CAC Activities on UN Sustainable Development Goal 16

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U.S. Corporate Leadership on Sustainable Development Goal 16


Access to Justice is Good for Business logoAbout the CAC Goal 16 Working Group

In 2019, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) working with its Corporate Advisory Committee (CAC) launched a new initiative tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its call to “ensure equal access to justice for all.” The initiative's mandate was to identify more opportunities for the U.S. corporate community interested in advancing Goal 16 to strategically collaborate with NLADA’s members – civil legal aid offices, public defender offices, and clients across the country. This activity resulted in the launch of the CAC's Goal 16 Working Group, which identifies access to justice policy issues that can be advanced through public-private partnership. The working group was registered as NLADA’s commitment to advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16 with the United Nations SDG Partnerships Platform.  Examples of the Working Group’s activities include advocacy letters to Congress in support of federal funding for civil legal aid and public defense, collected here. 


Membership in the working group is open to all CAC members.  It is led by a Steering Committee including: Sean Edgett of Twitter; Frank Jimenez of Raytheon Company; Max Laun formally of Arconic (retired); John Schultz of Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Jennifer Zachary of Merck.

NLADA Resources

  • Maha Jweied, NLADA Policy Brief, Access to Justice is Good for Business (July 2019) Describing the ways in which Corporate America advances access to justice, highlighting three main strategies: (1) Contributing Resources; (2) Advancing Policy and Legal Reform; and (3) Implementing Sound Business Practices; also includes a call to the business community for increased partnership with NLADA and other public interest organizations to accelerate their efforts to respond to the legal needs of low-income and vulnerable members of our society.

  • Maha Jweied, NLADA Toolkit, Business Advancing Justice: The Goal 16 Working Group Toolkit (October 2020) Spotlighting the work of the CAC Goal 16 Working Group and includes: (1) the case for why businesses should care about civil legal aid and public defense; (2) an overview of the strategies that businesses use to advance public policy and legal reform on access to justice with case studies and examples of each: lobbying executive branch agencies and legislators, advocating before courts, and using the bully pulpit; and (3) tips for how corporate leaders and the access to justice community can effectively work together, including a worksheet to help corporate leaders get started.

Related Events

The Goal 16 Working Group meets regularly discuss access to justice policy ripe for corporate engagement. In addition to these working-level meetings, NLADA has sponsored or co-sponsored a number of events related to corporate engagement on access to justice:

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