About


We are a gathering of dedicated attorneys, paralegals, legal interns, and others who — along with volunteers from local high schools, colleges, universities, and the community — believe that justice truly is for all.

 

This video was graciously donated by our friends at Hamilton Studio.

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Photo by Erika Prins

 

The Center focuses on five main areas: civil rights, discrimination, government accountability, poverty, and the environment. For those seeking representation by the Center, click here to learn about how you may become a client. Please go to our “Get Involved” page for how to pursue volunteer opportunities. To subscribe to our electronic quarterly newsletter and email alerts on various topics and program areas, go to our Follow Our Work page.

Center for Justice Organization Strategic Plan, 2012 – 2016

Our Mission

The Center for Justice is a legal advocacy organization that works to empower individuals and provides vigorous oversight and advocacy when community rights need to be defended and community voices need to be heard.

About our organization

The Center for Justice is dedicated to the experience of justice for those of limited resources. We work with compassion for people, a commitment to community empowerment, and with an awareness of the sacredness of the Earth.

The Center programs include a Community Advocacy program, a Spokane Riverkeeper program, a Smart Justice program, and a Police Accountability program.  In addition, the Center provides direct client representation in the areas of civil rights, discrimination, government accountability, poverty, and the environment.  Our work is supported by an outreach and development program.

We accomplish our mission by practicing effective advocacy, providing consistent and credible leadership, respecting those we work with, and educating our members of the community and civic leaders.

Core values

The members, supporters, volunteers, and employees of the Center for Justice share basic values and beliefs that drive all organizational efforts. They are:

We work with compassion for people.

Justice Clinic in east Spokane, winter 2011.

We are committed to community empowerment.

We are aware of the sacredness of the Earth.

We support our core values by:

1. Practicing and promoting effective advocacy, including, when necessary, litigation.
2. Being sensitive to human needs and the perspectives of those who do not agree with us.
3. Using accurate information in our advocacy.
4. Building coalitions with other interested parties.

Our Founder’s Vision

All people need to be heard. If we are to live in a culture that is life-giving and positive, everyone’s voice must be considered. We are all in this together and if there is injustice to anyone we are all affected, and all are diminished. Our legal system is complicated and expensive. It is not as available to people who are without resources as those with money or power. Having money and/or power enables one to take advantage of the system. Because of this inequity the privileged obviously are in a position to take advantage, and they do so regularly.

The Center for Justice was established to assist all people in having a voice heard. People at the Center work within the legal system but their purpose is to experience Justice, rather than win a case at all costs. Compassion is the cornerstone. Compassion for everyone involved in the situation- the client and the other side. This necessitates empathy and openness.

We must understand that each person is different; every human experiences joy and pain in their own way and must be treated with respect and fairness. We must learn that judging others does not make us better; it merely limits us and closes us up.

The Center is not profit motivated; profit is not even a consideration. This truly makes the Center counter-cultural and opens up a whole vista of possibilities that are not normally explored.

It must be realized that Justice and law are not the same thing. Justice is an experience and law is a concept. Law is closely related to the keeping of order and is usually most responsive to the status quo and the most powerful. Justice is ineffable- one must experience it to know it. The use of law does occasionally result in Justice, but that result is rarely a primary goal of the law.

In addition to helping people experience Justice, the Center works to expand the notion that the Earth is sacred, that the Earth is alive and evolving and needs to be treated with dignity, care and love, that all creatures are alive and that people are simply part of the whole and not superior with a mandate to exploit the natural world in the service of human purpose.

Again the key is compassion and love.

So at the Center we hope our gift to all of Spokane will be the experience of Justice.

– Jim Sheehan, Founder of the Center for Justice

 

“Every day when I ride the bus to work, I don’t think about the projects they’re going to have me do, or how hard it’s going to be, or how nervous I might be. Every day I think, this is another day, another chance for me, to give back to them what they so graciously gave to me these past three years, which was devotion, compassion, and a hundred percent acceptance.”

–Former client and volunteer Stacey Green, March 22, 2008

.Click here to see video of Stacey’s testimony.

Free legal clinic, Riverfront Park, July 2009

 


May 2008

Suellen

I wanted to thank you and all the rest of the Center for such an amazing experience this semester. In so many ways the Center has proven to be a wonderful experience for me. Each day is humbling, partly because it makes me realize what I don’t know, but more importantly what privileges I take for granted. For the longest time I struggled with how to deal with a broken world. Perhaps. I don’t know the answer, but our best bet, in my opinion, is simply action. It is in this action that tangible difference occurs. The Center exudes action, and not merely ideology. Truly the Center is a beacon in this broken world.

Thank you for the last 3 months. God Bless,

Steve Merriman

May 2009

Suellen,
Thank you (and everyone at the Center for Justice!) for the opportunity to be a part of your team this semester. This has been a wonderful experience, and it has opened my eyes to so many injustices in the world. Now I realize that I actually can do something about them.

Continue to fight for Justice in this broken world! Thanks for your teaching and support these last 3 months!

Sincerely, Kynda Laufmann


 

 

Disclaimer: The content of this website is limited to general information. It is not intended to offer legal advice, nor does it substitute for the professional judgment of the Center’s attorneys regarding the facts and laws that would apply in individual cases. Moreover, use of this website does not create an attorney-client or other relationship between the user or browser and the Center. Please do not send us any confidential information unless a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Such information will not be protected by attorney-client privilege or other privilege.

Moreover, the Center is not associated with any of the entities that we link to from this website. The purpose of the hyper-links installed on this site is to provide convenient access to other websites of possible interest to the reader. The Center for Justice is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of any of the information that may be accessed via hyper-link from this website. Nor does the Center for Justice endorse the views or opinions offered in the linked websites.