National Legal Aid and Defender Association (CFC# 10490) is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. Our mission states that, “Because the quality of Justice in America should not depend on how much money a person has, NLADA leads a broad network of advocates on the frontlines to advance justice and expand opportunity for all by promoting excellence in the delivery of legal services for people who cannot afford counsel.”
When Jason began working with a state legal aid attorney, he was homeless and struggling to stay in treatment at the Clinic. Following a referral from his case manager, his attorney successfully appealed a subsidized housing denial and ultimately was able to secure a housing voucher and supportive mental health services for Jason and his girlfriend. The voucher ended a 5-year period of homelessness for Jason—a period that led to countless police interactions and traumatic experiences that exacerbated his substance use disorder. Overall, his new home has made his recovery “a lot easier,” and he has been stable in his treatment since he secured housing.
We have long known that access to civil legal aid eradicates homelessness, supports positive life outcomes for veterans, and prevents domestic violence. It is also clear that public defense reduces unnecessary incarceration, promotes family stability and public safety through reduced recidivism.
We also know that access to counsel plays an important role in protecting public health., Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, NLADA has advocated for federal stimulus dollars to provide public defenders with the resources they need to secure personal protective equipment, replace outdated technology and equipment and secure other necessary capacity to continue their important roles. We also collaborated with corporate leaders to support $100 million in additional funding for the Legal Services Corporation so that legal aid programs have resources to respond to the tremendous need for legal assistance still being created by COVID-19. And so much more.
As a country, we are living through a new chapter of the civil rights era. NLADA members and partners must be equipped with the cutting edge and innovative tools needed to actively and effectively address race equity issues in their offices, courtrooms, policy tables, and in the community. That is why we are launching the NLADA Racial Equity Initiative, which will actively support the transition from racial equity awareness to ACTION and IMPLEMENTATION.
Towards those goals, NLADA Racial Equity Initiative will focus on three key strategies to eradicate racial inequity on the individual, organizational, and systemic levels. The Initiative will: nurture transformation leaders, ensure all NLADA members adopt and actualize anti-racist practices; and will help NLADA members and partners own and use collective power to drive systems change.
For more than 100 years, NLADA has provided solution-based and creative leadership to the community of equal justice advocates. We are America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state, and local levels, and works to establish and strengthen the nation’s public defense and civil legal aid systems. There is no other legal organization that touches on all the access points of poverty as does NLADA.
Thank you, generous CFC supporters, because of you we are able to not just safeguard access to justice for all, but to also to harness the resources necessary to support and implement the three key strategies of the Racial Equity Initiative. Thank you for considering NLADA for your donation in support of our primary cause area- ‘crime and legal related’. Please visit https://www.nlada.org/ for information on the work being done at NLADA and don’t forget our CFC# 10490 when making your donation.