who we are
The Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center is a nonprofit law firm that fights for justice in the coalfields by using a high-impact three-pronged strategy for change: litigation, advocacy, and organizing.
We represent coal miners and their families on issues of black lung and mine safety, we work with grassroots groups and individuals to protect the land and people from misuse and degradation caused by extractive industries, and we fight for policy that supports a more equitable future in the region. In fact, we are the only law center in the country working on this combination of issues, and it is the powerful synergy between strategic litigation, frontline policy efforts, and on-the-ground organizing that makes our work so effective.
The Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center is a nonprofit law firm that fights for justice in the coalfields by representing coal miners and their families on issues of black lung and mine safety and by working with grassroots groups and individuals to protect the land and people from misuse and degradation caused by extractive industries. The Center handles individual cases and engages in strategic litigation and policy work in the areas of mine safety and health, environmental protection, legacy costs of extractive industries on the people, land and economy of the Central Appalachian region, and sustainable energy.
Photo copyright Earl Dotter
Support for the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center in 2022 comes from the following foundations:
Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
New York Community Trust
Just Transition Fund/Rockefeller Family Fund
Moving Forward Together
Environmental Data Fund
ACLC was founded in 2001 as a public interest law firm providing free legal representation for coal miners and their families in black lung and workplace discrimination cases and individuals, families, and communities dealing with the environmental effects of resource extraction in Central Appalachia. From the beginning, we understood that to have the greatest impact, our direct legal representation needed to strengthen and complement advocacy and organizing efforts in our region.
We began as three attorneys and have slowly and thoughtfully expanded our work and our staff.