Legal Link’s mission is to remove legal barriers that prolong poverty by adding critically needed capacity to the legal ecosystem. We are creating and supporting a new frontline of community legal navigators.
Low-income families receive adequate legal help only 14% of the time.
We’re here to change that. Here’s how.
Legal Link increases access and capacity within the legal ecosystem to address systemic barriers that prolong poverty.
Trained community partners act as navigators for families inadequately supported by the legal system. Navigators help to identify legal issues, surface unmet legal needs, and access legal protections.
Resilient communities access legal protections and build healthy families and vibrant futures.
Families experiencing poverty are inadequately supported by our justice system, which is severely under-resourced and inherently complex. Nearly 9 out of 10 families do not get the legal help they need. These unaddressed legal issues act as barriers to housing, health, and economic stability. As a result, many people do not access existing legal protections and trust in the legal system is low.
Legal Link works to change this by embedding legal navigation support in community-based settings. Legal Link-trained partners act as navigators who help to surface unmet legal needs, identify legal issues, and access legal protections.
We partner with over 50 leading California Bay Area community-based organizations that are deeply integrated into, and trusted by, the communities they serve. Our programs increase the skill and capacity of frontline community partners, expand the legal ecosystem, promote participation in our legal system, and move the needle on poverty-related outcomes.
The Legal First Aid Training Program trains client-facing staff in our Legal First Aid curriculum, builds legal navigation skills, and provides ongoing direct legal support to navigators and their clients via remote legal consultations and access to key tools and resources.
The Community Navigator Fellowship Program trains and supports frontline staff at partner organizations to become fluent in community-based legal navigation. This one-year Fellowship includes in-depth training, skill-building, and one-on-one case review with Legal Link attorneys.
At Legal Link, we recognize and condemn white supremacy, and we support the calls for change in our systems of wealth distribution, policing, criminal justice, civil justice, and immigration policies. We stand shoulder to shoulder with those working on the frontlines to support communities in navigating, democratizing, and changing these systems while recognizing that they are built on racist, inequitable power structures. We follow those with lived experiences and we commit to making our internal practices just, welcoming, and self-reflective.
We rely on data collection and analysis to regularly inform our work. We use two metrics to measure our success: the increased legal capability of the navigators we train, and the impact of the navigators’ work on their clients’ poverty-related outcomes. We will continue to refine, build, and test, while always holding families and their paths out of poverty as our north star.