Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP) was originally established in 1997 as a cooperative effort between Legal Services of South Central Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. MPLP is the state support organization that provides training, case consultation, and advocacy support to all the civil legal aid offices in Michigan.
MPLP staff includes experts in each of the substantive areas handled by legal aid offices - family law, elder law, consumer law, housing law, foreclosures, and public benefits. MPLP also provides technology support to all legal aid programs in Michigan including support for the statewide client/case management system, program websites, and advocate list serves.
In addition to providing support and training to legal aid programs throughout Michigan, MPLP has helped launch statewide programs to meet emerging legal needs of low-income households in Michigan. The statewide programs include:
- Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Project (2008)
- Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (2008)
- Michigan Elder Justice Initiative (2011)
- Michigan Legal Help Program (2012) - a statewide website and affiliated self-help centers which provide self-help legal information resources to people representing themselves in simple civil legal matters
- Civil Victims Legal Assistance Program (2017)
In January, 2014, Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM) restructured, changed its name to the Michigan Advocacy Program and created Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services to house MPLP and its affiliated statewide advocacy programs. The new structure increases our ability to lead policy and systemic advocacy efforts in Michigan on behalf of families with low income and vulnerable populations. The Michigan Advocacy Program serves as the umbrella organization for LSSCM, Farmworker Legal Services, and the statewide advocacy programs, including MPLP.