Brief History

Through direct legal help and statewide advocacy, the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most.

What is now the Michigan Advocacy Program began 50 years ago as a number of independent local legal aid societies in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Jackson, and Lansing. Over time, these local programs merged and became Legal Services of South Central Michigan — which provides free civil legal aid to low income individuals in 13 counties in south and central Michigan and has offices in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Jackson, Lansing and Monroe. LSSCM is the Legal Services Corporation and the Michigan State Bar Foundation grantee across all of these 13 counties.

In 1997, in response to state and federal efforts to reorganize legal services, LSSCM created the Michigan Poverty Law Program and Farmworker Legal Services (FLS). FLS, like LSSCM, is a direct services program — it provides free legal assistance to migrant and seasonal farmworkers throughout the state of Michigan.

MPLP and its affiliated programs are state support programs. Working with local advocacy organizations, these programs support and coordinate services across the whole state. These statewide programs include: the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center; the Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Project; the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative; and the Michigan Legal Help Program.

In 2014, LSSCM changed its name to the Michigan Advocacy Program to better reflect both its direct service work and its statewide advocacy programs. MAP continues to provide direct services through its LSSCM and FLS divisions. In 2014, MAP created a separate LLC to house its statewide services, Michigan PLP, LLC.

The Michigan Advocacy Program is funded by government grants, private funders and contributions. With your support our programs are available to help those who need it the most.