The Seed Fund for Lift Off
The Commons Law Center provides legal services to some of the 80% of Americans -- an estimated 1.2 million Oregonians -- who don't have access to needed legal services. Since opening in January 2017 we've served two-dozen people, like one of two young parents, each with learning disabilities, who we helped create a long-distance parenting plan that meets their circumstances and needs. A woman living on social security now has an end-of-life plan. Small business partners wove their environmental values into a benefit-LLC with a vision of beekeeping for good. A team of teachers founded a nonprofit and now operate a school in SE Portland. A program grew into an independent nonprofit to expand its peace-making mission, connecting Japanese families with WWII battlefield souvenirs and reconciling the great war between people and nations. A dozen pro bono lawyers and nearly four dozen donors made it possible.
Sliding-scale nonprofit law firms, like The Commons Law Center, are financially self-sufficient models to expand access to legal services. (Read it in this law review article.) With initial support from you, we can expand access for some of the 80% of Americans -- an estimated 1.2 million Oregonians -- who make too much to qualify for legal aid but not enough to hire a market rate lawyer.
To step from startup to lift off, we're raising a $75,000 seed fund that will: fund community outreach and education to connect our services with the people who need them, onboard our first cohort of fellows, recruit and train thirty additional pro bono supervisors, invest in technology, and undertake a diversity, equity, and inclusion training so we're better equipped to serve the underserved.
make a gift today
The seed fund for lift off only happens once. One billable hour from 300 lawyers raises it all. Yes, we are a 501(c)(3).
Sponsorship packages are available for law firms and businesses. Select a donation level to learn about benefits.
host a CLE
Reserve your conference room for our one-credit Access to Justice CLE, over coffee, brownbag lunch, or happy hour.
Learn about the role macro-economics and implicit bias play in the access gap, and emerging trends to address it.