Welcome to LAAC Online!
The Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC) is the statewide membership organization for almost 100 legal nonprofits. LAAC advocates for more funding and better laws for legal nonprofits, facilitates communication and coordination between organizations, trains in core substantive areas, analyzes best practices, and works to increase access to justice for all Californians.
LAAC Member Highlight
Too often survivors of domestic violence struggle to leave their abusers because of financial barriers to escape. When planning to leave an abuser, a survivor must ask herself: Where will I live? Where will I work? How will I support myself? How will I support my children? In large part, survivors are forced to rely on their abusers financially and, for them, fleeing abuse might mean risking poverty, homelessness and maybe even risking child custody. Many survivors who escape abuse eventually return to their abusers because they find they cannot afford to leave for good. FreeFrom is a national organization based in Los Angeles, on a mission to eradicate the financial barriers that prevent survivors from rebuilding safe lives for themselves and their children.
Read more about FreeFrom's work!
Recent Press Clips
As California immigrants brace themselves for a new presidential administration, legal aid and civil rights advocates have reported an increase in predatory immigration scams throughout the state. (Mentions: Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) , Public Law Center )
Bay Area artists face a wave of evictions, seek help in the weeks after the devastating fire at the Ghost Ship live-work art collective in Oakland, CA. (Mentions: Justice and Diversity Center (JDC) )
After collecting years of data, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto and Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County have released the "first centralized, publicly available source of information to reveal the full scale of the eviction problem in the heart of Silicon Valley." (Mentions: Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County , Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) )
Civil rights groups file lawsuit against Caltrans following a series of homeless encampment raids. (Mentions: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) , East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) )
The MLP is unique in the way it addresses the intersection of poverty and public health. (Mentions: East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) )
A Statement from Our Executive Director
Our work just got harder.
I don't want to say that we were getting comfortable, but I was honestly looking forward to what appeared inevitable: a president and vice-president who had strong connections to the legal aid community, whose long careers had proven they supported your work.
I had been talking with your executive directors, getting stories on how organizations planned to spend their share of the $5 million we got from California's general fund, meeting with California's Department of Finance to talk about the amazing work you had planned as we make the case for another $5 million. Our conversations were friendly, everyone on the same team, moving California to brighter territories with anticipated increased tax revenue.
But we're in new territory now, and we're still finding our way in the dark, figuring out if there is a map in this new world.
LAAC is here for you. We will continue to fight for more funding for your work, even as your work may change. We will continue to support you in your efforts to protect your clients.
I welcome anyone to email or call me with your concerns, and we can figure out if there is a good forum, like our 2017 Technology Summit, to address them. We are happy to open the phone line for any organizing phone calls as legal aid organizations work to collaborate on emerging issues. We're here for whatever you need as your membership organization.
I keep thinking of this new world we're in, and how our community can help draw the maps, can help each other and other legal aid offices in other states find their way. We need each other to feel out the barriers, to find the walls and push through them and bring others with us, to light the way with a "Lumos!" so those far off can find us. We can do this.