Non-profit

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Website:

lafla.org/

Location:

LOS ANGELES, CA

Tax ID:

95-1684067

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $15,870,220
Expenses: $14,155,100
Assets: $29,314,404

The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is a nonprofit that provides pro bono legal services to low-income individuals and families in the Los Angeles area. The organization is among the largest legal aid organizations in the nation and handles thousands of cases annually, in addition to providing toolkits and guides for individuals to use in legal filings regarding housing, immigration, government benefits, and employment. The organization is a recipient of grant funding from the Legal Services Corporation, a federal government agency that directs millions annually to regional legal aid foundations across the country. [1]

The use of taxpayer funding for such organizations has drawn criticism in the past, given the frequency with which legal aid foundations, including the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, engage in lawsuits and issue campaigns motivated by left-leaning political agendas. [2]

Background

The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles was founded in 1929 when the University of Southern California started a clinic for law students to engage in pro bono legal work for low-income individuals. The organization was one of many local legal aid clinics founded in the 1920s, spearheaded by national legal aid organizer John Saeger Bradway. In 1937, the organization changed its name to the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. In 1977, the organization founded the National Center for Immigrants, which is now known as the National Center for Immigration Law to provide legal services to immigrants, and in 1984 the group founded the Immigrants’ Rights Office to directly represent individuals in immigration proceedings. In 2001, the organization merged with the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach. [3]

The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is also affiliated with organized labor and helped to create the Union of Legal Services Workers of Los Angeles (ULSW/LA), which is a chapter of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers 2320 UAW, and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, a left-leaning federation of labor unions. [4]

Advocacy Litigation

The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles receives federal funding from the Legal Services Corporation, a group which has drawn criticism for decades for funding organizations that use the courts to advocate for left-of-center public policy. Former First Lady and unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was an early advocate for the Legal Services Corporation’s funding strategy. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter, Clinton sat as Chair of the Legal Services Corporation; during her tenure, Clinton actively supported grantmaking from the Legal Services Corporation as a way of promoting left-of-center policy advocacy. Clinton supported the use of the courts as a way to advocate for left-of-center policy, and training manuals released during her tenure with the Legal Services Corporation described the corporation’s desire to attain “power over the distribution of wealth, power over the means of production and distribution.” [5]

The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles received over $32 million in funding from the Legal Services Corporation between 2014 and 2018. The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles took on several politically charged cases during this time period, including working on behalf of a Long Beach City ordinance that would require a landlord to pay tenants up to $4,500 if a tenant decides to move out due to a rent increase or due to property renovations. The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles has also filed many cases on behalf of Los Angeles’s homeless population that critics have said inhibit city efforts to clean the streets and prevent the city from dealing with the homelessness crisis. [6]

References

  1. “Who We Are.” Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://lafla.org/who-we-are/ ^
  2. Stilson, Robert. “The Legal Services Corporation: Controversial Grantee Activity.” Capital Research Center. January 14, 2020. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-legal-services-corporation-part-3/ ^
  3. “90 Years of LAFLA.” Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://lafla.org/who-we-are/90-years-of-lafla/ ^
  4. “90 Years of LAFLA.” Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://lafla.org/who-we-are/90-years-of-lafla/ ^
  5. Stilson, Robert. “The Legal Services Corporation: A History of Political Advocacy.” Capital Research Center. January 14, 2020. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-legal-services-corporation-part-2 ^
  6. Stilson, Robert. “The Legal Services Corporation: Controversial Grantee Activity.” Capital Research Center. January 14, 2020. Accessed September 18, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-legal-services-corporation-part-3/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1943

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $15,870,220 $14,155,100 $29,314,404 $8,774,281 N $15,100,884 $576,872 $167,701 $386,101
    2016 Dec Form 990 $17,354,503 $13,868,248 $28,722,636 $9,848,762 N $15,217,466 $252,129 $84,991 $228,579
    2015 Dec Form 990 $14,629,639 $13,274,924 $22,638,026 $4,255,411 N $13,317,069 $1,068,026 $53,176 $233,252 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $16,522,290 $12,750,001 $21,603,636 $4,506,435 N $15,654,701 $625,833 $53,076 $201,580 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $19,071,106 $14,225,867 $18,754,085 $5,185,210 N $18,571,055 $459,699 $2,505 $187,674 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $17,787,653 $17,008,147 $13,903,567 $5,061,545 N $17,281,312 $470,919 $4,236 $185,705 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $21,142,828 $21,473,785 $14,327,700 $6,283,625 N $20,825,294 $214,818 $17,271 $191,857 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

    1550 W 8TH ST
    LOS ANGELES, CA 90017-4316