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LAJC Plans Expansion Thanks to Historic Gift

Legal Aid Justice Center Plans Expansion of Services and Other Community-led Efforts Thanks to an Historic Unrestricted Gift.     Charlottesville/Richmond/Falls Church VA – The Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) today announced that a long-time donor to the organization, Philanthropist Sonjia Smith, has given LAJC a one-time gift of $10,000,000. This historic show of support for LAJC’s efforts towards…

Welcome to our new staff!

As we grow our work, we have also been growing our team! Welcome to our new staff members who have started work with us in the past three months – you can read more about them here:  Kendra Hudson (she/her) – Attorney – Petersburg Kendra joined Legal Aid Justice Center in…

Announcing Anna Kurien, CRRJ's new Legal Director

Anna worked for over a decade as a Public Defender at the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, Office of the Public Defender. There, she represented low-income people charged with felonies in jury trials and appeals. She used the participatory defense model to partner with her clients and their communities to shift the…

Statement - Charlottesville Eviction Defense Funds

The Legal Aid Justice Center greatly appreciates Charlottesville City Council’s commitment to housing justice in Charlottesville, and we applaud their recent vote to approve funding for an eviction prevention program. We also want to express our gratitude to the very courageous and incredibly effective advocacy by our partners and allies…

Welcome to LAJC's New Staff!

As we grow our work, we have also been growing our team! Welcome to our new staff members who have started work with us so far in 2021 – you can read more about them here:  Chris Florez (he/him) – Technology Manager – Charlottesville Chris joined Legal Aid Justice Center…

Public Comments on RRHA Redevelopment Plan

On Friday, July 2nd, the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) and the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) submitted joint public comment on the Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority (RRHA) Annual Agency Plan opposing significant aspects of the plan. Our key concern is that the plan will decrease the amount of deeply…

Unemployment Insurance - July 1st Report to Court

Download PDF version here IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA Richmond Division ASHLEY COX, et al.,             Plaintiffs, v. ELLEN MARIE HESS, in her official capacity as Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission,             Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )…

LAJC Asks Northam to Extend Tenant Protections

Today we at Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) and The Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) sent a letter to Governor Ralph Northam urging him to extend State of Emergency protections for tenants via executive order. Currently all of Virginia’s State of Emergency tenant protections are set to expire on June…

Judge Orders VEC to Fix Issues at the Agency

Judge Orders Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) to End Unemployment Insurance Backlog and Fix Issues at the Agency    Legal Aid groups and their Pro Bono Partners will monitor the VEC’s progress to ensure Virginians who have been struggling, often for months, get access to the relief they are owed   …

VEC Attempts to Delay Unemployment Lawsuit

  The Virginia Employment Commission Responds to Lawsuit About Delays in Unemployment Payments with…a Request to Delay.  Despite having been fully informed about the issues detailed in the lawsuit more than six months ago, the VEC moves to put the case on hold for an extra month. Richmond VA –…

LAJC Asks Richmond Schools to End Police MOU

In solidarity with Richmond youth and as part of our multi-year effort to end school pushout and the school-to-prison pipeline, today the Legal Aid Justice Center sent a letter to the City of Richmond School Board and the Richmond Public Schools administration asking that Richmond divest from its School Resource…

Supporting Police-Free Schools in Alexandria

Today LAJC sent a letter to the Alexandria (Va) City Council in support of student demands for a police-free Alexandria City Public School system. Youth advocates at our longtime partner organization, Tenants and Workers United, have petitioned the City Council for a budget amendment that would divest nearly $800,000 from Alexandria’s…

Class Action Lawsuit - VA Unemployment Insurance

Learn more about the lawsuit and how you can take action here   ­­­­Class Action Lawsuit Filed to Fix Historic Failures by Virginia’s Unemployment Insurance System Legal Aid groups and pro bono partners charge the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) with violating the rights of Virginians who have been cut off…

Big Wins - LAJC at the 2021 Legislative Session

The 2021 General Assembly session is wrapping up, and all the bills and budget amendments that passed the Virginia House and Senate are on their way to the Governor to be signed into law. Successfully advocating for legislation at the GA is a tough job in the best of circumstances,…

Transformative Record Sealing Law Passes

download pdf version here Today, Virginians are one step away from a major victory: criminal record sealing that is automatic, equitable, free, and far reaching. Bills (SB1339, HB2113) that will greatly expand and improve the process of sealing criminal records have successfully passed both houses and are awaiting Governor Northam’s…

GA Session 2021 - LAJC Priorities

Download PDF version here TAKE ACTION – CLICK TO TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO SUPPORT OUR AGENDA Criminal Legal System Reform  Expungement – Virginia’s criminal records expungement law is in urgent need of change. We must create an automatic expungement system that is equitable, far-reaching, automatic, and free.   Court Fines and…

Virginia Eviction Stories - Adolfo

After suffering a serious illness, Adolfo and his family found themselves facing eviction. Fortunately, he found help.  If you are concerned about keeping your home during the COVID-19 pandemic click here to learn more about your rights through federal and state policies.  

The Case for Automatic Expungement in VA

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Letter to Gov. Northam re: Vaccine Distribution

Download a pdf version here December 21, 2020The Honorable Ralph NorthamGovernor of VirginiaP.O. Box 1475Richmond, VA 23218 RE:  Ensuring Accurate Information, Access, Safeguards, and Fair Processes: Marginalized Groups and Virginia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plans Dear Governor Northam, On behalf of the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC), I write to urge…

HRHA Public Housing Tenants Reach Settlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: November 10, 2020   PUBLIC HOUSING TENANTS REACH SETTLEMENT WITH HOPEWELL REDEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING AUTHORITY ON CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT     Richmond, VA — Public housing tenants and the Hopewell Redevelopment and Housing Authority (HRHA) have reached a proposed settlement valued at nearly $300,000 in a…

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