Civil legal aid messaging guidance

Our message: Equal justice under the law is a right, not a privilege

Messaging guidance and tools

Protecting LSC Funding

Messaging suggestions and talking points

Public Opinion Research

The following research was made possible by generous support from the Public Welfare Foundation

Video of Celinda Lake presenting the 2013 research findings

Nine second soundbite: “Civil legal aid helps ensure fairness for all in the justice system, regardless of how much money you have.”

Two-minute soundbite: Civil Legal Aid assures fairness for all in the justice system, regardless of how much money you have. It provides access to legal help for people to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. Civil Legal Aid makes it easier to access information — whether through easy-to-understand forms, including online forms; legal assistance or representation; and legal self-help centers — so people can know their rights.

Civil Legal Aid also helps streamline the court system and cuts down on court costs. When we say the Pledge of Allegiance we close with “justice for all.” We need programs like Civil Legal Aid to ensure that the very principle our founding fathers envisioned remains alive: justice for all, not the few who can afford it.

Our advice

Simplify your message. Tell people why your work matters.

Give examples of the services provided. The key in describing civil legal aid is to provide illustrations of the types of services while spending less time defining the program or the populations served. Civil legal aid advocates and organizations provide:

  • easy-to-understand forms, including online forms, that people can use in civil legal proceedings.
  • legal assistance, including legal self-help centers, so people can know their rights.
  • legal representation to those who cannot afford it — because justice should not depend on how much money you have.

Read more: Civil legal aid FAQ for Advocates