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California Lawyers Foundation Funds Access to Justice, Pro Bono & DEI Initiatives

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Oct 20, 2021

Official Press Release

The California Lawyers Foundation (CLF), the charitable arm of the statewide California Lawyers Association, has recently granted $274,500 to three organizations to support four different programs addressing access to justice, pro bono programs and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. 

Funds were granted to the following organizations:

  • Legal Access Alameda for Disaster Legal Services Cooperative (DLAC), a coalition of organizations in California offering free legal services in the aftermath of natural disasters, received $26,500 to support the ABA’s California Free Legal Answers Program, a program also co-sponsored by the California Lawyers Association. The organization received an additional $25,000 to support the development of a volunteer database to aid in volunteer management and disaster outreach.
  • The California Project Directors Association (PDA), whose membership includes the executive directors of the eleven non-profit legal services providers in California funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation, received $158,000 to build and customize a pro bono portal to further facilitate pro bono opportunities throughout the state.
  • The Legal Education Access Pipeline (LEAP) was granted $35,000 to fund its cohort expansion and the development of Northern California program at Santa Clara University. LEAP works to help diversify the legal profession by “preparing underrepresented students to become successful law school applicants, lawyers, and agents of social change.”

“The California Lawyers Foundation was founded to further access to justice and civics education initiatives, and to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession,” said Ellen Miller, CLF Executive Director. “We are proud to support these important projects. Each organization is working diligently to make a meaningful difference in our state, and we know that our funding will advance their ability to serve even more individuals and make a greater impact.” 

Founded in 2019, CLF actively develops and supports projects that improve access to justice for people in need and that make the legal system fairer and more efficient for everyone, increase diversity in the profession and help educate Californians about the third branch of government and the role of lawyers and the rule of law. CLF shares a mission with the California Lawyers Association of promoting excellence, diversity, and inclusion in the legal profession and fairness in the administration of justice and the rule of law. This was CLF’s second round of funding since the organization’s inception.

“This is a pivotal time for our state, and there are few organizations driving change as effectively as the three organizations receiving our support” said Heather Rosing, CLF President. “The work of each organization both aligns with our mission and helps serve the varied needs of California’s citizens. Through our grant funding, we are confident each organization will continue to effectuate positive change.”

CLF is seeking law firms and corporate legal departments to comprise its “Founding Fifty” membership. Founding Fifty firms, through their financial contributions, will join CLF as a proponent for diversity in the legal profession, improved access to justice, and vital civics education. For more information on CLF, its grant funding process and its Founding Fifty membership, visit

Formed in 2019, the California Lawyers Foundation (“CLF”) is the charitable arm and partner of the California Lawyers Association, California’s voluntary statewide bar association. While new to the scene, the CLF is a statewide foundation actively developing and supporting projects that improve access to justice for people in need and make the legal system more fair and efficient for everyone; increase diversity in the profession and help educate Californians about the 3rd branch, the role of lawyers and the rule of law. CLF is a tax-exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) Section 501(c)(3). For more information about CLF, please visit