The Center for Civil Justice was originally established as the Genesee County Legal Aid Society in 1951.  The Board of Directors changed the organization’s business name and expanded the service area in 1996. During that year, Congress enacted new legislation prohibiting federally-funded legal services from continuing to offer certain advocacy services, including class-action litigation and legislative advocacy. CCJ was formed specifically to ensure that people who would have been served by Legal Aid would retain access to these important services.  

CCJ  began with one office and a staff of three. Over the years the staff grew to occupy offices in Flint and Saginaw, including three attorneys, four professional advocates, and administrative support.  CCJ also contracted with a multi-client lobbyist, Capitol Services, Inc., to assist with its state policy advocacy efforts. 

Today, CCJ is going through a rebirth. After 18 years, its Founding Executive Director, Terri Stangl, retired. Much of her staff joined her or moved on to other projects. In 2014, CCJ Co-Founder Ed Hoort took on the role of Executive Director. Previously, he had spent 29 years as Executive Director of LSEM, Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. He has worked in the legal services arena for 40 years. CCJ's current staff consists of Mr. Hoort, 4 additional attorneys, one of whom is the Director of Advocacy, and a Health Advocate.

CCJ's work focuses on identifying and addressing systemic legal and policy barriers to the programs, services, and opportunities that are intended to help low-income people enjoy safe, healthy, and economically secure lives. One of CCJ's funders, the Michigan State Bar Foundation, reports on some of CCJ’s activities as part of its annual Justice for All Report. The reports can be found at www.msbf.org/atj/index.html.


Thank you for helping to provide the legal and advocacy services that would otherwise be inaccessible to our most vulnerable neighbors.

To donate directly to CCJ, go to the "Donate" tab.

To donate to the Access to Justice Campaignuse the DONATE NOW link on our sidebar.