Information for Lawyer Volunteers
Campaign Legal Center advances democracy through law, fighting for every American’s right to participate in the democratic process. CLC uses litigation and policy advocacy to win victories that result in a more transparent, accountable and inclusive democracy. Our long-term goal is a government responsive to the people.
CLC is a strictly nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization. Our commitment is to democracy, not to any political party or to any particular electoral result. We think about systemic impact when we choose which work to pursue, and we work at all levels of government to introduce innovative ideas that will drive significant change or set an important legal precedent. Our priority is engaging and driving action – whether in the courtroom, Congress, or the statehouse.
CLC conducts litigation and policy advocacy to advance democracy in four areas: voting rights, redistricting, money in politics, and government ethics. Of these, the voting rights and redistricting areas most often present opportunities for lawyers to participate on a volunteer basis.
CLC’s Voting Rights Program
Voting should be accessible for all citizens, no matter where they live, the color of their skin, or how much money they make.
To make every vote count and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, we need a system that is free and fair to all, including those who have served their time and paid their debt to society.
Through litigation, policy analysis, state-based advocacy and public education, CLC seeks to protect the right to vote and expand access to the ballot. CLC believes that state and federal policies should uniformly protect the right to vote and promote voter participation across the United States.
CLC’s Redistricting Program
Democracy works best when our voting maps are fairly drawn on a nonpartisan basis to ensure that Americans can participate equally in the election of their representatives.
Incumbents often rig the system to benefit themselves, their party, and special interest supporters, manipulating voting maps to dictate the outcome of elections. Two sources of discrimination in voting maps are partisan gerrymandering and electoral systems that under-represent people of color. The result is dysfunction, mistrust, and public policies that ignore the will of the people.
CLC conducts and supports litigation to address redistricting violations. CLC is also on the front lines in the fight for fair redistricting practices in the states, and to promote voters’ rights to fair districts nationwide.
How Lawyer Volunteers Can Help
We are deeply grateful for lawyer volunteers and accept as much assistance as we can. The number of talented and experienced lawyer volunteers who contact us exceeds the number of opportunities we have available, but we maintain a comprehensive record of all offers and turn to volunteers whenever the opportunity arises. The types of volunteer offers that we are most frequently able to accept are:
- Pro Bono Law Firms
CLC regularly partners with law firms in pro bono co-counseling arrangements for particular voting rights or redistricting litigation matters. Firms with associates seeking hands-on litigation experience may find these cases particularly fruitful. Due to the subject matter of our work, firms with government clients may wish consider direct or positional conflicts that could arise from litigating against government entities.
- Pro Bono Individual Attorneys
Because CLC litigates in federal and state courts around the country, we frequently partner with counsel who are admitted to the bar and experienced in jurisdictions where we do not have a pre-existing presence. These partnerships can be tailored to the interests and availability of the volunteer, ranging from active participation in the case to a more limited local counsel arrangement. Lawyers who do not themselves wish to participate in a case but are well-connected to the legal community in a particular jurisdiction can be of great assistance in identifying in-state counsel. In addition to CLC’s voting rights and redistricting programs, CLC’s litigation to advance campaign finance reform also benefits from this form of volunteer support.
- Legislative and Policy Advocacy
Much of CLC’s legislative and policy advocacy across all of our program areas is conducted in conjunction with partners in targeted states. Lawyers willing to serve as points of contact between CLC and state legislators, policymakers, advocacy organizations, or other stakeholders in a jurisdiction are exceedingly helpful in advancing the mission of democracy reform.
To be added to CLC’s roster of legal volunteers in these or other legal capacities, please fill out this webform.
To make a donation to support CLC’s work, please see our donation page.
To be added to our mailing list, click here.
Thank you for your commitment to advancing democracy through law.