1. WORK WI TH RACE
EQUITY IN MIND
Explicit and (more insidiously)
implicit bias infect our society as a
whole. The legal system is not exempt
from this malady. Nor are we, either as
organizations or as individuals, free of
bias. The plan recognizes this fact and
encourages all members to take steps
to address racial bias in the hopes of
furthering race equity.
Each member organization of the
Alliance is encouraged to perform a
race equity self-audit. This requires
organizations to take a look at themselves.
As Socrates said “An unexamined life is
not worth living.” That is particularly true
when it comes to examining one’s biases.
2. PROMOTE THE ABILITY OF
LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES TO
UNDERSTAND THEIR RIGHTS
Before individuals can seek legal help,
they must recognize that they have a
legal problem. Yet one-half of low-income households who have a problem
that has a legal component are unaware
of that fact. The plan encourages Alliance
members to reach out to low-income
communities to inform individuals of
their rights and where they may seek help.
3. PROVIDE HELP TO ALL
REGARDLESS OF LOCATION
The plan recognizes that low-income
individuals living in rural areas have
a harder time finding help than those
in cities and encourages Alliance
members to use technology to address
this obstacle. Alliance members are
also encouraged to research what
providers in other states are doing.
Both the federal and state
governments provide funding
for civil legal aid in our state.
There are restrictions, however,
on the organizations that accept
government funding—for example,
such organizations cannot represent
undocumented or incarcerated
clients. The plan encourages Alliance
members to take steps to ensure that
all low-income residents have an equal
opportunity for accessing the civil
4. REPRESENT CLIENTS IN A
On average, low-income households
have nine legal problems per year.
These problems, unsurprisingly,
are often intertwined. The plan
encourages Alliance members to
address the interrelated nature of their
clients’ legal issues.
5. ENGAGE IN
ADVOCACY TO BRING
ABOUT SYSTEMIC CHANGE
While there is a great and unmet
need to help individuals with their
problems, the plan recognizes that at
the same time action must be taken
systemically to reduce the need for
civil legal aid. In short, poverty itself is
the reason why a substantial portion of
the population cannot access the civil
To engage in systemic change,
the plan encourages Alliance members to work with the community at-large and create annual community
engagement plans. The goal is to
have the community provide input to
identify systemic factors that result
in disparate treatment for low-income people.
June 14–16, 2019
Spokane Convention Center
2019 ACCESS TO
Save the Date
for more information as it becomes available.
returns after a
Civil Legal Needs
Study Update is
Race and Equity Justice
Initiative (REJI) is launched
after momentum builds
from the ATJ Conference.
LAW Fund merges with LFW; LAW
fund assigns resource allocation
of private sector funds raised to
LFW’s Grants Committee.
ALLIANCE FOR EQUAL JUS TICE TIMELINE