LEAP is a national legal community effort to serve and protect homeless Americans and those at risk of becoming homeless. LEAP members are the very core of support for the National Homelessness Law Center to achieve our mission of using the power of the law to prevent and end homelessness.
Through membership in LEAP, the Law Center offers law firms and corporate legal departments many opportunities to leverage pro bono legal services throughout the year. LEAP members have participated in the fight to end homelessness through litigating educational rights for children, challenging anti-camping laws, researching the impact of criminalization, and more.
LEAP members receive priority selection of the Law Center’s pro bono work, including high-impact projects that address systemic injustices and help prevent and end homelessness. Members also receive special recognition throughout the year, invitations to LEAP-only events, and tickets to our annual McKinney-Vento Awards dinner.
Here are some of our recent high-impact pro bono projects:
- With volunteer lawyers from LEAP Members Dechert LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, we put out our 2019 report, Housing Not Handcuffs, which analyzes laws in 187 cities on the criminalization of homeless individuals–cities that have been measured and monitored across the country since 2006.
- LEAP Champion Latham & Watkins LLP continued to serve as co-counsel on the Martin v. Boise case, which the Supreme Court decided not to hear, leaving in place a ruling from the federal court of appeals for the Ninth Circuit that said people experiencing homelessness cannot be punished for sleeping outside when there are no other alternatives.
- With LEAP Champion Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, the Law Center submitted comments to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to safeguard important housing protections for domestic violence survivors under the Violence Against Women Act.
Annual LEAP Luncheon
The National Homelessness Law Center held its 2019 luncheon with current and potential LEAP members in May, hosted by Simpson Thacher. It was a convening of fellow leaders of pro bono programs at major law firms and corporate legal departments, and attendees heard from dedicated pro bono attorneys working to end and prevent homelessness in America.
A special thank you to those who participated in the program: Peter Thomas of Simpson Thacher, Bruce Rosenblum of The Carlyle Group, Michael Bern of Latham & Watkins, Patti Mugavero of JP Morgan Chase, Jim Bendernagel of Sidley Austin, Jon Mentivoe of Simpson Thacher, and our keynote, Representative Katie Hill of California’s 25th District.
For more details and to join LEAP, view our LEAP brochure, complete our 2019 LEAP membership form, and contact Karianna Barr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some highlights from past LEAP events include the live stream of Peter Edelman’s 2018 LEAP Luncheon speech and photos from that year’s event.
Thank you to our current LEAP members!