Supporting Community Legal Aid (CLA) gives you the opportunity to be part of a dedicated and dynamic team of advocates committed to providing legal services to community members who would otherwise have no access to quality legal representation. CLA uses every tool available to assist its clients, including direct representation, systemic or impact litigation, online referral and information resources, and legislative advocacy.
Each year, thousands of low-income and elderly people contact CLA seeking help with their legal problems. Some are the parents of disabled children who are having difficulty obtaining SSI disability benefits. Others are elders who have been denied approval from Medicare for medical services and equipment. Some face open discrimination on the job or when they seek housing. Sadly, many are battered women who have spent years in abusive relationships and need help breaking free from their batterers. While our clients are varied in age and background, they all battle legal problems that keep them from obtaining the resources they need to provide for themselves and their families.
With a dedicated staff of more than 40 attorneys and paralegal advocates, CLA provides legal representation to clients who cannot otherwise afford to hire a lawyer. Without legal representation, low-income people will often be unable to enforce their legal rights, and the results can be devastating -- loss of physical safety, homelessness, hunger. Last year, we helped over 5,000 clients remain in their homes, obtain benefits to meet their basic needs, and provide a safe environment in which to raise their children. Our services also help our legal system operate more efficiently and fairly by providing legal assistance in the courthouse and before our clients ever need to see a judge.
Our work is supported through public funding, foundations, and private donors, and through the volunteerism of members of the private bar who provide pro bono legal representation, but our resources aren't nearly enough to meet the need. The reality is that more than half of those in need are unable to obtain representation to help them resolve their legal problems.
Your support is more critical now than ever and I encourage you to help in whatever way you can.
Very truly yours,
Gayle F. Weiss
President, Board of Directors