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Key Points

  • President Biden will sign a Presidential Memo today expanding access to US courts and legal representation
  • The Memo gives low-income individuals greater access to the US legal system
  • The Memo requires the Department of Justice to submit plans for improving access to justice initiatives.
  • President Biden’s Memo also re-establishes the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable
  • Today’s memo is part of the Biden administration’s plan to reform the US immigration system


On May 18, 2021, President Biden is expected to sign a Presidential Memorandum that expands access to US courts and legal representation.

What are the Changes?

The Presidential Memorandum will provide low-income individuals with easier access to the US legal system. Low-income beneficiaries have historically faced challenges in obtaining fair legal representation, which has increased with the economic and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Biden’s memo directs the Attorney General to submit plans outlining the proposed expansion of the Department of Justice’s access to justice work within 120 days. Additionally, the Biden administration will re-establish the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable to expand access to federal programs and civil legal aid. The roundtable was established in 2015.

The Memo follows an executive order issued by President Biden in January 2021 that directed all government agencies to prioritize inclusion and equity in their management plans.

Looking Ahead

Today’s Presidential Memorandum is part of President Biden’s broader initiative to reform the US immigration and justice systems and advance equality among all races and socioeconomic backgrounds. Envoy and CIP will provide updates as available on other reforms and advancements in the administration’s immigration agenda.

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