Legal Link’s mission is to remove legal barriers for families living in poverty. Our aim is to add critically needed capacity to the legal ecosystem. We leverage non-lawyer staff at existing community-based organizations by equipping them with the confidence, competence, and training to address their clients’ legal challenges that present obstacles to self-sufficiency.
The legal system is severely under-resourced and inherently complex. Many life crises that act as barriers to poverty alleviation could be addressed with timely legal knowledge or assistance, but too often those affected are unable to get the right help at the right time. As a result, low-income families are often unable to access essential protections, and they lose trust in the very systems built to protect their basic rights.
Our Solution + Approach
We believe that removing legal barriers is a critical step toward combating poverty. Using a legal empowerment approach, we train frontline staff serving low-income and housing insecure families to identify and triage the most common legal issues facing their clients. We also equip providers with accurate and dependable tools to direct their clients to the best available legal resources. These trained, trusted, and effective advocates serve as the bridge between families most in need of legal services and the resources available to them.
Legal Link partners with non-legal organizations that are deeply integrated into and trusted by the communities they serve. Our work furthers the goals of our partner organizations, creates a pipeline of non-lawyer advocates with knowledge of the legal system, and fills a critical access to justice gap.
Legal Link is actively creating and supporting a new frontline of community legal workers. We currently partner with over 40 leading community-based organizations in the Bay Area. We rely on data collection and analysis to inform our work. We will continue to refine, build, and test, while always holding clients and their paths out of poverty as our north star.
Legal Link attorneys train client-facing staff in our Legal First Aid curriculum, build expertise inside partner organizations, and provide ongoing direct legal support to caseworkers and their clients via remote legal consultations and access to our digital referral portal.
Community Legal Navigator Program
Legal Link supports existing staff to become Community Legal Navigators – non-attorney community members who receive in-depth training and supervision from Legal Link’s attorneys – to provide dedicated on-site services for organizations with high volumes of clients needing legal support.