About the Legal Mobilization Project
Building upon the successes of Election Protection in recent years, the Pro Bono and Legal Mobilization Project (LMP) was established in 2009 to recognize and take advantage of our internal staff expertise in organizing, planning and implementing impact pro bono projects, while also ensuring that the Lawyers’ Committee systematically and strategically identifies problems that should be tackled using a wide range of tools available. Working across and with all subject matter projects, the Pro Bono and LMP staff attorneys and organizers utilize pro bono, technology, litigation, public policy, online communications, advocacy, education, non-litigation assistance and management tools to address civil rights. At the core of LMP was the recognition that a comprehensive, multi-dimensional approach can be incredibly effective in tackling today’s civil rights issues.
In general LMP, works with the project matter staff with developing overall organizational and infrastructure plans, protocols, volunteer and client materials, management tools (data, volunteers and clients/intakes), and volunteer recruitment and training. In addition, LMP staff attorneys work with the project staff on litigation and policy work. LMP expertise also comes into play in utilizing effective organizing techniques, including identifying key partners, determining the parameters of these relationships, facilitating outreach efforts and tracking progress. LMP is also working with all staff to identify how to better use technology to support our work, including smart phone supported websites, apps and social media and provides support, whether for a large scale project, such as Election Protection, or a smaller project with less needs. This overall model allows the Lawyers’ Committee to build on the litigation work that is the focus of our substantive legal staff by providing the staff attorneys the critical support they need with the design and infrastructure of broad-based projects.
Since its creation, LMP has been critical to the success of the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network (LMSPN), the Parental Empowerment and Readiness Program (PREP), and Election Protection, while also providing support for various community development projects. For example, LMP played a critical role in the design and implementation of the dynamic LMSPN Database, available to our partners as a web-based platform that consolidates homeowner complaints against alleged loan modification scammers, and was primarily responsible for the creation of the LMSPN website, which utilizes state-by-state information for homeowners. Working with the Fair Housing and Fair Lending Project, LMP attorneys spearheaded case development and litigation components to bring lawsuits against scammers, engage federal and state law enforcement officials, and conduct legal research.
In each instance, having the LMP internal structure and staff in place allowed the Lawyers’ Committee to take advantage of our unique strength of organizing and implementing impact, broad-based approaches to civil rights, while also utilizing the substantive expertise of the legal staff to further the cause of civil rights. In addition, the existence of LMP allows for greater flexibility within the Lawyers’ Committee as the LMP staff attorneys can work on several substantive issues, thus not requiring funding of new full-time positions, which is often a barrier to expanding a project.