Last week, President Reagan withdrew all eight of his nominees as directors of the Legal Services Corp. when he received word from the Senate that two of his leading appointees would be rejected.
Reagan had formally nominated nine board members, and a Senate committee approved all but one. But the eight nominees had languished for months on the Senate calendar without action.
Meanwhile, a full board of 11 members has served for nearly a year as "recess appointees" under a little-used procedure in which the president can make appointments while Congress is out of session, allowing those nominees to serve in their full capacity throughout the next session of Congress without Senate confirmation.
That unconfirmed board has chosen Indianapolis lawyer Donald Bogard, 41, to be president of the corporation and will meet this week to decide on proposals to limit severely the activities of legal services lawyers.
Then, except for two new recess appointees named in October, the board will cease to exist as soon as Congress adjourns for the year, possibly at the end of this week. However, Reagan is expected to name new recess appointees, and there has been widespread speculation that William F. Harvey and William J. Olson will be renamed.
The 11-member board consists of:
* William F. Harvey, 50, chairman, one of the two men the Senate said it would reject. A law professor and former dean at the Indiana University School of Law, Harvey is a consultant to the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, with which White House counselor Edwin Meese III was previously associated.
Harvey has been criticized by legal services advocates because of his positions against affirmative action and court-ordered busing for school desegregation. He represented parents fighting a busing plan in the Indianapolis area and has supported federal legislation limiting court jurisdiction in school desegregation cases.
* Howard H. Dana Jr., 42, a Portland, Maine, lawyer, seen as one of the board's moderates. Dana ran Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign in Maine and views himself as a staunch conservative, but he is the only board member with actual legal services experience and one of the few to insist that the board enforce the Legal Services Act as approved by Congress.
* William J. Olson, 33, of Falls Church, who headed the Reagan transition team on the Legal Services Corp. He is said to have favored abolishing legal services but has refused to release the transition team's report and would not answer questions about it in his Senate confirmation hearing. He was the other nominee who did not have the votes for Senate confirmation.
Currently a lawyer here, Olson was a White House intern under President Nixon. A former chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, he is a member of the Virginia Republican Central Committee and was coordinator of the Fairfax County Reagan/Bush campaign.
* George E. Paras, 58, of Sacramento, the only formal nominee not approved by the Senate committee and labeled a "14-carat bigot" by Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton (D-Mo.) during his confirmation hearing.
The controversy arose over a letter Paras sent last year to Cruz Reynoso, first Hispanic judge nominated to the California Supreme Court. It said: "Your problem is that you feel it your obligation to be a professional Mexican rather than a lawyer. Thus you must remain true to the ideals consistently tossed about by leaders of the so-called Mexican movement.
"You must ever champion the 'oppressed,' meaning those who so designate themselves, such as criminals, handicapped, welfare recipients, demonstrators, 'minorities' and miscellaneous other have-nots," he wrote.
Paras later clarified the letter: "There are such things as professional blacks, professional Greeks, professional Dagos, professional Jews, people who put their ethnic origin ahead of everything else. That's what I meant."
Paras, who practices business law in Sacramento, served as a judge from 1969 to 1981 in Sacramento County Superior Court and then a state appeals court. He was appointed to both positions by Reagan, then California governor.
He resigned from the bench in 1981, angry about liberal opinions of the California Supreme Court, which he charged "rules our state like a little junta."
* Annie L. Slaughter, 57, of St. Louis, who heads operations for the Annie Malone Children's Home there and has been active in programs to aid victims of crime. Viewed as a moderate, she is the only woman on the board and one of two blacks.
* Clarence V. McKee, 40, a lawyer here who specializes in communications and was finance chairman of Reagan's campaign here. He headed the Reagan transition team on the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and says he advised Attorney General William French Smith on civil rights and affirmative action issues during the transition.
McKee, the board's other black member, worked in a local legal services program one summer while he attended Howard University Law School. Asked in a questionnaire whether he favors continuation of the program, McKee said, "I will have to look at the Legal Services Act and see what's going on."
* Robert S. Stubbs II, 60, of Waleska, Ga., executive assistant attorney general of Georgia who has directed the state's defense against many legal services lawsuits, including one on conditions in Georgia state prisons. A former law professor at Emory University in Georgia, his only involvement in legal services was in the 1965-66 school year as a faculty supervisor of the Emory Legal Services Center. He is a Democrat.
* William L. Earl, 39, a Miami lawyer. Although formally nominated to the board, he was not a recess appointee and has not participated in board actions.
* David E. Satterfield III, 62, who holds the recess appointment for Earl's position on the board and represented the Richmond congressional district as a Democrat for 16 years until he retired in 1980. In Congress, he opposed the establishment of the Legal Services Corp. in 1974 and voted in favor of legislation to restrict or abolish the program.
* Harold R. DeMoss Jr., 51, of Houston, a practicing lawyer who worked 10 years in admiralty law and now concentrates on law involving real estate and oil and gas issues.
Asked in a questionnaire about his legal services experience, he said, "I'm registered with the Houston Legal Foundation's pro bono referral program but have not been referred any cases, I guess, because my areas of specialty are not ones that are often needed by poor persons."
* Frank Donatelli, 33, a lawyer here and a former official of Young Americans for Freedom and the National Conservative Political Action Committee. Donatelli, a recess appointee not formally nominated, was a regional political director in Reagan's 1980 campaign.
* Dan Rathbun, 23, also a recess appointee, is a full-time undergraduate at Christendom College, a 95-student religious college in Front Royal Reagan named Rathbun to one of the board positions reserved for poor persons eligible for free legal assistance.
The White House justified the appointment by saying Rathbun had declared financial independence from his parents. But Rathbun's parents told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that they had claimed him as a tax deduction last year.