Advancing Justice - LA is the nation's largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Advancing Justice - LA is located in Los Angeles, California, and also has satellite offices in Orange County, Monterey Park and Sacramento.
Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice - LA serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice - LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice. Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles is part of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national affiliation of four civil rights nonprofit organizations whose members also include Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Chicago, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC (National Affiliate) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice - ALC (San Francisco).
Advancing Justice - LA serves its clients in numerous languages including Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Khmer, Indonesian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, along with English and Spanish. Advancing Justice - LA is one of the only legal organizations in Los Angeles County that maintains this breadth of language capacity, and thus is an important resource to limited English proficient speakers who are in need of legal assistance. Advancing Justice - LA also advocates through the courts and legislature on many issues, including: voting rights, workers' rights, immigration, domestic violence, race discrimination, and language rights. Advancing Justice - LA is also noted for its interethnic relations and multiracial coalition building through youth, parent and community-focused leadership development programs, as well as its work in hate crimes prevention, race relations, and LGBT alliance building.
In 1995, Advancing Justice - LA served as the lead counsel in a groundbreaking federal civil rights lawsuit, Bureerong v. Uvawas, on behalf of 80 Thai garment workers who had been trafficked into the United States, held illegally, and forced to work behind barbed wire and under armed guard in an apartment complex in El Monte, California. Once freed from the apartment, the workers were taken by the U.S. government and thrown into federal detention. Eventually, the work of Advancing Justice - LA, along with a coalition of advocacy groups in Los Angeles, led to the release of all the workers. Advancing Justice - LA, along with other advocates, then led the successful workers’ rights lawsuit against the manufacturers and retailers responsible for the sweatshop conditions.
Advancing Justice - LA invests significant resources in collecting, analyzing and disseminating ethnic and language-specific demographic data on Asian Americans.