The goal of the government relations division is to expand the resources for representation of low-income people through legislative advocacy. This work focuses primarily on three important facets of legal aid issues: educating and lobbying members of Congress on the need to increase funding for the Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”), representing NLADA's members before federal agencies and vigorously monitoring the Legal Services Corporation. NLADA works in coordination with its team of national grassroots coordinators and with members of Congress and their staff to achieve its legislative objectives. NLADA’s advocacy work includes, but is not limited to:
- lobbying legislators to preserve and expand LSC funding;
- monitoring the LSC and regularly advocating on behalf of the civil legal aid community with the LSC board and key staff;
- lobbying legislators and helping to organize hearings, secure witnesses, draft legislation, and monitor floor activity to advance the cause of civil legal aid;
- representing the legal aid community before federal agencies including the Department of Justice through the association's Advocacy Resource Project. A periodic newsletter, Advocacy Funding Fact$, highlights funding opportunities. Current high-priority focus areas include VAWA's Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program and loan forgiveness. NLADA members can elect to receive Advocacy Funding Fact$, a newsletter highlighting federal funding opportunities for programs providing legal aid services;
- advocating for continued support for Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) program, state legislative funding and on resource development to support state level and national substantive advocacy;
- building strong, bi-partisan support for the LSC through NLADA’s Legal Services Justice Campaign; and
- participating as amicus curiae in cases of critical import to civil legal aid providers.