DC Legal Aid Transformations Network
Advancing a user-centered system, grounded in wellbeing, anti-racism, and anti-poverty, starting with creating a coordinated intake and referral system in DC and evolving into a “network of networks” for connectivity, alignment, and action.
Why are we here?
It’s challenging to get legal help in the District of Columbia. Too many people in crisis need help, and we don’t make that easy for them. It is understood that wealth and power have the advantage in civil court. Therefore, in June 2021, the DC Bar Foundation brought together nearly 60 legal aid providers, funders, community activists, social services providers, government, technology, and other stakeholders to discuss how to reimagine a more equitable civil justice system in DC. The DC Legal Aid Transformations Network (DC LATN) grew out of this convening.
Who are we?
DC LATN consists of various sectors: legal aid, funders, community activists, health and social services, allied partners, academia, government, philanthropy, media, banking, faith-based, arts, business, and other stakeholders all working together to ensure the legal aid system in DC is accessible and seamless for all clients.
What Do We Do?
Built on social connectedness and coordination among all legal aid providers and allied partners, DC LATN will:
Ensure that the stability and safety of our most vulnerable communities are at the forefront of every decision to better serve them;
Empower our most vulnerable District residences with resources to navigate difficult life circumstances without guilt or shame;
Serve as advocates, leveraging our collective wisdom to guarantee every resident has access to legal aid.
During the June 2022 Convening, small groups gathered to explore how they could better collaborate through the lens of legal aid focus areas. As a result, we formed nine subnetworks to jump-start our “network of networks.”
Consumer Protection / Small Business
Domestic Violence /Sexual Assault Victim Services
Civil Implications of the Criminalization of Communities of Color
We invite you to join a subnetwork that interests you. To be added, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Are Our Immediate Priorities?
Develop and launch a Coordinated Intake and Referral system, which will serve as a point of entry to easily connect our most vulnerable Districts residents with a civil legal services provider, that can offer appropriate representation and/or legal resources and information.
Support our subnetworks to expand and develop their priorities for change.
How Will We work?
Through quarterly convenings, small group collaborations, cross-organizational coordination, and community feedback, we will provide resources that benefit our most vulnerable District residents as early as possible in the areas where assistance is needed. (i.e., legal services, housing, childcare, etc.).
The group meets quarterly on the second Wednesday of the month to increase collaboration and transform the delivery of legal aid in the District.
The DC Legal Aid Transformations Network will host its next convening in-person on June 14.
Registration is open.