Community Law

Our Work

Everyone deserves help, no matter who they are.

We’re fighting for stable housing, steady employment, and justice under the law for all Oregonians, regardless of their background.

By evaluating all social, financial, and legal barriers that can lead to economic instability, we seek to produce better and more lasting outcomes that improve lives and strengthen communities.

We value human dignity and redemption over threat and punishment.

Encounters with law enforcement are often triggered not by immorality or vice, but by something more foundational—whether it be addiction, mental health issues, cognitive disabilities, homelessness, trauma, or the thousands of other consequences of living in poverty.

At Community Law, we help undo the damage done by an imbalanced criminal justice system by reducing social stigma and clearing our clients’ records of fines, fees, and outdated or inaccurate criminal charges.

In addition to clearing legal records, Community Law helps clients navigate legal areas that threaten long-term stability such as housing, public benefits, consumer debt, legal status, and personal safety.


Collaboration is key to client success.

Community Law is pioneering a national model that brings together social workers, community health workers, and lawyers in solutions-focused teams to deliver positive, lasting outcomes for those they serve.

We partner with government agencies and organizations who advocate for our clients, working together to help them navigate the legal system, remove barriers to economic opportunities, and deliver justice.

Known as “holistic defense,” this collaborative approach increases the likelihood of addressing the causes of homelessness and poverty and reducing future encounters with the criminal justice system.


Law students train to be lawyers in the Community Law Division through the Criminal Justice Reform Clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School.


Some of our partnerships include:

  • CareOregon
  • Central City Concern’s Old Town Clinic
  • Home Forward Housing
  • Kaiser’s Gateway Clinic
  • Multnomah County’s Antipoverty Programs
  • New Avenues for Youth
  • OHSU’s Richmond Clinic
  • Portland Housing Bureau
  • Wallace Medical Concern