Systemic Advocacy & Law Reform
Using Advocacy To Achieve Systemic Reform
While the majority of Legal Aid’s work consists of direct legal representation, our attorneys are committed to identifying issues that have an impact beyond an individual client. Whenever possible, we work to seek a structural solution – a change in the law or a reform of government or court practice – that will create lasting, positive change for our client community. Legal Aid is considered a nationwide model for integrating systemic change work with individual advocacy. By working with government agencies to change policies and regulations, pursuing budget recommendations or legislative initiatives, and working to reform practices in the high-volume courts that adjudicate our clients’ disputes, we are constantly seeking systemic solutions to the problems facing our client community. Below is a sampling of the non-litigation policy advocacy in which Legal Aid has engaged over the past several years. In addition to appearing and testifying before the D.C. Council and submitting detailed, written comments on proposed regulations, Legal Aid attorneys also sit on a variety of bar and court committees, commissions, boards, and task forces, helping to shape the law and policies that impact persons living in poverty in the District of Columbia and beyond.