Philadelphia’s Civil Legal Aid Community


By Leslie E. John, partner at Ballard Spahr LLP, and President of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.

One of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation’s core activities is to support the civil legal aid organizations in Philadelphia listed below. During this unprecedented time, assistance for this community is critical. We are striving to stay closely connected to the emerging efforts being taken by the public interest sector in Philadelphia and exploring ways that we can collaborate to more efficiently and quickly direct resources to our most vulnerable neighbors.

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation Board of Trustees acted decisively to support these legal aid agencies in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, distributing emergency grants in April to help alleviate some of the unexpected pressure on the public interest community. As an additional part of this deliberative response, the Foundation chose to expedite making funds available over requiring that the agencies go through the traditional grant application process. Pending the success of our fundraising efforts and developments through the rest of this unprecedented year, the Bar Foundation intends to provide additional grants in December 2020.

Every year, our nonprofit partners provide access to justice for tens of thousands of individuals and families in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania. This spring, they have been working harder than ever to ensure that the individuals, families, and communities they serve have access to any information, resources, and services they may need to navigate the world during the pandemic.

Our vision is a Philadelphia community in which everyone has equal access to justice, and we are actively working on advancing our mission. We are incredibly grateful for the continued generosity of our donors and supporters. During these challenging times, any donations to help sustain the Foundation’s grantmaking are vitally important. Please join us by donating today at our website.

Stay safe and be well.