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National Legal Aid & Defender Association

Washington, United States
Joined December 2018

Increase access to counsel and improving legal and life outcomes for low income people through innovation, education and advocacy.

Presence in: United States
Focus: Livelihoods

For more than a century the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) has worked to scale and improve access to counsel systems in the U.S. through innovation, education and advocacy. NLADA is a mission driven membership association whose members are civil legal aid, public defense and client advocates who are on the front lines of justice everyday.  Collectively, our members address every significant issue faced by people living in poverty in the U.S. in both civil and criminal arenas.

NLADA has been on the forefront of creating institutions such as the Legal Services Corporation, public defender systems and individuals programs such as the Mississippi Center for Justice, and has played a leadership role in major legislative and litigative efforts expanding access and the right to counsel.



People Associated With This Organization

Jo-Ann Wallace

United States  
National Legal Aid & Defender...
Joined August 2018
Interests: Criminal Justice, Livelihoods, Right to Information
Jo-Ann Wallace is the President and CEO of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA). She was previously NLADA’s Senior Vice President for Programs, responsible for oversight of both the Civil Legal Aid and Public Defense Program agendas. From 1994 – 2000, Ms. Wallace served as Director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), where she embraced holistic approaches to advocacy, including expanding the staff to include civil legal aid professionals and securing funding to open a new community office. She was named a Champion of Change by the White House.

Maria Soto

United States  
National Legal Aid & Defender...
Joined April 2019
Interests: Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Generalist Legal Services, Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Livelihoods, Right to Information, Traditional / Customary Justice, Women's Rights
I am Cuban by birth, raised in South Florida. I attended law school in Iowa and have spent my professional career working in the civil legal aid space. I work at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. We are a membership association/nonprofit working in the access to justice space. I would like to join this network to gain a broader perspective and wider network of colleagues and friends. I believe that by doing so, NLADA's work and presence will be enriched and its impact more grounded.
Jo-Ann Wallace is the network champion (main point of contact) for National Legal Aid & Defender Association.

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