Federal Practice Manual for Legal Aid Attorneys

National Center for Law and Economic Justice

The National Center for Law and Economic Justice’s Federal Practice Manual for Legal Aid Attorneys guides legal aid and public interest lawyers through all stages of federal litigation. Previously coordinated by the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, this Revised 2024 Edition provides the most comprehensive expertise for practitioners litigating on behalf of low-income and disadvantaged clients against government defendants, covering topics such as:

  • Interviewing clients and preparing the lawsuit
  • Drafting pleadings
  • Federal court jurisdiction
  • Section 1983 elements and requirements of related federal statutes
  • Enforcing federal rights against states and state officials, local governments
  • Responding to motions to dismiss and overcoming jurisdictional hurdles
  • Engaging in written discovery and depositions
  • Pretrial motions practice
  • Class action advocacy 
  • Trial and appellate advocacy
  • Negotiating settlements and enforcing consent decreesObtaining relief, including damages, declaratory judgments, and attorney’s fees and costs

The Manual will initially be available for free while NCLEJ continues to provide updates to the current text. At a later point in time, the completed version of the Manual will be available through paid subscription.