, 2014 – The Corporation for National and Community Service has awarded Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands a $50,000 AmeriCorps Planning grant.

Legal Aid Society is one of three Tennessee organizations to receive a 2014-2015 AmeriCorps planning grant administered by Volunteer Tennessee, a 25-member bipartisan board organized to encourage volunteerism and community service.

Legal Aid Society will use the award to plan a capacity building program using AmeriCorps service members as liaisons for its Volunteer Lawyers Program, which engages the private bar to provide pro bono legal services across 48 counties in Middle Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau. The planning will culminate in an AmeriCorps State Formula Grant proposal in 2015.

“In most of the counties that we serve, Legal Aid Society is the only place that low income families can find legal help. Working with volunteer lawyers leverages our resources,” said Lucinda Smith, director of the Volunteer Lawyers Program. “This grant enables us to create a program to extend the Volunteer Lawyers Program’s reach and to provide effective legal help to more people in our region.”

Legal Aid Society has eight offices that provide free civil legal assistance to low-income and vulnerable populations in 48 Tennessee counties. Legal Aid Society’s services provide families living in poverty an opportunity to obtain basic necessities, such as healthcare, housing, income, protection from family violence and access to basic goods and services. Visit to learn more about Legal Aid Society.

This is the first year Volunteer Tennessee has administered Planning Grants.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more that five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit


Posted: June 4, 2014