Description/achievement of initiative
The National Legal aid And Defender Association (NLADA) and its Corporate Advisory Committee (CAC) will strengthen their public-private partnership to advance access to justice through a newly formed NLADA-CAC Goal 16 Working Group that will identify access to justice policy initiatives that can be advanced through their partnership.
The NLADA-CAC Working Group will meet twice a year. First, at NLADA’s annual conference, which meets in the fall on an annual basis. This is the preeminent gathering of public defender and civil legal aid lawyers in the country. During the conference, the working group will gather to set a policy agenda that the public interest community and corporate community can advance together – identifying in particular those areas where business leadership is most impactful and necessary (e.g., due to lobbying restrictions placed on many of these programs due to federal regulations). Throughout the year, the working group will continue to work together virtually to advance progress on the agenda set in the fall. In the summer, the working group will convene again during NLADA’s annual dinner to measure progress and readjust priorities. After that, the working group will continue to work together virtually as needed until the next NLADA annual conference in the fall. This work is intended to be ongoing and long-lasting.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
The NLADA-CAC Working Group will report on its activities through NLADA’s annual impact report. As technology is needed for this working group, NLADA will work with its CAC partners to identify if any in-kind resources might be possible.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
Founded in 1992, NLADA’s CAC unites distinguished legal executives from a wide variety of industries to help low-income people in need of legal services by strengthening pro bono programs, formulating national strategies in support of funding for legal representation and supporting resource development at NLADA.
The NLADA-CAC Goal 16 Working Group will strategically connect NLADA experts on access to justice (on staff and across our national membership) with corporate partners to assist the business community in identifying and advancing policy initiatives on access to justice in the United States. By working together, the public interest and private sector communities can leverage each other’s strengths to meaningfully move the dial on access to justice. The working group will formally meet twice a year, at NLADA’s annual gatherings, to set an annual policy agenda and measure progress.
This work is based on the successful collaboration between NLADA and the corporate community to preserve and protect the primary source of federal funding for civil legal aid in the United States. Since 2017, first under the leadership of John Schultz, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Administrative Officer, and Corporate Secretary of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Immediate Past Chair of NLADA’s CAC, “General counsel from nearly two hundred top American corporations joined together in a letter to members of Congress that favored increased funding [of the Legal Services Corporation]. They described how their companies worked to support access to justice for all with ‘countless hours of pro bono representation provided by corporate legal departments and in-house attorneys.’” The general counsel support has only continued to grow in each successive year with support by the CAC’s current chair Max Laun, Vice President and General Counsel of Arconic, and nearly 270 signatories as of the spring of 2019. This effort has contributed to the preservation of the Legal Services Corporation’s funding. These actions are particularly important because many civil legal aid offices are restricted from directly lobbying government and cannot make the case themselves.
National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA)
NLADA's Corporate Advisory Committee (CAC)