|Welcome to Legal
Welcome to one of the most fulfilling,
frustrating, and challenging jobs on the planet.
Welcome to a tradition of fighting for
the rights of poor people and their communities.
Welcome to a tradition of building strong
communities by helping:
• preserve, produce, and protect rights
to, affordable, habitable, accessible housing
• create access to health care, child
care, food and income support programs
• lessen and eliminate violence,
neglect and abuse in families
• rescue people from and prevent
• protect consumers from rip-offs,
particularly vulnerable elders, immigrants, and
persons with limited English language skills
• create jobs, prevent unemployment,
and remove barriers to productive employment
• facilitate the integration of
immigrants, people of color, and people with disabilities into
the labor force and society at large
• enable students to get a quality
Whether attorney, paralegal, advocate,
secretary, manager, pro bono coordinator, executive director or
administrator - you have chosen well. The work is challenging and
meaningful. You are working for the greater good. But the work is not
easy and has few extrinsic rewards. We are not held up as the “best
and the brightest” - even though we know we must be. The pay is not
great. With few exceptions, we are not in the public eye; we aren’t
depicted on TV or in film. Many people think that lawyers for poor
people is an oxymoron - “you mean,” they ask “there are lawyers
for poor people???” Yes, and paralegals, advocates, secretaries and
other good folks who choose to do this work.
Best of all, you’re not alone. You’re
part of a dedicated, creative group of people across the country, indeed
the world, who are committed to justice for low-income people and eager
to help you. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Our purpose is to orient you to the
larger legal services community, guide you through the inevitable slings
and arrows, and generally get you off to a great start. We plan to
introduce you to important information and resources that will make you
more productive sooner.
Obviously, we don’t believe in the “sink
or swim” orientation model; nor do we wish to bore or overwhelm you.
We encourage you to come back often, choose those sections that are
helpful to you, and do it at a pace that suits you.
We will be adding sections as quickly as
We encourage your feedback
on how we can make this orientation more useful.
Again, welcome aboard.