What We Do

LEG has three areas of focus:

  • matching: helping grassroots organizations identify their legal needs (whether organizational or mission-based) and match them with appropriate legal resources

Law for the Environmental Grassroots (LEG) aims to be able to connect all organizations combating environmental injustices with the legal resources they need, including matching them with attorneys. We’re beginning that process by matching and referring organizations in the New York-New Jersey area and for networks with which we have established partnerships. LEG will be a tool for legal service providers as well: a lawyer/law firm unable to take a particular case would be able to refer that client to LEG, which would then match the client with another provider. We’re also building a roster of available legal and advocacy organizations that have committed to providing services, and will help oversee and manage the process. Most importantly, LEG will ensure that every organization that reaches out is respectfully heard and responded to.

More information is available on the ‘Matching‘ page.

  • coordinating: strengthening connections between existing legal service providers, related initiatives, and grassroots groups

LEG aims to decrease the communication barriers between and across legal service providers, grassroots groups, and new initiatives by providing a central space to connect and share information. We will work with legal service providers and grassroots groups to develop and make available online intake and data collection tools to help streamline the process of identifying common legal issues. Similarly, we know how frustrating it can be for recent graduates to find environmentally-focused work in public interest (or private) law, in part because of the resource constraints of even the largest organizations. And many exciting new ideas or initiatives can struggle if there’s no one to help build it with, or if they have to build up contacts and partnerships anew each time. LEG wants to provide a space to help connect new ideas to existing projects or to potential partners (think an interactive job board listing ideas as well as job openings).

More information is available on the ‘Connecting‘ page.

  • building and expanding new tools: helping to expand the variety and accessibility of legal resources available to grassroots groups

There are many existing initiatives working to make the legal process more transparent, including plain language forms, legal ‘wikis’ and multimedia tutorials. LEG will work to help expand those tools, with a focus on tools to address issues commonly faced by environmental groups.

More information is available on the ‘Your Tools‘ page.