Civil Legal Aid
A targeted cluster of grants is awarded through the Foundation’s Special Initiative to strengthen core elements of the national legal aid infrastructure, including innovations for better and more effective service delivery. Grants awarded through this initiative are by invitation only.
Increasing Access to Civil Legal Aid
Civil legal aid helps people to overcome the pressing legal problems of everyday life — home foreclosures; evictions and landlord tenant disputes; divorce and child custody cases; domestic violence; unfair employment and wage claims; and denial of government benefits or health insurance. Unlike in criminal cases, there is no guarantee of counsel in civil cases. Without help to navigate difficult court and legal procedures, further complicated by often overwhelmed court personnel and systems, those without representation or legal support face burdens that can devastate families and communities, and cause further decline into poverty.
The Foundation’s Initiative aims to catalyze and elevate solutions that move forward the Civil Legal Aid field, and that provide through a continuum of meaningful and appropriate services some form of effective assistance for all those with essential civil legal needs.
Our strategies are to:
1) Strengthen core elements of the national legal aid infrastructure, and promote targeted innovations for better and more effective service delivery;
2) Raise awareness and greater understanding about the value of civil legal aid among the media, opinion leaders, and policymakers to garner greater support and financial resources for legal aid; and
3) Cultivate and engage private philanthropy and other untapped funding sources more actively to secure new financial streams for civil legal aid.