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. 

Will you support the seed fund? 

The Commons Launch-0005-08248_remit.jpg

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. 

The Commons Launch-0106-08854_crowd.jpg

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. 

thank you in neon.jpg

What our clients say

Our clients have said a lot of nice things to us. You can see our five-star online review and read some of what they think here and here.  

Thank you to all the people, businesses, and law firms that already made a gift to support our launch!

$25,000 * Catalyst Law, LLC * $5000 * Bonnie Serkin * $2500 * Susan Alterman * $2000 * Kafoury McDougal

$1000 * Heiling Dwyer & Associates, Klarquist Sparkman, Lane Powell, Pickett Dummigan Mccall, Terry Scannel

$500 * Albina Community Bank, Agile Attorney Network, Beneficial State Bank, Business for a Better Portland, D'Amore Law Group, P.C., Farleigh Wada Witt, Robert & Heidi Klonoff, Miller Nash Gratham & Dunn, Riverview Trust Company, STOLL BERNE, U.S. Bank, Greg Zeuthen

$250 * Ball Janik, Garvey Schubert Barer, Gevurtz Menashe, Jones & Roth, Niehaus Properties, Northwest Corporate Law, Perkins Accounting, Stewart Sokol & Larkin, Law Office of Jonathan Mishkin, P.C.