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The Legal Rights Center

1611 Park Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone: 612-337-0030
Email: office@legalrightscenter.org 
Web: http://www.legalrightscenter.org/ 

Michael Friedman 
Executive Director

Email: mfriedman@legalrightscenter.org
Sarah Davis 
Associate Director/Attorney

Email: sdavis@legalrightscenter.org

Organizational Profile

The Legal Rights Center (LRC) came into being through the coordinated efforts of activist communities, organized by the American Indian Movement (AIM) and The Way.  Working with attorney Doug Hall, who in turn brought the leadership of Peter Dorsey of the Dorsey & Whitney law firm, contributions were gathered from the legal community and the nonprofit firm was founded in March 1970. ​ 

The LRC’s initial focus included fighting back against racial biases in Child Protection and the forced removal of children from their homes, a key igniter of historical distrust of court.  In the new millennium, the LRC developed its expertise in Family Group Conferencing, a restorative method well aligned with the professional skills of a legal organization, and whose purposes returned us to our early focus on defending family continuity and promoting culturally-specific support.Over the last ten years, the LRC has prioritized the need to demonstrate the effectiveness of restorative practices outside of the predetermined limits imposed by the juvenile justice system. Given the opportunity to simultaneously address education system disparities, the LRC adapted Family Group Conferencing as a positive and restorative response to significant violations of school behavioral standards, leading to an ongoing project with the Minneapolis Public Schools for which an extensive university evaluation demonstrated the model practice and paved the way for further utilization. 

The Legal Rights Center runs two programs: Community Defense Program and Youth: Education, Advocacy & Restorative Services. While each program has distinct goals and methods, collectively they point to the overall vision of improving the experience of the justice system for communities of color, if not proactively solving problems that prevent involvement in the justice system in the first place

Recent Reforms
Be sure to check out this brief summary of recent reforms in Minnesota (and links to relevant legislation, court cases, reports, and other documents). 

Locale: Minnesota
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