ABOUT THE LEGAL AID INTERAGENCY ROUNDTABLE (LAIR)
In 2012, more than a dozen federal agencies came together under the leadership of the White House Domestic Policy Council and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch the Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (LAIR). The purpose was to raise federal agencies’ awareness of how civil legal aid can help advance a wide range of federal objectives including employment, family stability, housing, consumer protection, and public safety. With support from DOJ’s Office for Access to Justice (ATJ), which staffs LAIR, participating agencies have worked with civil legal aid partners, including non-profit organizations, law schools, and the private bar, to (1) leverage resources to strengthen Federal programs by incorporating legal aid, (2) develop policy recommendations that improve access to justice, (3) facilitate strategic partnerships to achieve enforcement and outreach objectives, and (4) advance evidence-based research, data collection, and analysis.
LAIR was formally established in a 2015 Presidential Memorandum, and its list of federal partners has grown to include 22 agencies. LAIR’s activities are supported by two working groups: (i) Working Group on Self-Represented Parties in Administrative Hearings, led by ATJ and the Administrative Conference of the United States, and (ii) Working Group on Access to Justice Indicators and Data Collection, led by ATJ and DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. In November 2016, LAIR issued its first annual report, which documents how LAIR has worked over the past few years to inspire innovative interagency collaborations to more effectively support underserved individuals.