Name of Non-Profit Agency:
Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc.
Why is this assistance important to these clients?
Housing and employment are fundamental to the stability and recovery of our clients, and their ability to be self-sufficient and participate as full members of the community.
Who are the clients?
Low income adults who are or are perceived to have a psychiatric disability.
What legal problem do these clients face?
In addition to the challenges imposed by poverty, our clients regularly encounter discrimination, particularly in housing and employment.
What legal strategies do the pro bono lawyers use to assist the clients?
CLRP is seeking co-counsel for litigation. Cases are usually based on state and federal fair housing statutes and the Americans with Disabilities Act, but also raise related civil rights claims, such as Section1983 and constitutional issues. The Equal Protection Clause of the Connecticut Constitution explicitly protects persons with physical and psychiatric disabilities.
If the pro bono attorney will be appearing for the client, in what court or other forum will that appearance be?
Most often, federal court.
What are the outcome goals of this assistance?
CLRP seeks to both protect the individual civil rights of clients and promote systemic change to dispel the stigma and discrimination against persons with mental illness.
What time commitment is required to do this pro bono work?
Depends upon cases.
Where is the pro bono work done? (For example, at a legal aid office or at the pro bono attorney's office.)
Private attorney's office
Give a short (1-paragraph) case example:
A client has been denied services from a job training agency because it has determined that the person cannot benefit from their services, but did not follow federally mandated procedures for making such a determination.
If it is important that a pro bono lawyer already has particular legal background or training, please describe.
Litigation experience is critical, and a familiarity with civil rights is helpful.
What training is provided to pro bono lawyers doing this work?
There is no specific training, but CLRP's Legal Director would be actively involved as co-counsel.
Who are the adverse parties (if any) for this type of work (for example, landlords, spouses, banks, government entities)?
Generally, landlords and private employers and some state agencies, such as Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services.
At what time of day is the pro bono work done (example evening clinic)?:
Depends upon the nature of the collaboration.
Does this pro bono work require full admission to practice in Connecticut?