Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is one of the country's leading civil rights organizations today.

aka Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.lawyerscommittee.org

Mission

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed at the request of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Today, we are one of America's finest civil rights legal organizations. We work inside and outside the courtroom for a just America, fighting voter suppression, ensuring equal access to the ballot box, combating the racial disparities that infect our criminal justice system, addressing economic inequality, advocating for fair housing, promoting equal educational opportunity, confronting the rise in hate crimes, and more. For more than 56 years strong, we have been fighting to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law, targeting in particular the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities.

Ruling year info

1963

President and Executive Director

Ms. Kristen Clarke Esq.

Main address

1500 K Street NW, Suite 900

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more addresses

EIN

52-0799246

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Minority Rights (R22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is one of America's most impactful civil rights organizations today. From fighting voter suppression, ensuring equal access to the ballot box, combatting the racial disparities that infect our criminal justice system, addressing economic inequality, fighting discrimination in housing and education, confronting hate crimes and more, the Lawyers' Committee works inside and outside the courtroom for a just America. For more than 56 years strong, we have been fighting to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law, targeting, in particular, the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Voting Rights Project

The Voting Rights Project works through coordinated and integrated programs of litigation, voter protection, advocacy, and education to protect the right to vote for all. The project focuses on helping communities of color, low-income communities, youth, people with disabilities, and other traditionally disenfranchised populations.

Population(s) Served
Minorities

The Criminal Justice Project challenges racial disparities within the criminal justice system that result from the criminalization of poverty and contribute to mass incarceration. People of color and the poor face unequal justice when law enforcement and court operations prioritize revenue-generation over public safety, and the project works to stop these inequities.

Population(s) Served
Minorities
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

The James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate has emerged as an essential voice in the fight against hate, working to strengthen the capacity of localities to combat hate with a community-centered approach. Through its 1-844-9-NO-HATE Resource Hotline (1-844-966-4283), the project hears directly from individuals across the country who have experienced hate incidents and hate crimes, and as of 2018, it has connected over 100 individuals and organizations to legal support and social service resources.

Population(s) Served
Minorities
Minorities

The Educational Opportunities Project works with private law firms and community leaders to guarantee that all students receive equal educational opportunities in public schools and institutions of higher learning. The project promotes diverse and integrated learning environments, enforces the rights of students with disabilities and English Language Learners, and challenges discriminatory school discipline policies, student assignment practices, and school funding inequities.

Population(s) Served
Minorities
Students

The Fair Housing & Community Development Project fights housing discrimination by working to enforce the federal Fair Housing Act and promote greater opportunity for low-income people of color. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, consulting services, and legal support for housing justice organizations, the FHCD project works to ensure equitable access to crucial resources and meaningful housing choices for racial minorities.

Population(s) Served
Minorities
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

The Economic Justice Project engages in impact litigation and legal advocacy to ensure that communities of color can access opportunities and meaningfully engage in the economy to lead dignified lives free from discrimination. The project mainly seeks to address persistent inequality and high poverty rates faced by African American and other minority communities.

Population(s) Served
Minorities
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

The Special Litigation & Advocacy Project uses a community-centered approach to develop litigation, implement advocacy campaigns, and launch rapid response programs. This project is centered on ensuring that the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is responsive to issues that are not addressed by other projects within the organization.

Population(s) Served
Minorities

The Public Policy Project advocates for the effective advancement of civil rights law at the state and federal level working with other organizations as well as legislators. The project’s work focuses on issues pertinent to historically disenfranchised communities including voting rights, educational opportunities, judicial integrity, and economic justice.

Population(s) Served
Minorities

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of administrators and staff who plan and experience professional development activities together

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In 2019 & 2020, the organization conducted all-staff trainings on LGBTQ equality led by HRC. In 2020 & 2018, the organization conducted training on implicit bias. In 2019, media training was provided.

Number of pro bono hours contributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Minorities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Lawyers' Committee leverages the largest pro bono network in the nation. In 2018, we drew upon 66,692 pro bono hours valued at $44,840,000 million. Hence, a donor's return on investment is high.

Number of civil litigation matters handled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Minorities

Related Program

Voting Rights Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The organization maintains one of the most comprehensive civil rights dockets in the country. By example, in 2019, the organization had a voting rights docket with over 2 dozen active impact cases.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law, targeting in particular the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is dedicated to supporting and advancing diversity within its workforce and board. Because our commitment to diversity and inclusion is inextricably linked to our pursuit of equal justice for all, we strive to work with a broad and diverse coalition of partner organizations.

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law utilizes litigation as an important tool for advancing the cause of justice. Since 1965, the Lawyers’ Committee has been at the forefront of the legal struggle to advance and protect the right to vote and to ensure that the right is afforded equally to all. Through coordinated and integrated programs of litigation, voter protection, advocacy, and education, the Voting Rights Project has had a tremendous positive impact on communities of color, low-income communities, youth, people with disabilities, and other traditionally disenfranchised populations. The Criminal Justice Project (CJP) seeks to end mass incarceration and make the ideal of “equal justice under law” a reality, particularly for marginalized communities that are disproportionately minority and poor. Through impact litigation, amicus curiae practice, public education, and policy advocacy; we are working to challenge the criminalization of poverty and end institutional practices that contribute to mass incarceration. The Economic Justice Project (EJP), seeks to address persisting inequality and high poverty rates faced by African American and other minority communities. EJP brings challenges to all forms of racial, national origin, and sex-based discrimination in the workplace, both private and public, including discrimination by federal, state, and local agencies. EJP also brings litigation seeking to lift the employment barriers faced by individuals with criminal histories who are seeking to reintegrate into their communities. EJP litigates class action lawsuits, with the crucial assistance of law firms, on behalf of minorities and women. EJP works with government officials and Congress to promote reforms that can reduce poverty and expand access to economic opportunity to underserved communities. The mission of the Fair Housing & Community Development Project (FHCD) is to fight discrimination in housing through enforcement of the Fair Housing Act and to promote greater opportunity for low income people of color by ensuring that development is equitable and inclusive and low-income people of color have access to crucial resources and meaningful housing choice. Hate incidents across the United States are surging, devastating individuals and entire communities. Hundreds of organizations in communities across the country work to combat hate every day. To help combat this increase and support those organizations, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law launched the Stop Hate Project. The Stop Hate Project seeks to strengthen the capacity of community leaders, law enforcement, and organizations around the country to combat hate by connecting these groups with established legal and social services resources. Please visit 8449nohate.

The Lawyers' Committee works both inside and outside the courtroom to confront the most pressing problems that we face in America today when it comes to racism, discrimination, inequality, and injustice. Our staff is comprised of a dynamic staff of lawyers, organizers, and support staff, who work together have had a tremendous positive impact on communities of color, low-income communities, youth, people with disabilities, and other traditionally disenfranchised populations.

The Lawyers' Committee is currently undergoing a strategic planning process that provides an opportunity to evaluate our programs, our priorities, and our direction as an organization. We evaluate program components first by measuring our progress toward achieving our goals and executing our mission. We also track progress based on the amount of media coverage surrounding our work, the size of our legal network and the invitations that we receive to speak at conferences and to participate in community organizations; the number of successful lawsuits and settlements that we litigate; and the extent to which other organizations are able to use our landmark rulings to have impact in other contexts.

There are few organizations that have conducted more civil rights litigation than the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in the last several years. We are the country's leading national civil rights litigation organization. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed numerous strategic lawsuits and celebrated several wins that illustrate our national impact. Key highlights include our: * 2020 Working to confront the challenges presented by COVID-19, particularly given its disproportionate impact on African American communities * Leading national Election Protection program and 866-OUR-VOTE hotline * October 2019 victory in a lawsuit challenging affirmative action at Harvard University. The organization is also proceeding to trial in a parallel case challenging affirmative action at the University of North Carolina. * Mid-November 2018 suit challenging a Pennsylvania law that imposes unreasonable time restrictions for voters seeking to cast an absentee ballot. * Early August 2018 suit challenging the unconstitutional jailing of poor defendants in White County, Arkansas. This suit contributes to our Criminal Justice Project’s growing body of work to make tangible progress toward ending indigent incarceration and the criminalization of poverty. * Spring 2019 victory on behalf of the City of San Jose and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration against the Secretary of the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau to enjoin the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census questionnaire. * March 2018 suit filed with the National Women’s Law Center, seeking the disclosure of documents related to the Office of Management and Budget’s sudden and largely unexplained decision to halt the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s pay data collection rule to uncover pay gaps and promote pay equality. The collection of pay data from employers has historically helped to identify and eliminate pay discrimination through increased transparency and reporting. * January 2018 suit filed on our own behalf against the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to enforce FOIA requests for communications between those departments and the recently dissolved Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (EIC). * December 2017 win in our challenge to a debtors’ prison scheme run by the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court (OPCDC) that fails to consider an indigent individual’s ability to pay court debts before jailing them. The ruling connects the OPCDC debtors’ prison scheme with its own pressing need to generate money and holds that any jailing of poor individuals without prior notice and an opportunity to be heard on their ability to pay violates the Fourteenth Amendment. * Multiple wins through emergency litigation during the election season secured extended voting hours and increased opportunities to participate in the political process for voters whose opportunities to register and vote were curtailed.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is the organization collecting feedback?

    We regularly collect feedback through: community meetings/town halls, suggestion box/email.

  • How is the organization using feedback?

    We use feedback to: to inform the development of new programs/projects, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    We share feedback with: our staff, our board.

Financials

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Board of directors
as of 6/15/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Co-Chair Tom Sager

Ballard Spahr LLP

Term: 2019 - 2021


Board co-chair

Co-Chair Judge Shira Scheindlin

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Term: 2019 - 2022

Nicholas Christakos

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

David Smith

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Eleanor Smith

Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP

James Joseph

Arnold & Porter

Jane Sherburne

Sherburne PLLC

Rob Harrington

Robinson, Bradshaw, Hinson, P.A.

Stan Brown

Hogan Lovells

Michael Jones

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Edward Soto

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Adam Klein

Outten & Golden LLP

Michael Swartz

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Teresa Roseborough

The Home Depot

Donald Rosenberg

Qualcomm

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/02/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/21/2019

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Keywords

Promoting civil rights for African Americans and other communities of color. Mobilizing the legal profession on behalf of civil rights.