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November 12, 2021 SCLAID 100

Updating Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid

As a part of the 100th anniversary celebration of its founding, the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (SCLAID) undertook a project to revise its Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid, which had not been updated since 2006. Following a listening session conduced at the Fall 2019 NLADA Annual Conference, SCLAID developed a framework for approaching the revision process during 2020-21. Specifically, the revision process addressed standards that required updating in four broad, substantive areas that have evolved significantly since 2006:

  • Changes in the conception of the legal aid delivery system/ecosystem and the role of legal aid broadly.
  • Changes in technology (meaning technology available to attorneys and its use in their practices).
  • Changes in regulatory standards and ethics rules (some of which may also pertain to use of technology, including by clients, more broadly).
  • Changes in how promotion of staff diversity, application of race equity principles, and institutionalization of cultural competency training and practices impact the quality of services and the ability to effectively serve the entire client community.

Following an extensive editing and drafting process, the revised Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid were adopted by the ABA House of Delegates on August 9, 2021. The Standards can be found at