Using Federal Programs to Expand Civil Legal Aid

Since 2012, the federal government has made a concerted effort to incorporate civil legal aid in the work of its agencies, expanding their ability to help vulnerable and underserved populations. The effort has been overseen by the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (WH-LAIR), co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House Domestic Policy Council, and staffed by DOJ’s Office for Access to Justice.  

This week, the Roundtable issued its first report, Expanding Access to Justice, Strengthening Federal Programs, which details how the 22 participating agencies have advanced the cause, such as the Veteran Administration’s use of legal aid to help keep low-income veterans and their families in their homes and  the creation by the Department of Justice and Corporation for National and Community Service of Elder Justice AmeriCorps, the first-ever team of lawyers and paralegals to help victims of elder abuse.   

With support from the Public Welfare Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association has worked closely with DOJ’s Office for Access to Justice to complement the work of WH-LAIR.



The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter or on Facebook.

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