BEYOND LEGAL AID
“Instead of lawyers having power and being in charge, we want to put communities in charge and give them the power typically reserved for attorneys.”
– Lam Nguyen Ho, Executive Director & Founder of Beyond Legal Aid
What We Do
Beyond Legal Aid strategically coordinates community action campaigns with litigation.
Beyond Legal Aid’s litigation is community-cubed: community located, community operated, and community directed.
The Beyond Legal Aid Helpline exists to combat the fear instigated by ICE, answer questions and provide support for individuals and families.
Know Your Rights Programs
Beyond Legal Aid co-creates Know Your Rights materials and workshops with their community partners, based on community needs.
Beyond Legal Aid (Beyond) is a Chicago-based organization seeking to transform legal aid. It uses a model of “community activism lawyering” to facilitate empowerment of its community partners. Beyond Legal Aid works with some of these partners to operate community law offices. It works with others in the form of “activism partnerships,” providing free legal services as support for the partner’s social change agenda. In both models, the community partners are in charge of how the relationship with Beyond operates. Beyond’s other initiatives include an immigration helpline, Know Your Rights workshops, Family Emergency Preparedness workshops, and community defense networks.
Beyond Legal Aid believes that educating communities on legal frameworks is insufficient, there must also be education on, and opportunities for, mobilization. Beyond transforms chaotic and disorienting events into moments to organize, educate and advocate to overcome the system. Beyond believes that somebody who is facing an ICE raid or deportation proceeding should not go through it on their own. It creates opportunities to build community power and accompany community members through the immigration system.
This website is a project of the Legal Empowerment and Immigration Network, a group convened by NYU School of Law’s Bernstein Institute for Human Rights and Global Justice Clinic. The website is part of a multi-year documentation initiative to make visible the powerful impacts of legal empowerment programs to advance the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants in the U.S.Interested in joining the network or want to find out more information? Contact us: email@example.com.