Access to Justice Campaign
We believe that “justice for all” means just that: justice for ALL people.
There is a justice gap in Mecklenburg County, and it plays a role in our community’s stability. One in three residents is low-income, and 71 percent of low-income residents are likely experiencing a civil legal issue that has significantly affected their lives.
Together, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and Legal Aid of North Carolina fight on their behalf every day to ensure fairness under the law that preserves stability and allows them make ends meet.
However, with limited resources between these two organizations, there is one legal aid attorney for every 11,500 low-income residents. Families are in desperate need of legal assistance, but they can’t afford it. A friend can’t help; a church can’t help; a social worker can’t help—these families need a lawyer who understands what to do in front of a judge when stability is on the line.
The Access to Justice Campaign is the most stable funding source these organizations depend on to serve the community. The Advocacy Center and Legal Aid use this funding to provide coordinated legal assistance that builds a stronger, more just community for us all.
The campaign raised more than $500,000 last year thanks to the generous support of the community and members of the Mecklenburg County Bar.
Justice for ALL is a celebration to honor our supporters, clients and service to the community. The event is held in October as a kick-off to the annual Access to Justice fundraising campaign.
Watch our 2021 Access to Justice Virtual Kick-off Video:
Since 1989 the Access to Justice Campaign has raised more than $5 million for legal services to low-income people from members of the Mecklenburg County Bar and community supporters. The joint campaign with Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) is one of our major sources of revenue for our programs, giving both organizations the flexibility to direct funding to where it is needed most.
Why does Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy raise money with Legal Aid of North Carolina-Charlotte?
The short answer:
To effectively serve our community. Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and Legal Aid of North Carolina-Charlotte have always been Partners in Justice, coordinating services to serve as many people in need while efficiently maximizing community resources.
The long answer:
From the opening of its doors in 1967 to 2002, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (formerly Legal Services of Southern Piedmont) and Legal Aid were one organization. In 1996, Congress imposed service restrictions on organizations that received federal legal services funds. Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy had been receiving these funds since 1975, but the organization was concerned about how these new restrictions would impact ongoing services to clients.
On July 1, 2002, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy reorganized into two agencies. One agency continued to work in the Charlotte area under the current name and chose to give up the federal funds after the transition, which allowed Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy to continue providing services to low-income people and systemic advocacy work that the funding would have restricted. The other agency became the Charlotte office of a new statewide organization, Legal Aid of North Carolina.
The reorganization enabled both agencies to serve more low-income people in a wider variety of cases than they otherwise would have been able to do, while coordinating services and resources to efficiently serve the Charlotte region.
This partnership makes it possible to assist all groups of clients in Charlotte, especially immigrants, and to systemically address civil legal problems of low-income clients.
For more than 50 years, legal help has been available for low-income people in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties who cannot afford to pay a private lawyer to represent them in civil cases.
How can I support Access to Justice?
You can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Access to Justice Campaign at any point during the year.
Cash Gift: Make a one time or recurring gift through this website by clicking here or the “Donate” tab at the top and bottom of this page.
Mail a gift: Access to Justice Campaign 1431 Elizabeth Avenue Charlotte, NC 28204
Stock: We accept stock donations through our FFTC funding.
Honorariums or Memorials: Consider making a gift to support Access to Justice in honor or in memorial of a co-worker, friend or family member.
Attend the Justice for ALL Breakfast: The annual event is a highlight and celebration of our supporters and Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and Legal Aid’s service to clients in our community.
Contact Maria Byers, development specialist, at 980-202-7318 to make a gift over the phone or for more information about making a contribution.