For the foreseeable future, our job as communicators for civil justice is to find new ways to tell our story in the context of a global pandemic. This page will be updated with guidance, tools and resources for you to leverage your on-the-ground expertise to bring attention and resources to the critical service the civil justice community is going to play in the months, and likely years, to come.
Tools You Can Use
News Pitch Templates
Reporters will want to speak with attorneys who can shed light on the legal problems people are already facing, or will face, as the public health and economic effects of this crisis unfold. Reach out to your local reporters and columnists writing about this issue, and tell them what you are seeing on the ground.
- Expert Avail (TV): a template you can use to let local TV producers and bookers know that an expert at your organization is available to discuss the civil legal ramifications of the viral outbreak in your community. Get the template here.
- Domestic Violence (Print/TV/Radio): a template you can use to pursue coverage (from print or broadcast outlets) around the needs of abuse survivors at a time when the incidence of domestic violence is likely to increase sharply. Get the template here.
- Housing (Print/TV/Radio): a template news pitch to offer your experts to local press to discuss the impact on housing stability, evictions, and homelessness in your community. Get the template here.
- Unemployment Benefits (Print/TV/Radio): a template you can use to let local press know about experts you have available to discuss issues people may be facing as unemployment claims skyrocket in your community. Get the template here.
- Watch this space for future template pitches.
Messaging the Importance of Civil Legal Aid
- Top-line messages for civil legal aid
- Messages for public benefits advocates
- Messages for housing advocates
- Messages for domestic violence advocates
Be Ready for Your Media Moment
Tell Voices What You’re Seeing
Public Benefits Attorneys Click Here — filling out this form will let us know how to contact you for media opportunities and give you a chance to share a client story.
Housing Attorneys Click Here — help us find renters facing the April 1 rent deadline who are worried about their housing future, regardless of the status of eviction cases in the courts.
National reporters are asking for our help connecting with legal experts who can speak about the issues affecting or expected to affect individuals, families and communities affected by the viral outbreak, from health care and housing to economic effects, and more.
- Take 1 minute to submit this form and tell us who at your organization is the point of contact for communications, so we can quickly direct reporters to the right person.
- If you are a civil legal aid advocate directly involved in this work and willing to speak with reporters, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If the organization you work or volunteer for is taking steps in your community to protect the civil legal rights of individuals and families – e.g. a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, custody arrangement alterations due to children out of school, etc. – tell us what you’re doing via email@example.com.
Tell the Human Story
To help their readers truly connect with problems they write about, reporters need authentic stories, the faces and voices of real people. Discuss with clients whether they would be comfortable sharing their story with a reporter. Offer willing clients to reporters, or film clients telling their stories and send them to local broadcast producers.
Join the JusticeVoices Community
To find out more about the latest media activity – requests from reporters, opportunities for op-eds, etc. – and media opportunities, join our JusticeVoices discussion list.
Resources from the Field
- National Low-Income Housing Coalition: Coronavirus & Housing/Homelessness
- National Housing Law Project: Protecting Renter and Homeowner Rights During Our National Health Crisis
- National Center for State Courts: Pandemic Response Page
- National Consumer Law Center: COVID-19 & Consumer Protections
- Urban Institute: Policies to Protect People & Communities