Call For Justice Wins ABA's Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access

A committee of the American Bar Association (ABA), the leading legal professional organization in the country with 400,000 members, has awarded its Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access to Call for Justice, LLC, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that works to help low and moderate-income people access justice by connecting them with lawyers and legal resources.

The Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access is awarded annually to honor programs that match the unmet legal needs of the middle class and those of moderate incomes with lawyers. The Award, presented by the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, is intended to recognize programs that have made “creative contributions to the delivery of legal services in ways that are exemplary and replicable.”

Call for Justice, LLC (C4J) is a two-person Minneapolis nonprofit that opened in December 2011 with a mission to help people with legal emergencies, particularly persons with lower incomes or from marginalized communities, navigate the system in search of lawyers. Initial funding for C4J originated within the Twin Cities legal community, including 29 law firms, the foundation arms of the Hennepin and Ramsey County Bar Associations, and with seed money from the Saint Paul and Bigelow Foundations.

C4J executive director Ellen (Ellie) Krug, responded to news of the ABA Award by stating, “We’re proud to be recognized for the contributions we’ve made in helping low and moderate-income people connect with lawyers to fight legal emergencies in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. We believe we’ve created a model that can be replicated across the United States.”

“Lawyers make a difference,” explained Ellie Krug. “They can mean the difference between an eviction by an unscrupulous landlord and keeping a family in their apartment.” The inability to speak with a lawyer can be devastating for those with a legal emergency and often it means they’ll suffer an injustice.