Public Affairs

The Oregon State Bar Standards and Guidelines and the American Bar Association Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid require that the statewide service delivery structure for legal aid maintain the ability to advocate effectively before legislative and administrative bodies.   Legal aid providers have extensive information about the legal problems of low-income clients that provides an important perspective regarding laws, regulations, rules and policies that can be helpful to Oregon legislative and administrative bodies assigned to adopt and implement policies that impact the lives of low-income Oregonians.  Education and advocacy before legislative and administrative bodies can be an efficient way to address legal issues that are important to low-income Oregonians.  For example, legal aid has played a valuable role in helping Oregon establish legislative, administrative and judicial structures necessary to protect the victims of domestic violence and to give them access to justice even when they do not have an attorney.  The legislative priorities are set by the board of directors through a broad based, inclusive process designed to ensure that OLC’s priorities reflect the most important needs of clients.  A standing legislative committee of the board provides guidance.   Two out of approximately 160 individuals employed by legal aid are assigned to this unit.