Justice Catalyst activates path-breaking approaches to social justice lawyering that have real-world impact and improve the lives of those denied access to justice.

To that end, Justice Catalyst launches and supports early-stage projects at new and existing public interest organizations and agencies.


Justice Catalyst’s work begins with the premise that the law can act as a means of both protection and empowerment for the most marginalized. Rather than starting with the legal subject matter and asking how it can address a social problem, Justice Catalyst focuses on injustices and the people they harm to determine all available approaches to achieving justice.

By putting the problem and people first, analyzing them from multiple perspectives, and drawing on underutilized tools in law and other disciplines, Justice Catalyst develops and supports creative legal strategies that have concrete impact on a broad scale. Justice Catalyst uses this approach to enhance the work of expert (but often siloed) advocates and those working on the front-lines, who are often denied the resources that would allow them to tackle the systematic injustices they confront daily.


Justice Catalyst builds ties between funders, private and nonprofit lawyers, government actors, academics, and law students to strengthen communication and coordination among advocates. Specialization and expertise are powerful resources, but they can be limiting. Too often, essential information about major problems does not find its way to the person best positioned to take effective action. Justice Catalyst organizes and supports meetings, regular channels of communications, and information sharing tools that foster community around creative lawyering.


Justice Catalyst administers a fellowship program to launch and support early-stage projects that combat the systems that facilitate injustice and build upon or expand the protections for oppressed communities. While Justice Catalyst’s core programmatic work is focused on litigation as a tool and the legal system generally, the fellowship program takes a wider approach that includes projects that look beyond legal action or law reform. Click here for more information.