We are community lawyers. In our legal work we collaborate closely with community organizers and grassroots groups in low-income communities of color because we believe that a more democratic, more just and more equal society can only truly come about through grassroots organizing and social movement. We are a part of that social movement in South Florida and strive to support organizing through our varied and often innovative legal work.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES AND VALUES
- We believe that the structure of our legal system limits equal access to justice especially for people in poverty, minorities, and those faced with language and cultural barriers. We believe well-trained legal advocates should be available to all people regardless of economic status, and to that end we are committed to:
1) training lawyers to be more aware of and skilled in addressing the needs of indigent communities; and
2) providing desperately-needed legal services to low-income & minority communities in the areas of housing, employment, public benefits, immigration, and community economic development.
- We believe that our clients are our partners—not just in name, but in leadership, control and decision-making.
- We believe in the importance of truly serving our community. We believe in being responsive to what communities determine to be their needs. We believe lawyers must ground their legal advocacy in community-based efforts and that without the strength and backing of an organized and informed community, legal gains ring hollow. As a result, we strive to work collaboratively with community-based organizations in order to shift power back to disadvantaged communities.
- We are committed to a practice of self-scrutiny in our legal work and to maintaining a conscious law practice. Both as individuals and as an organization we seek to practice law in a way that demonstrates respect, responsibility and accountability in relationship to our clients and our partner organizations. Just as we strive to undo social injustice, we work hard not to replicate or reinforce the same prejudices or stigmas that can come about where lawyers get involved, with our technical knowledge and access to resources
- Finally, we believe it is imperative to be culturally sensitive, politicized attorneys. We understand that poor communities of color face multiple and intersecting injustices and that good lawyering requires a deep understanding of race, class, and power.