NLSP ANNOUNCES COMMUNICATIONS INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY.
Please visit the internships page for more information about the position and how to apply.
October 25, 2016
NLSP Receives LSC Grant
Neighborhood Legal Services Program Receives Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant From the Legal Services Corporation
Washington, D.C: The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced this month that the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia (NSLP) will receive a 24-month $386,825 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant to provide free legal resources to job-seekers in the city's underserved neighborhoods. The LSC Pro Bono Innovation Fund supports the development of new and robust pro bono efforts and partnerships that will effectively serve more low-income people. To leverage impact, the Pro Bono Fund encourages collaboration, innovation, and replicability.
Low-income residents of the District of Columbia struggle with both intermittent and long-term unemployment. High levels of unemployment are concentrated in historically economically underdeveloped, and predominantly African-American neighborhoods that lie east of the Anacostia River in Wards 7 and 8. Some of the factors contributing to this problem—poor credit histories, suspended driver’s licenses, employer discrimination, and criminal records—can be overcome with the assistance of legal counsel. Legal aid and pro bono resources, however, are concentrated elsewhere in the city.
NLSP’s newly funded project, Unlocking Employment, will address this gap by bringing volunteer attorneys to walk-in legal clinics located at public libraries that are readily accessible to community members and where Wards 7 and 8 residents routinely go to find assistance and computer access for their job searches. The clinics will provide in-person information to job seekers as well as connect those with a higher level of legal need to a legal services organization. Maya Sheppard, Unlocking Employment staff attorney, expressed her excitement about the project: “This program has the potential to greatly expand access to legal services in Wards 7 and 8, and to push back against employment barriers faced by residents of those wards due to racial and economic injustice.”
Unlocking Employment will build on the Neighborhood Legal Services Program’s existing collaboration with the D.C. Public Library. “Over the past two years, the Library’s partnership with NLSP has helped job seekers visiting the MLK Library get solutions to legal issues that might have been holding them back from finding employment,” says Eric Riley, coordinator of Adult Programs & Partnerships at the DC Public Library. “Now, job seekers in two areas with high unemployment can receive pro bono legal help at their neighborhood library. The Unlocking Employment project will remove the barriers of travel time and costs for job seekers.”
About NLSP: In partnership with its clients and community stakeholders, Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP), a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm, helps District of Columbia residents eliminate barriers to overcome poverty and secure justice. Using all available legal and advocacy tools, NLSP empowers underserved DC residents to make their voices heard in the courts and other forums where their rights and protections are at stake, to secure fair and lasting solutions to their legal issues, and to attain their individual, family and community goals.
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