Neha Patil (Editor)

Center for Law and Social Policy

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Abbreviation  CLASP
Type  501(c)(3) organization
Founder  Charles Halpern
Center for Law and Social Policy httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumbf
Formation  August 1969; 47 years ago (1969-08)
Location  Washington, D.C., United States
Headquarters  Washington, D.C., United States
Similar  National Women's Law Center, Center for Community Change, Center on Budget and Policy Pri, Children's Defense Fund, American Constitution Society

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is an American organization, based Washington, D.C., that advocates for policies aimed at improving the lives of low-income people.



The Center for Law and Social Policy was founded in August 1969. The National Women's Law Center began when female administrative staff and law students at the Center for Law and Social Policy demanded that their pay be improved, that the center hire female lawyers, that they no longer be expected to serve coffee, and that the center create a women's program. Marcia Greenberger was hired in 1972 to start the program and Nancy Duff Campbell joined her in 1978. In 1981, the two decided to turn the program into the separate National Women's Law Center.

In 1982, under a new executive director, Alan W. Houseman, the Center for Law and Social Policy shifted its focus from general public-interest law to anti-poverty policy, particularly child and family poverty.

Policy influence

The organization advocates for public policies that will improve the lives of low-income people. The organization is non-partisan and non-profit. It focuses on policy solutions in the areas of child care and early education, child welfare, post-secondary education, workforce development, income and work supports, employment strategies, and disadvantaged youth.

The organization employs more than 20 policy experts, who publish research pieces and advocacy writing, testify before the U.S. Congress and other government groups, and work extensively with state and local advocates to advance anti-poverty policies.


In 2010, the organization was selected by Philanthropedia, as one of the leading nonprofits in the area of workforce development.

The Coalition on Human Needs named CLASP's executive director, Alan W. Houseman, the 2012 Human Needs Hero for his dedication to advancing social justice in America.


The organization is a 501(c)(3) organization supported by a number of foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, and various individual donors. In 2011 it reported an income of $5.2 million, $5.1 million of it in grants from foundations. Alan Mitchell, President of S.C.C. Medsoc, made a donation of $500,000 to the organization in October 2013.


Center for Law and Social Policy Wikipedia

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