Impact Fund Executive Director,
Jocelyn D. Larkin
The Impact Fund provides strategic leadership and support for litigation to achieve economic and social justice. We provide funds for impact litigation in the areas of civil rights, environmental justice, and poverty law. We offer innovative technical support, training, and expertise on issues that arise in large scale impact litigation. We serve as lead counsel, co-counsel and amicus counsel in select class action and impact litigation.
In 1992, founder and former Executive Director Brad Seligman established the Impact Fund with the idea of helping “smaller” firms and nonprofits litigate "big" cases. In his living room, with the assistance of a group of leading public interest litigators (the Impact Fund's original Board of Advisors), Brad hashed out the basic criteria for what would become the Impact Fund's present-day Grant-Making Program. Now, the small one-man team has grown into a sizeable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, headquartered in Berkeley, California. In July 2010, Jocelyn D. Larkin was appointed as the Impact Fund's second Executive Director.
Over the past 19 years, the Impact Fund has expanded its direct services and programs to include trainings, advice and counseling, amicus representation, conferences, and co-counseling. Most notably, the Impact Fund currently heads up a civil rights class action team, taking on the world's largest employer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in the largest civil rights class action in history.
The Impact Fund has been able to expand and take on big cases, such as Wal-Mart, because of the growing support of individual donors, the California Legal Services Trust Fund, private firms, and family foundations. As we move forward, we hope that you will support us in our continued battle for social justice.
Our organization has three main functions:
First, our Grant Making Program awards funding to public interest lawyers to advance costs in systemic impact litigation. Since its inception, this program has awarded over $5 million dollars, which has facilitated a wide range of impact litigation across the nation.
Second, our Equal Justice Litigation Program provides counseling, advice and assistance on procedural and substantive issues that arise in complex litigation. Impact Fund acts as co-counsel on select cases where its expertise is most helpful. Our legal team organizes amicus efforts on civil rights and class action lawsuits addressing both legal questions and procedural issues. We are also a designated Support Center for Legal Service Projects funded by the California State Bar Association's Legal Services Trust Fund.
Third, we provide high-quality training programs on various aspects of class action and impact litigation. Programs are conducted several times per year in various locations across California, as well as on the Web. In addition, we offer an annual intensive three-day Class Action Training Institute. The Impact Fund provides a discounted rate for these trainings to lawyers in the nonprofit sector.