THE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT OF LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS
This chapter examines the operating environment of the five programs selected for study. All of the programs studied are located in a single state. Two of these, Metro City Legal Services (MCLS) and Industrial Region Legal Services (IRLS), are large metropolitan programs; two others, Rustic Legal Services (RLS) and Regional Rural Legal Services (RegRLS), are smaller rural agencies; and one, Suburban Legal Services (SLS), is a medium-sized suburban program. 1
The discussion begins with a description of the formal administrative structure of legal services programs, focusing on the mechanisms available to state and national officials to influence the activity of local programs. In a subsequent section, salient characteristics of the programs and their local environments are described. A final section completes the introduction to the research sites by examining differences in their mix of activity.
The five programs examined in this book are funded and administered by the national Legal Services Corporation and an analogous state agency. On the national level, the LSC receives all of its funding from the United States Congress. Since the Corporation was established to prevent political officials from interfering with or directing the daily operations of local programs, Congress cannot use its fund-