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Description of MPLP Services

The Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP) is a cooperative effort between the Michigan Advocacy Program and the University of Michigan Law School (UMLS). MPLP provides state support services to local legal services programs and other poverty law advocates. Our goals are to support the advocacy of civil legal aid programs; to coordinate advocacy for low income individuals and families in Michigan; to assure that a full range of advocacy continues on behalf of the poor; and to lead policy and systemic advocacy efforts in Michigan on behalf of low income families and vulnerable populations.

MPLP coordinates with the UMLS Clinical Law Program, the Michigan League for Public Policy, and regional legal services programs throughout Michigan, but is legally and programmatically separate from these organizations.

Services

We work directly with local advocates by providing open access to case consultation, co-counseling, or referrals for current clients; through regular task force meetings that respond to locally-identified training needs; and through frequent publications alerting advocates to legal developments. See our Priorities and Case Acceptance Criteria for further details on MPLP services and how to access them. MPLP encourages all civil legal aid program staff to contact the appropriate MPLP staff person for guidance and assistance with client matters, to sign up for and be active participants in the list serves relevant to their daily work, and to attend MPLP’s task forces, substantive law trainings and skills trainings that are offered throughout the year.

Structure and Staffing

MPLP is part of Michigan PLP, LLC (“the LLC”) a consortium of four statewide advocacy programs. The LLC receives administrative services from the Michigan Advocacy Program. MPLP is jointly staffed by LLC staff and the UMLS.. MPLP provides a full range of state support services.

The UMLS Clinical Law Program (CLP) accepts referrals of cases and projects from local programs. One of the primary goals of the Clinic is to focus on systemic impact cases and projects, including appeals, class actions, or other law reform litigation. MPLP works closely with the UMLS Clinical Law Program to identify cases that are appropriate for the clinic.

MPLP contracts with theMichigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) to provide legislative tracking, analysis and advocacy services in the areas of public benefits, health care, education, housing, elder law, and consumer rights. MLHS also contracts with Capitol Services for assistance and support in providing these services.

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