WHAT WE DO
WHAT WE DO
We provide direct legal representation to low-income clients in more than 5,000 civil legal cases every year - from defending against employment discrimination to obtaining benefits for people with disabilities to helping immigrant victims of crime get visas.
We advocate at the Connecticut legislature and in communities across the state for laws, policies, and practices that increase fairness in the justice system and protect and expand the services and supports available to low-income people.
Education and Training
Our experienced staff provide training, organization legal education seminars, and distribute legal information to help low-income people, community members, service providers, and justice-system stakeholders understand the rights of vulnerable people.
We have a long history of successful impact litigation - carefully-chosen court cases, some of which are extraordinarily complex, that can make lasting change in the law and improve the lives of many people at once.
Poverty and deprivation are exacerbated by the burdens of consumer fraud, debt, discrimination, and the unfair denial of government benefits. CLS protects vulnerable people against consumer fraud, with a particular focus on the elderly; defends against unfair debt collection; fights against employment discrimination; and advocates for its clients to receive supplemental security income and other indispensable benefits.
Safe, stable, and affordable housing is the foundation for health, employment, education, family, and connection to community. CLS works to prevent homelessness; improve housing conditions for vulnerable people; and protect against housing discrimination. We fight unfair evictions and help clients get and keep housing subsidies; litigate to improve housing conditions for vulnerable people; and protect against housing discrimination.
Nobody can thrive unless they are physically safe. CLS' work to keep vulnerable people safe includes representing children in abuse and neglect cases; securing protection orders for domestic violence and sexual assault victims; and standing up for immigrants who face deportation.
Physical and mental health are essential prerequisites for a happy childhood, financial success as an adult, and a secure retirement. CLS helps vulnerable people secure health care and government health benefits, and protects the rights of elderly and disabled people in state care.
Children and adults alike depend on strong relationships with loving and supportive families. CLS helps vulnerable people build family relationships through obtaining visitation orders and child support. And our advocacy in divorce cases helps low-income people escape toxic, harmful, and unsafe relationships.
Every child needs a strong education as a predicate to economic opportunity and a lifetime of learning. CLS protects children against inappropriate expulsion and advocates for all children to receive the educational supports and services that they need to thrive.
DIGNITY & AUTONOMY
Everyone should be able to make decisions about their own future. But low-income elderly and disabled people frequently can't afford an attorney for a will, an advanced directive, or a power-of-attorney, so they lose control over their healthcare and their assets. CLS advocates for their dignity and autonomy by helping them obtain wills, advanced directives, and powers-of-attorney so that they keep control over their healthcare and their assets.