[Featured Resource] Business Advancing Justice - The Goal 16 Working Group Toolkit

This week’s featured resource is Business Advancing Justice - The Goal 16 Working Group Toolkit, by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) and prepared by Network member @mahajweied (NLADA Senior Fellow).

In 2019, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) working with its Corporate Advisory Committee (CAC) launched a new initiative tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its call to “ensure equal access to justice for all.” The initiative’s mandate was to identify more opportunities for the U.S. corporate community interested in advancing Goal 16 to strategically collaborate with NLADA’s members – civil legal aid offices, public defender offices, and clients across the country. This activity resulted in the publication of the NLADA Policy Brief: Access to Justice is Good for Business and launch of the CAC’s Goal 16 Working Group, which identifies access to justice policy issues that can be advanced through public-private partnership. The working group was successfully registered with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Partnerships Platform as the U.S. legal community’s commitment to Goal 16.

Working with NLADA’s experts, the working group considers access to justice policy issues that can be taken up by CAC members and peers together or by CAC members on their own. It also provides CAC members a place to share their own access to justice advocacy with other corporate leaders.

More about Business Advancing Justice - The Goal 16 Working Group Toolkit:

This toolkit spotlights this work. It sets out:

  • The Why: The case for why businesses should care about civil legal aid and public defense.
  • The How: An overview of the strategies that businesses use to advance public policy and legal reform on access to justice with case studies and examples of each: lobbying executive branch agencies and legislators, advocating before courts, and using the bully pulpit.
  • Tips: Tips for how corporate leaders and the access to justice community can effectively work together, including a worksheet to help corporate leaders get started.

The strategies and examples included in the toolkit are drawn from the activity of the Goal 16 Working Group, as well as those of individual CAC members and other corporate champions taken outside of the working group. We know these examples can provide inspiration to other private sector actors interested in advancing justice for all.

As always, please let us know your thoughts on this resource by commenting below.


The Featured Resource is a short profile of a key resource found in the resource library of the Global Legal Empowerment Network. These resources can be older or brand new, but they all touch on important themes within legal empowerment. If you have a resource you would like to profile with the network, upload it directly at this link or email it to [email protected]

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Thank you @martaalmela for sharing the resource! I hope the Legal Empowerment Network finds it helpful in considering the ways the private sector - and business in particular - can validate and amplify the needs of the justice community. While the resource is US-focused, I believe that these strategies can work across the globe where partnerships between the justice community and business exists or can be built. I would love to learn of non-US examples that are similar.

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