Introducing: The Commons Law Center

The Commons Law Center is the direct-service arm of Catalyst Law Institute, a nonprofit legal service lab. The Commons Law Center offers sliding-scale legal services for income-qualified people in family law, estate planning and probate, nonprofit, and business law. Join us for the June 7th launch party to celebrate this new resource. 

Part of a national movement of new models working to close the access gap, The Commons Law Center also offers multi-year fellowship opportunities for new lawyers and open-sources its model to make transformative change. The legal accelerator or incubator movement builds on existing nonprofit models by leveraging the supply of new lawyers, volunteer mentors, and technology to help meet the public's need for services. 

Last year the American Bar Association published a Report on the Future on Legal Services in the United States; it found 80% of Americans do not have access to civil legal services, including for shelter, sustenance, safety, health, and child custody. The legal sector's current service models are failing to provide what the public needs. 

The Institute launched in 2016 to increase access to civil legal services for low- and moderate-income Oregonians. This work can help alleviate economic distress in underserved communities by providing affordable, below-market-rate legal services, as well as free education about legal tools and strategies.

The Commons Law Center serves income-qualified clients who make too much to qualify for free civil legal aid but not enough to hire a market-rate lawyer, as measured by those falling between 125 – 400% of the federal poverty guideline. All legal services are offered on a sliding-scale and many are available for flat-fees. 

Please explore our website, TheCommonsLawCenter.org, to learn more. Get in touch if we can help, or if you can help us reach more people; 503-850-0811, hello@thecommonslawcenter.org.