A not-for-profit law firm whose staff provides clients living in poverty with free representation for civil legal issues.
To achieve equal justice for poor people, to work with clients to promote social justice, and to address the effects and root causes of poverty.
What We Do
GHLA represents individuals and families to protect their legal rights and advocate for pragmatic, fair solutions to the problems they face. Resolving individual legal problems case by case is the core of our work, and we represent thousands of people each year. Because we can't represent everyone who needs a lawyer we also provide community legal education to help people advocate for themselves. Our staff works with the community to identify and address broader issues and concerns. Our advocacy informs government decision-makers about how laws affect people with few resources and strives to make government programs provide the help they promise. Our collaborative and flexible approach ensures our services are efficient and meet current needs.
Since 1958, GHLA has represented thousands of clients striving to protect their legal rights and secure their basic human needs. Over the past 50 years, our lawyers have also brought cases that have achieved significant systemic results for the low-income community. For example, CARC v. Thorne closed an institution that warehoused people with mental retardation, and established homes for them in the community; Pitt v. Hartford Housing Authority provided housing choices for dislocated tenants; and Raymond v. Rowland requires the State to accommodate people with disabilities who seek certain government services. One example of our effective policy advocacy is GHLA's state and national leadership on family violence and poverty issues.
A program that began 50 years ago as a one lawyer office in the basement of City Hall has grown to a full-service law firm, persistent and effective in its mission.
Client needs drive our priorities. Through our advocacy we seek to:
GHLA is supported through private and public funding, including the Connecticut Bar Foundation (IOLTA), Connecticut Health Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, North Central Area Agency on Aging, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, and a variety of government and private foundation grants. Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation builds legal resources for people in need by raising money for GHLA. Click "GHLA Foundation" for more information.