The Testimony Project: Expanding Access to Expertise on Trauma, Violence, and Inequity in Low-income Legal Advocacy

The Testimony Project brings expert witnesses with competencies in various areas related to violence, trauma, and social inequality into collaboration with legal aid attorneys and pro-bono lawyers, in order to assist in cases where a low-income client or legal aid organization would not otherwise be able to afford expert testimony. The project funds expert testimony with either no cost to the client, or at a very reduced cost. The Testimony Project can provide testimony in impact litigation, and also can be employed in smaller, individual claims involving abuse, discrimination, or other forms of trauma. Expert witnesses involved in the project include forensic mental health professionals, empirical social scientific researchers, licensed clinical social workers, and medical providers. The Testimony Project never provides legal aid or legal representation directly; its purpose is to make clinical and/or scientific expert testimony accessible and affordable in legal representation for low-income or vulnerable clients.

The Testimony Project is still in development and will likely launch in late 2020 or early 2021. At present, planned service areas are limited to the Greater Los Angeles area.