Legal Services of Southern Piedmont’s mission is to pursue justice for those in need. LSSP provides a wide range of civil legal assistance to low-income people in the Charlotte metropolitan area and west-central NC.
LSSP accomplishes its mission through a variety of legal advocacy strategies including individual advice and representation, community education and outreach, representation of groups, self-help remedies, collaboration with other agencies, community economic development, legislative and administrative advocacy, and impact litigation.
2016 Community Impact Report
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In the 1967 War on Poverty, the Office of Economic Opportunity made a grant to the Mecklenburg County Bar and the Charlotte Area Fund to establish the Legal Aid Society of Mecklenburg County (LASMC) to provide civil legal assistance to low-income people. The organization began operation with three attorneys and two secretaries.
Beginning in 1975, federal funding for local legal services programs was expanded to reach every county in the nation, and in 1979, LASMC changed its name to Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (LSSP) and expanded to include Cabarrus, Gaston, Stanly and Union Counties.
In 1996, Congress imposed severe restrictions on federally funded programs, and in 2002, all federal legal services funding for N.C. went toward creating a single statewide program called Legal Aid of North Carolina. It was also in 2002 that part of LSSP became the local branch of LANC.
LSSP remained as a locally-governed legal services program. With no federal legal services funding or restrictions, LSSP is able to continue providing advocacy that is restricted by federal funding regulations, including assistance to immigrants through the Immigrant Justice Program and the Family Support and Health Care Program with support from local government, United Way, foundations and the annual Access to Justice Campaign.
Since 2002, LSSP has expanded its service areas to include providing tax assistance and unemployment insurance assistance to low-income individuals and continues to offer consumer protection for clients facing bankruptcy, foreclosure, unfair trade practices or debt collection. LSSP also provides targeted legal services to veterans, the elderly and persons living with HIV or AIDS.