RIVERDALE, Md. — When she first got down to turn out to be an legal professional, Kisha Brown instantly discovered herself fielding questions.
“From the minute I began regulation faculty, I felt like individuals have been asking me for lawyer referrals,” she stated.
So, Brown determined to formally do this, and Justis Connection got here to be.
“Justis Connection is the primary Black lawyer referral and authorized useful resource platform,” she stated.
Potential purchasers fill out a web-based type to discover a Black legal professional that matches their wants. The service started within the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia space, however has since expanded to states from Florida to New York and out to Illinois and Texas, amongst others. Attorneys pay a price to be a part of Justis Connection.
Usually, simply discovering a Black legal professional generally is a problem. Out of the 1.3 million legal professionals in America, lower than 5% % are Black.
“It is laborious to seek out somebody,” Brown stated. “Generally you do not essentially know the place to look.”
That’s what introduced Patricia Browne to Justis Connection.
“It was vital to me to guarantee that our authorized illustration was numerous,” stated Browne, who’s president and CEO of the National Children’s Center, which focuses on serving to youngsters, some with bodily and mental challenges.
She stated it was vital that the middle have range in its authorized illustration.
“We need to present that we’re consultant of the neighborhood, and in order that’s crucial,” she stated. “And, additionally, that individual could have a special really feel for what the challenges are, the cultural competencies, and all of these issues that go into regardless of the situation is likely to be.”
Sean Trice is a enterprise legal professional and Senior Counsel at Whiteford, Taylor and Preston regulation agency in Washington, D.C.
“When purchasers, lay individuals, interact with the authorized area, it may be intimidating,” he stated.
Trice stated he discovered surprising purchasers via Justis Connection.
“Though they’ve been centered on African American attorneys, I’ve gotten purchasers that weren’t African American from Justis Connection, which is de facto good,” he stated. “It is not only for Black individuals to make use of Black attorneys; anybody can use Justis Connection. Anybody can select to help minority attorneys, African American attorneys.”
That’s what Kisha Brown stated is the aim: the hope of discovering stability on the scales of justice.
“On this nation, Black individuals have had a really distinctive historical past and the authorized system has traditionally and continues to be one the place it is rather difficult for us to navigate, the place we’re marginalized and even oppressed,” she stated. “I would like of us to really feel empowered.”