The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is the only foundation in our city that is dedicated to strengthening the delivery of civil legal aid. But our work involves far more than grantmaking.
Removing Barriers to Justice
Only twenty percent of low-income individuals and families in Philadelphia receive the necessary civil legal assistance needed for critical problems affecting their lives. These barriers to justice ultimately compromise their ability to exercise their basic rights and fully participate in our economic and civic systems. The organizations that the Philadelphia Bar Foundation supports provide vital services that help.
We all have an obligation to recognize the gaps in access to justice, and to ensure that wherever we can break down barriers we do.
Unlike most grant programs from other sources, grants from the Philadephia Bar Foundation can be used to support pressing needs and emerging issues without forced constraints. Legal aid nonprofits recieve our unrestriced grants that support essential advocacy efforts and cover critical operating costs.
Engaging the Legal Community
The Philadelphia Bar Foundation has operated as a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization since 1964. We rally supporters, raise awareness, promote charitable giving, and educate the Philadelphia community about the need for pro bono legal services and the valuable work of our nonprofit partners.
To engage the community in our mission, we address a wide variety of needs in the legal aid sector, including training programs, fellowships, awards, and assistance for technical and operational issues. We acknowledge and promote excellence in pro bono service, public interest service, and nonprofit legal aid achievement.
Building System-Wide Capacity
Our historical experience with the delivery of legal services provides us with a unique perspective on the legal aid movement. We are able to identify sector-wide needs and marshal resources to address issues.
Currently, the Philadelphia Bar Foundation is working to build an Equal Justice Center which will co-locate dozens of legal aid organizations in one unique facility. With our parteners, we are designing a state-of-the-art center that will improve client-centered services, promote the increased pro bono activity, and expand the delivery of legal services to underserved Philadelphians.