By using the media to amplify their voices, Emily and her partners were able to effect a policy change that will better the lives of their clients.
When a very determined woman, with help from a legal aid attorney and a social worker, finally proves that she is owed $100,000 in back Social Security payments, the story "went viral." What can we learn from this exception to one of the standard rules of attracting media coverage?
In the first training of its kind, more than 60 people were trained in strategic communications with the goal of increasing awareness of what civil legal aid is, and why it matters.
In most of Voices’ work, we are seeking to interject the importance of civil legal aid into coverage about various social and economic issues. Sometimes, however, we have an opportunity to go directly at our main issue - the crisis in the civil justice system. That is exactly what happened with the recent release of the Justice Index 2016 by the National Center for Access to Justice.
On April 24th the U.S. Department of Justice kicked off the first-ever National Reentry Week. Voices saw an opportunity to add to this important effort by highlighting the intersections between the criminal and civil justice systems and drawing media attention to the crucial role of civil legal aid in reentry. We asked JusticeVoices Network members to seize this media opportunity by writing op-eds and pitching stories to local media about the innovative reentry work they are doing in their communities.
There is a "crisis in our justice system that has been overlooked for too long by philanthropy and the rest of society," says Public Welfare Foundation President Mary McClymont.
First-ever National Reentry Week, April 24-30, creates an opening in local media markets to draw attention to the important role of civil legal aid in helping people successfully build stable lives after paying their debts to society.
Civil legal aid advocates use legal expertise to fight for fairness when civil legal issues threaten families' and individuals' homes, health and livelihoods. In March the media spotlight shone on several examples where access to justice is critical.
Indiana native Camille Ward, who has written about social justice issues both in the U.S. and abroad, is Voices' newest communications associate.
Think creatively: The Super Bowl is one of many news hooks that present opportunities to use your work to communicate what civil legal aid is, and why it matters. If you have ideas for op-eds you would like to write, we are happy to talk you through it and help with structure, edits, and placement.
Voices exists to help you. We believe our key task is to bring attention to your work and to empower you to become better spokespeople for civil justice. We hope you will continue to help us do so in 2016.