Why Matching?
One of the major challenges in accessing or providing legal services for environmental organizations is the complexity of environmental issues; environmental and environmental justice organizations often have disproportionate difficulty in obtaining adequate legal representation and resources.

For organizations, especially those with smaller (or non-existent!) budgets, it can be difficult to identify what kinds of information need to be collected, what the legal issues are, where to go to for help, and how to pay (according to the results of a recent survey, expense was the #1 identified reason for not getting legal help). For legal service providers, it can be difficult to find the time and resources to help groups investigate and identify issues. Law for the Environmental Grassroots (LEG) want to help make it easier for both sides by providing bridge-building between the two.

LEG aims to help match both organizations and legal service providers with each other. It does not want to duplicate efforts or compete with existing organizations. Rather, it aims to make it easier for organizations to identify their legal needs and be matched with an appropriate and existing legal resource, and to make it easier for legal service providers to refer clients to each other. Below is a template of how the process would work. Please note: this matching service is in beta; LEG will initially work with existing partners to troubleshoot the process.

The LEG Process

  • You’re an organization with a transactional question, or there’s an environmental issue you want to address but aren’t sure what your legal options are
  • Contact LEG (by calling, emailing, or visiting our office)
  • Someone from LEG will talk to you about your issue. Where necessary, LEG staff will help visit the site to help investigate, gather scientific data, or talk down with you to identify possible legal actions
  • LEG will either direct you to appropriate resources or match you with a legal service provider who will commit to helping your organization with the identified issue
  • At any time, your organization can contact LEG with concerns or questions about the process
  • LEG will then be able to direct groups to the most appropriate resources. Given the nature of environmental justice issues, support will often mean a law firm or public interest law office that has committed to providing litigation or transactional work, but support could also mean short-term research or connecting to advocacy, scientific experts, or policy advocates
Legal Service Side
There are two ways of becoming involved in the matching process:
(A): To refer projects/clients

  • You receive a call from an organization with an environmental issue, but you don’t have the capacity to address it
  • You can contact LEG, who will work with the group to find alternate legal service providers or
  • You can use an intake form (available on the LEG website) to help assess the organization’s potential legal issues

(B) To receive projects/clients

  • You can contact LEG to become a part of its legal resource roster
  • LEG staff will discuss with you the types of legal services and time commitment you can provide
  • LEG will contact you with a potential client
  • You will work with the client to resolve the issue
Forms & Information – Potential Clients

Forms & Information – Legal Service Providers

General Forms & Information