Since 1969 the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia has been the law firm to which individuals and organizations turn to address laws, policies and practices that perpetuate discrimination, inequality and poverty. We were founded as one of the original Lawyers Committees for Civil Rights Under Law in the midst of the civil rights movement, then incorporated by five past and then-present Chancellors of the Philadelphia Bar Association to secure the future of this firm of skilled attorneys. Our attorneys and staff use high-impact legal strategies – including class action lawsuits, policy advocacy, community organizing and education – to secure significant, long-lasting change for our clients.
Our clients are people with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, low-income individuals and communities, formerly incarcerated people , and the advocacy organizations that represent them in the Philadelphia region. Living with discrimination and poverty, they are denied access to vital resources that every person needs in order to enjoy even the rudiments of equal citizenship – an education, health care, a home, a healthy environment, a job, and the unencumbered right to vote.
Throughout our history, the Law Center has been able to drive meaningful change far disproportionate to the modest size of our organization. We partner with community groups, advocacy organizations, private and non-profit law firms and colleges and law schools to expand our capacity. We extend our reach by training community members and advocates about their rights and how to protect them.