L.A. Justice Fund

  • Overview

    The L.A. Justice Fund (LAJF) – a partnership between Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, the Weingart Foundation and the California Community Foundation (CCF) – is an innovative multi-sector and cross-governmental approach to address the pressing demands for legal representation services for immigrants.

    LAJF invites proposals to bolster and expand legal representation to Los Angeles County residents in immigration removal proceedings who cannot afford an attorney.

    Download the full RFP instructions here.

    Grant applications for the L.A. Justice Fund are currently closed. Please check back later.

  • Deadline

    Proposals must be submitted via CCF’s online portal by no later than 12:00 p.m. PST, July 31, 2017.

  • Eligibility

    Nonprofit agencies and nonprofit legal services providers with 501(c)(3) status, based in the Los Angeles area, that meet the following eligibility criteria may apply:

    • Demonstrated knowledge of the Los Angeles County immigrant community, including populations that are most vulnerable to immigration enforcement action (e.g. arrest, detention and removal).
    • Proven track-record and capacity to provide legal services to immigrants in the City or County of Los Angeles County. An organization can meet this criteria by demonstrating it falls into one of two organizational categories:
      • Tier I Organizations: Have at least five (5) years of experience offering legal representation to the immigrant community; currently receiving a federal or state contract or subcontract for immigrant legal representation; OR previously awarded a federal or state contract or subcontract for immigrant legal representation.
      • Tier II Organizations: Have experience offering legal services to the immigrant community, including providing Know Your Rights trainings/workshops and assistance filing immigration benefits applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
    • Strong working relationships with a diverse network of community-based organizations, legal service providers and faith-based institutions that have direct contact with immigrants.
    • Previous experience and capacity to collaborate with key partners, such as legal services providers, law firms, bar associations and private attorneys, to promote greater access to high-quality legal services.
  • Term

    One- and two-year grants are available to qualified nonprofit agencies and legal services providers. Grantees will be required to submit periodic reports, as outlined in their grant agreements. Grants may be discontinued if grantees are unable to meet grant requirements.

  • Informational Webinar

    Organizations interested in applying are highly encouraged to watch the informational webinar which discusses the LAJF funding strategy and activities, reviews the application process and explains other administrative requirements.

    To view a recording of the webinar, click here.

    To download a copy of the Powerpoint Presentation, click here.

  • FAQs

    Q: Who does the L.A. Justice Fund seek to support? 

    Because there are limited resources available, L.A. Justice Fund partners have identified key eligibility criteria. To receive legal representation under the LAJF, individuals must be residents of the city or county of Los Angeles with household incomes below 200% Federal Poverty Level.

    Grantees must also prioritize individuals with community ties, heads of households with dependent family members, veterans, DACA recipients and others who came to the U.S. as children, victims of crime, domestic violence, and human trafficking and asylum seekers.

    Also, because individuals who are detained in remote facilities face significant barriers to obtaining lawyers, the Fund will direct a large portion of its resources to providing these detained immigrants with representation.

    Q: How much funding will the L.A. Justice Fund be awarding through this Request for Proposals?

    Currently, approximately $7.2 million has been pledged by L.A. Justice Fund partners. Funders are actively engaging new partners to increase funding for legal representation. We anticipate awarding grants utilizing these resources. One-year and two-year grants will be awarded.

    Q: What types of services will the L.A. Justice Fund support?

    The LAJF’s Request for Proposals will support two categories of activities: (1) direct legal representation; (2) building removal defense capacity among legal service providers and through pro-bono coordination and low-bono partnerships.

    Q: Who is eligible to apply for funding through the L.A. Justice Fund?

    Because the need for legal representation is so critical, the L.A. Justice Fund is seeking to support nonprofit legal services organizations with experience serving the Los Angeles immigrant population who can hit the ground running once they receive funding.

    Nonprofit agencies and legal services providers must meet several criteria to be eligible for grant funding.  In particular, they must have a proven track-record of providing legal services to Los Angeles immigrants. Organizations must demonstrate that they have already been offering legal services to immigrants or are receiving or received a federal or state contract or subcontract to provide immigrants with legal representation.

    For more information, please review the Request for Proposals.

    Q: I am an attorney in private practice. Can I apply for funding?

    No. Only nonprofit agencies and nonprofit legal service providers are eligible to apply for funding.  However, the L.A. Justice Fund will provide support to nonprofit organizations building partnerships with private attorneys and others to expand pro-bono coordination and low-bono partnerships.

    For more information, please review the Request for Proposals.

    Q: The Request for Proposals says it will support two broad categories of activities? Can my organization apply for funding in more than one category?

    Yes. Organizations can apply for one or both of the two categories of funded activities. The two categories are: (1) direct legal representation; (2) building removal defense capacity.

    For more information, please review the Request for Proposals.

    Q: How will proposals be reviewed?

    All proposals will be initially screened by the California Community Foundation (CCF) to determine completeness and eligibility.  Incomplete applications or ineligible applicants may not be considered.

    CCF will coordinate a process to review the proposals of nonprofit agencies and legal services providers seeking grants from the Fund, in line with the priorities and eligibility requirements approved by the City and County for their respective funds.

    Q: When do you expect to award grants?

    Grantees will be announced in September 2017.

    Q: How can individuals access legal services provided by the L.A. Justice Fund?

    The L.A. Justice Fund will not be directly providing legal representation. The Fund will increase access to legal representation for immigrants in removal proceedings by supporting a network of nonprofit agencies and legal service providers.

    These organizations will develop procedures for reviewing individual’s cases and determining who to serve, based on the eligibility criteria, priorities and other requirements from the City and County.

    Following the announcement of grant awards, grantees will begin implementation. We expect these organization to expand and enhance their legal services by the fall.

  • To Apply

    Proposals must be submitted via CCF’s online portal.

    *Note: Username and password are required to access online portal. For detailed instructions on creating a username and password, click here.

    Grant applications for the L.A. Justice Fund are currently closed. Please check back later.

  • To Donate

    To make a donation to the L.A. Justice Fund, click here.

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