LAIR Archive

Attorney General Loretta Lynch and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz co-chair February 29, 2016 WH-LAIR Principals meeting (Photo: DOJ)

On April 11, 2018 the Justice Department announced on the Office for Legal Policy (OLP) website that OLP "has assumed the principal policy and legislative responsibilities of the Office for Access to Justice." With LAIR's future now uncertain JGP has assembled LAIR-related documents and blogs below.

In 2012, more than a dozen federal agencies came together under the leadership of the White House Domestic Policy Council and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch the Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (LAIR). The purpose was to raise federal agencies' awareness of how civil legal aid can help advance a wide range of federal objectives including employment, family stability, housing, consumer protection, and public safety. With support from DOJ's Office for Access to Justice (ATJ), which until 2018 staffed LAIR, participating agencies worked with civil legal aid partners, including non-profit organizations, law schools, and the private bar, to (1) leverage resources to strengthen Federal programs by incorporating legal aid, (2) develop policy recommendations that improve access to justice, (3) facilitate strategic partnerships to achieve enforcement and outreach objectives, and (4) advance evidence-based research, data collection, and analysis.

LAIR was formally established in a 2015 Presidential Memorandum, and its list of federal partners grew to include 22 agencies. In November 2016, LAIR issued its first annual report, which documents how LAIR has worked over the past few years to inspire innovative interagency collaborations to more effectively support underserved individuals.

July 11, 2017, LAIR Meeting on How Civil Legal Aid Supports Veterans and Servicemembers (Photo: DOJ)

As of April 2018, participating LAIR agencies included:

Administrative Conference of the United States
U.S. Agency for International Development
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Corporation for National and Community Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of the Treasury
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Federal Communications Commission
Federal Trade Commission
Legal Services Corporation
National Science Foundation
Office of Management and Budget
Social Security Administration

LAIR Documents and Blogs

The LAIR Toolkit is an online tool designed to provide a roadmap to the ways in which legal services can enhance federal strategies for serving vulnerable and underserved populations.

Read the WH-LAIR Toolkit (Civil Legal Aid 101 and Case Studies).

The Toolkit is divided into three sections:

Civil Legal Aid 101
This section includes information on what civil legal aid is, whom civil legal aid serves, and some of the common barriers to accessing civil legal aid.

Read Civil Legal Aid 101.

Case Studies: How Civil Legal Aid Helps Support Federal Efforts
This section provides civil legal aid "case studies" - two page documents that illustrate how civil legal aid supports federal efforts to serve the low-income and other vulnerable populations in various areas. They contain descriptions of common challenges faced by vulnerable populations, examples of federal responses to these challenges, and concrete examples of the ways in which civil legal aid meaningfully supports federal agencies' efforts.

Read the following case studies about how civil legal aid helps:

Protect Consumers
Keep America Working
Prevent Elder Abuse
On Behalf Of Tribes & Tribal Members
Prevent Domestic Violence
Successful Reentry
Help Veterans and Service members
Keep Children in Schools
Help People Exit Homelessness & Stay Housed
Access Health Care
Assist Law Enforcement & Promote Public Safety
Americans with Disabilities
Help Human Trafficking Victims
Strengthen Families

Select Federal Agency Resources
This resource identifies examples of grants, training and technical assistance, and other Federal resources of particular interest to non-profit organizations and government agencies working to enhance civil legal aid for underserved populations. Please contact the issuing entity for more information about all resources. This page includes grants that legal aid programs can apply for directly, or indirectly as a sub-grantee partner to local and State governments or other social services providers and universities. The list is not intended to be comprehensive of all Federal resources that can be used to support or engage civil legal aid. It likely has broken links and is not being updated; however, it shows a snapshot as of early 2018.

Read Federal Agency Resources.

For a comprehensive listing of all federal grants, please visit

WH-LAIR Designated Co-Chairs Announce First Annual Report to the President, November 29, 2016, Courtesy of Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Bill Baer and Domestic Policy Council Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity Roy Austin

The White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable and Goal 16 - One Year On, September 21, 2016, Courtesy of Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Bill Baer

Lawyers & Libraries: A Natural Fit, April 29, 2016, Courtesy of Helam Gebremariam, Counsel, Office for Access to Justice

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz Convene Inaugural White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable, March 3, 2016

United States Announces 45 New Open Government Initiatives, October 28, 2015

Establishing the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable, September 28, 2015, Courtesy of Lisa Foster, Director of the Office for Access to Justice

Civil Legal Aid Research, June 3, 2015, Courtesy of Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch

Civil Legal Aid Research, May 20, 2015, Courtesy of Karen Lash, Access to Justice Initiative Deputy Director, U.S. Department of Justice