Legislative and Administrative Advocacy
At times, client interests are best represented through advocacy before legislative or administrative agencies. Where appropriate, lawyers and paralegals of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network appear before these bodies, or before representatives of these bodies, to advocate for client interests.
An example of this kind of advocacy is where the legislature might consider making a change in Pennsylvania’s Protection from Abuse Act. Because every year, PLAN programs represent about 15,000 clients confronting domestic violence, any changes in this law could dramatically affect client interests, to the good or the bad. So PLAN advocates have represented clients in this kind of activity.
This type of advocacy makes up a small but important part of the activity of the PLAN. It also includes responding to questions from legislators or administrative agency representatives. Frequently, experts in legal services respond to questions from legislators and administrative personnel, and they can be of great assistance to the government process.
Activities of this sort are conducted on behalf of eligible clients, as a small part of the work of legal aid.