Litigation is a critical tool — and sometimes the only effective tool — for ensuring that the rights of low-income people are enforced.
NCLEJ has a strong and storied history of partnering with and supporting the efforts of low-income people and grassroots groups. We use impact litigation to enforce the rule of law, protecting entitlement to a wide range of public benefits, and further wage justice. We are applying this successful experience in a growing range of economic, social, and racial justice issues.
For example, we use litigation in collaboration with low-income organizers and other advocates to ensure that low-wage workers’ rights are secure, people with disabilities have access to programs and services as guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and low-income housing is free of disease-causing mold. We have also successfully litigated to stop fraudulent debt collection practices that target low-income people.
Litigation promotes the accountability of both government agencies and private actors, helps focus broader public attention on the injustices imposed on low-income people, reveals structural inequities, and can be an important part of broader campaigns to achieve economic justice. Our litigation has helped tens of thousands of vulnerable families and individuals to improve their lives.
Our litigation program involves leading or co-counseling impact litigation across the country in cooperation with or at the request of local advocates. We marshal the participation of local or national public interest programs and the private bar where appropriate. We also educate and support colleagues across the country engaged in similar advocacy.