5 Nonprofits Providing Legal Assistance To Those In Need

The law and the courts are complicated and difficult to navigate. On top of that, attorneys are often costly to hire, putting legal representation out of reach for many people. In no particular order, this list looks at several organizations working to provide pro bono legal services to marginalized populations.

Kicking off our list at #1 is The Bronx Defenders. A public defender nonprofit in the eponymous borough of New York City, its mission is to transform how low-income people in the area are represented in the justice system. The organization represents residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases.

Every client who comes to the Bronx Defenders is connected to an interdisciplinary team of advocates, including attorneys, social workers, benefits specialists, investigators, and community organizers. These teams work to foster shared skill sets and support a culture of holistic advocacy.

At #2, we have Justice in Aging, a national organization that uses the power of law to fight senior poverty by securing access to affordable health care, economic security, and representation for older adults with limited resources. The nonprofit trains legal aid attorneys across the country in order to help them better serve seniors’ needs.

Since 1972, it has focused its efforts primarily on those who have been marginalized and excluded from justice, such as women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people with limited English proficiency. Justice in Aging advocates at the local, state, and federal levels to try and fix the issues these populations face.

The #3 entry is the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project. This nonprofit works alongside its members, thousands of asylum seekers, to build community support, emergency legal aid, and nationwide systemic reform in an effort to realize its goal of a more welcoming U.S. for those fleeing from violence.

Based in New York, New York, ASAP provides information to its members about the immigration system and appropriate legal support. In addition, the organization also connects asylum seekers to one another to collaborate and help build a more humane asylum system.

Coming in at #4, we have OneJustice, an organization providing pro bono legal services to at-need Californians, such as survivors of violence, immigrant and refugee families, veterans, and seniors. Its Bay Area Rural Justice Collaborative assists communities through frequent, mobile legal clinics with the help of volunteers from law firms.

OneJustice also aids other civil legal aid nonprofits through several initiatives, such as trainings for executives. The organization lobbies in Washington, D.C., to promote the work of pro bono legal services. Locally, in California, it campaigns to preserve funding and access to these types of groups.

Last but not least, at #5, we have And Justice for All, a collaboration of Utah-based providers of civil legal aid committed to providing free and low-cost attorney services for the state's most vulnerable citizens. The organization runs the Community Legal Center, a brick-and-mortar location for its work.

Created in 1999, it takes cases that impact basic needs such as safety, housing, income, and health insurance. In addition, it represents low-income seniors over 60 years of age with guardianship defense, medical benefits, housing, and consumer matters.