What We Offer

CDP offers legal, research and capacity building support designed to strengthen the organizing efforts of grassroots, community-based organizations.* The services that we offer fall into three broad categories:

Community Lawyering
CDP’s attorneys work with community groups to:

  • Bring lawsuits against targets of organizing campaigns such as negligent landlords and wage-stealing employers
  • Defend community organizations and low-income community members when they are the targets of lawsuits
  • Provide legal services to individual community members to enhance organizations’ base building efforts
  • Provide expert legal advice and counsel to community organizations and small businesses, including worker cooperatives, on issues such as entity formation, tax exemption, governance, commercial lease review and negotiation.
  • Support community organizations’ legislative advocacy efforts

Read more about our legal assistance in capacity building, consumer justice, equitable neighborhoods, tenants' rights & housing justice, immigrants' rights, and workers’ rights.

Participatory Action Research and Policy
Our Research and Policy Initiative partners with community organizing groups to:

  • Collect and analyze data to support their campaign demands
  • Produce participatory action research reports to highlight problems identified by community organizations
  • Develop policy solutions to community problems
  • Train organizations to design and conduct their own research
  • Conduct background research and develop fact sheets to provide strategic data in support of organizing campaigns

Read more about our research and policy work.

Technical and Capacity-Building Assistance
CDP offers legal advice and assistance to grassroots, community-led organizations to help them achieve their social and economic justice goals. We help groups incorporate, obtain and maintain tax exemption, comply with employment laws, and engage in real estate and lease transactions. We also assist workers in forming worker-owned cooperatives. CDP’s capacity building team has helped more than 350 non-profit organizations form and represented over 100 existing non-profits with critical legal issues. CDP has also represented 30 new worker-owned cooperatives.

Read more about our legal assistance in capacity building.

*Please note that we only provide assistance to community organizations that meet our eligibility criteria.