The Phoenix Legal Action Network is a collective of lawyers that is committed and dedicated to providing, increasing and improving pro bono legal services to low-income members of the community as well as community-based organizations which are committed to advancing social justice in the entire Phoenix Area of Arizona.
The network serves as a link between community members and organizations and legal attorneys looking to offer their pro bono legal services. To achieve this, they work in close collaboration with the community organizations to understand their legal needs and take measures to recruit pro bono attorneys who can meet their legal needs.
They also seek out lawyers looking to offer free services and serve them with the appropriate training as well as the right opportunities to provide their services. Larkin and Lacey also stand in as a platform where initiatives are explored, developed and launched that serve to fill the significant gaps in legal services within the community.
There are almost one million foreign born persons in Arizona, which represents one in seven of every person in Arizona. Of these, 325,000 are undocumented, which about the general population is 40% higher than the national average.
Having an attorney has been proven to bear the potential to be five times more able to prevent a non-detained immigrant from deportation than going to court without one.
Despite this fact, and despite the large immigrant community in Arizona, especially in Maricopa County, there are still no organizations committed to offering free legal services for non-detained immigrants as well as those facing deportations. There are also very few resources available to immigrants in the state to seek legal recourse.
They often face the complex American legal system without legal representation, often suffering dire consequences as a result. The need for the provision of elaborate legal assistant for immigrant populations has been increased by the harsh conditions created by the recent Executive Orders cracking down on immigration under the new political administration.
It is against this backdrop that the Phoenix Legal Action Network started the Justice for Immigrants and Families Project. This project is planned to have one managing attorney, one legal staff and two post-graduate fellows to offer legal solutions to immigrants and the families affected by these new immigration rules. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
The JIFP project has received funding from the Lacey and Larking Frontera Fund and is bound to carry out its operations over the next three years.
The Lacey and Larking Frontera Fund was founded in 2012 by two journalists Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin from the proceedings of a settlement made with the Maricopa County. This followed their unlawful detention by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2007.
The two were apprehended from their residences in the midst of the night after they exposed the corruption and abuse of power by the County Sheriff’s office.
Although they were later released after a public outcry following their unlawful arrest, they initiated a case against the Maricopa County for abuse of their human rights. Their case would be determined in 2012 as they were awarded a 3.75 million dollar settlement. These are the proceedings that they used to start the Lacey and Larking Frontera Fund.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: