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Keeping Up with the Human/Civil Rights Law Center: Insights from the Director's Desk

Welcome and Introduction

Welcome to the first blog post of the Human/Civil Rights Law Center, or HCRLAW. My name is Kathy Purnell and I am HCRLAW's Director and Managing Attorney. My entire career has been committed to advancing equity and justice through my professional efforts - first a professor in the fields of political theory, political science and public administration, as a nonprofit administrator, and then as an attorney working at the interface of civil and human rights. This blog is devoted to sharing updates and analyses on the status of human rights in key areas (immigration, housing and education) in law and policy in the United States. It will also be a location where you may find occasional posts reflecting upon my lived experiences and how they have inspired the Human/Civil Rights Law Center's focus on community empowerment, low bono representation, and nonprofit consulting. To help introduce HCRLAW, let's reflect on our image and what it represents.

It takes a community to advance justice
Human/Civil Rights Law Center logo

Community Empowerment

It takes an entire community to advance justice and human rights. Our logo was selected to reflect the importance of collaboration and mobilization of communities through education about rights, policies and structural forces that influence access and administration of justice and their agency to transform law, policy and structures to advance human and civil rights. Community collaboration and empowerment through legal education reflects the foundation of our approach to service.

Low Bono Representation

Our commitment to “low bono” representation reflects our desire to do our part, among many community resources, to advance access to justice. Our rates are set intentionally help individuals who can’t afford traditional private legal services but may not qualify for free community legal resources. We have created a brochure to render our pricing transparent to all prospective individual clients and to help communities access high quality and affordable legal representation. As a reflection to our commitment to ensure access to services, we subsidize and coordinate, for prospective and accepted clients, language access in over 80 languages. For a full list of languages available for individual clients to access, please see our webpage on Language Access and Self-Expression. In addition, we also have low cost resources and options to assist individuals to engage in self-representation and advocacy.

Please note: HCRLAW's attorney is licensed in the State of Michigan, USA. Clients seeking legal representation for immigration services may be accepted both within and outside the State of Michigan because it is permitted by law. However, at this time, clients seeking legal representation for any other human/civil rights matter will not be accepted for legal representation if they reside outside the State of Michigan.

Nonprofit organizational consulting & support services

The HCRLAW attorney has developed an expertise in nonprofit organization governance and service provision over two decades of work in the nonprofit sector. As HCRLAW's logo suggests, it takes a deeply diverse set of actors to empower our communities and build our collective capacity for justice. HCRLAW is committed to advance, amplify and support the work of agencies in the nonprofit sector through a variety of initiatives ranging from our Community Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Program (C-LEAP), organizational consulting, and leadership retreats that build our individual and collective resilience to cultivate inclusive communities.

It takes an entire community to advance justice and human rights. HCRLAW is ready, willing and excited to do its part. We look forward to working with you.

Please explore our website's pages for information on our services, the HCRLAW director, upcoming events and nonprofit organizational support services.


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