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Human and Civil Rights : Advocacy and Education

Public Counsel

Nation's Largest Pro Bono Law Firm

four stars

90.34

610 South Ardmore Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90005
tel: (213) 385-2977   Web Site
EIN: 23-7105149

Board Leadership
Michael H. Steinebrg
Chair

CEO
Margaret Morrow
President and CEO

  Score
(out of 100)
Rating
Overall Score & Rating 90.34 four stars
  Financial 91.91 four stars
  Accountability & Transparency 89.00 three stars
This rating was published 09/03/2019 and includes data from FY2018, the most recent 990 received at that time.

Public Counsel is the nation's largest public interest law firm specializing in delivering pro bono legal services to low-income communities. Founded in 1970, Public Counsel strives to achieve three main goals: (1) Protecting the legal rights of disadvantaged children; (2) Fostering economic justice by providing individuals and institutions in underserved communities with access to quality legal representation; and (3) Representing immigrants who have been the victims of torture, persecution, domestic violence, trafficking, and other crimes. Through a pro bono model that leverages the talents of thousands of attorney and law student volunteers, we provide free legal assistance to low-income clients and address systemic poverty and civil rights issues through impact litigation and policy advocacy.
The substantive areas in which we work are Children's Rights, Homelessness, Veterans' Rights, Consumer Rights, Community Development, Immigrants' Rights, and Women and Girls' Rights.

Public Counsel is the nation's largest public interest law firm specializing in delivering pro bono legal services to low-income communities. Founded in 1970, Public Counsel strives to achieve three main goals: (1) Protecting the legal rights of disadvantaged children; (2) Fostering economic justice by providing individuals and institutions in underserved communities with access to quality legal representation; and (3) Representing immigrants who have been the victims of torture, persecution, domestic violence, trafficking, and other crimes. Through a pro bono model that leverages the talents of thousands of attorney and law student volunteers, we provide free legal assistance to low-income clients and address systemic poverty and civil rights issues through impact litigation and policy advocacy.
The substantive areas in which we work are Children's Rights, Homelessness, Veterans' Rights, Consumer Rights, Community Development, Immigrants' Rights, and Women and Girls' Rights.

Impact Information

GuideStar is Charity Navigator's trusted partner in sharing information on how this organization seeks impact.  GuideStar has recognized this organization with a Platinum Seal of Transparency for voluntarily and publicly sharing information about how they measure their progress and results.  Learn More about Impact Information.
Reported Results
Showing 3 of 11
Total in 2018
Number of foster care children placed with a family that were formally adopted
298
The number of people who obtain or preserve their housing
248
The number of people who preserve or restore their credit
157
The number of immigrants who win legal asylum
56
The number of people who obtain, preserve, or increase public benefits to which they are legally entitled
332
Number of people who increase their well-being by obtaining at least one positive outcome in their legal case
2,485
Number of people who attend a legal workshop/training
3,699
Number of people who receive one-on-one legal assistance
12,427
Number of nonprofits that receive legal assistance to preserve or expand their capacity
146
Number of veterans who obtain, preserve, or increase VA benefits
56
Number of people assisted in accessing the justice system
111
This impact information is current as of March 2020, when it was provided to us by GuideStar. At this time, Impact information published on this organization's page has no effect on its rating per our methodology.

Financial

four stars

91.91

Accountability & Transparency

three stars

89.00

This rating was published 09/03/2019 and includes data from FY2018, the most recent 990 received at that time.
Overall Rating Chart
  Program Expenses
(Percent of the charity's total expenses spent on the programs
and services it delivers)
83.5%
  Administrative Expenses 8.1%
  Fundraising Expenses 8.3%
  Fundraising Efficiency $0.08
  Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.40
  Program Expenses Growth 2.3%
  Liabilities to Assets 6.7%
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Public Counsel on recent 990s filed with the IRS.
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Public Counsel on recent 990s filed with the IRS.

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Public Counsel (CA) 90.34 four stars
Public Justice Center (MD) 94.14 four stars
National Consumer Law Center (MA) 92.47 four stars
National Center for Youth Law (CA) 97.16 four stars
Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT) (NY) 89.59 three stars

Compare These Charities (Highly Rated)

REVENUE  
Contributions  
   Contributions, Gifts & Grants $7,591,836
   Federated Campaigns $66,955
   Membership Dues $0
   Fundraising Events $1,868,693
   Related Organizations $0
   Government Grants $2,570,127
Total Contributions $12,097,611
   Program Service Revenue $1,867,979
Total Primary Revenue $13,965,590
   Other Revenue $167,018
TOTAL REVENUE $14,132,608
   
EXPENSES  
   Program Expenses $10,523,213
   Administrative Expenses $1,033,359
   Fundraising Expenses $1,201,281
TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES $12,757,853
   
Payments to Affiliates $0
Excess (or Deficit) for the year $1,374,755
   
Net Assets $17,306,515

Program names and associated costs are listed for the top programs as reported on the charity's most recently filed Form 990. The top programs displayed will include the largest three programs, or those programs covering at least 60% of the charity's total expenses, whichever comes first.

Program Name Amount Spent % of Program Expenses
Consumer Law $2,633,954 25.0%
Immigrants Rights $2,314,364 22.0%
Homelessness Prevention $1,505,258 14.3%

Ratings History
Public Counsel has received 11 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator.

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2018-08 09/03/2019 90.34 four stars
2017-08 12/21/2018 92.07 four stars
2016-08 09/01/2017 92.20 four stars
2015-08 07/01/2016 92.20 four stars
2014-08 06/01/2016 92.12 four stars
 
CN 2.0
2014-08 10/01/2015 91.31 four stars
2013-08 08/01/2014 94.74 four stars
2012-08 05/01/2013 94.91 four stars
2011-08 06/01/2012 94.28 four stars
2010-08 12/01/2011 94.32 four stars
2009-08 09/20/2011 94.94 four stars
 
CN 1.0
2009-08 02/01/2011 98.51 four stars
2008-08 09/01/2009 90.56 four stars

The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

EIN 23-7105149
Name in IRS Master File PUBLIC COUNSEL
NTEE Code I80
NTEE Classification Legal Services
NTEE Type Crime, Legal-Related
Classification Charitable Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities (59) Other school related activities
Foundation Status Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
Affiliation Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date June, 1971
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End August
IRS Forms 990
(provided courtesy of Foundation Center)
(Log In or Register Now to View Forms 990!)
  • August, 2017
  • August, 2016
  • August, 2015
  • August, 2014
  • August, 2013
Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
$248,060 1.94% Margaret Morrow President & CEO

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Public Counsel (CA) 90.34 four stars
Legal Services for Children (CA) 87.55 three stars
International Senior Lawyers Corporation (NY) 86.03 three stars
Mississippi Center for Justice (MS) 88.75 three stars
Alabama Law Foundation (AL) 91.19 four stars

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This charity has an official representative registered with Charity Navigator.

Charity Contact Info

Public Counsel
610 South Ardmore Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90005
tel: (213) 385-2977
fax: (213) 385-9089
EIN: 23-7105149

Visit Web Site

Board Leadership

Michael H. Steinebrg
Chair

CEO

Margaret Morrow
President and CEO

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