The Defending Dreams Program was created as an attempt to make the court system more equal by providing underprivileged, minority, and low-income populations with high-quality legal care. The program focuses on cases centered around outdated and unjust policies or with clear civil rights violations.
In order to be considered for the Defending Dreams Program, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
Applications should be available online or by request and may be submitted electronically or by mail as directed in the Application Packet. In addition to the application itself, Applicants are required to disclose pay stubs, bank account statements, and any other financial documents to demonstrate financial need, as well as any and all Court Documents associated with the case. Committee members are expected to review applications in a timely matter with integrity, non-bias, and respect. Applicants must receive approval or denial in writing within seven business days of receiving the applications.
PLEASE NOTE: The organization cannot force any attorney to take a case, even if the applicant meets all the standard criteria and has submitted an application. Contracted attorneys and those serving on the Legal Committee have full discretion over the number of cases they take and which cases they choose to represent.
The Legal Committee is an executive committee composed of a majority of licensed attorneys or Professors of Law. The Committee may be composed of no less than three (3) members who are to be appointed by the Organization’s Legal Director and will serve 3 year terms. The Legal Committee Handles a variety of organizational matters regarding the organization’s program for free/reduced legal care and all aspects of the application process including, but not limited to, application forms, program requirements, and procedures regarding client communication and the application reviewal process. In addition, it is the responsibility of the Legal Committee to act as a liaison for attorneys who are contracted or have the potential to be contracted to provide free or reduced cost legal care for the Organization’s Defending Dreams Program. Therefore, it is the committee’s duty to prepare and negotiate contracts with attorneys outlining the expectations of both the contracted attorney and the organization.