Impact Work

The Lawyers’ Committee is a proven leader in advancing economic justice as a civil rights concern. Over the years, we have challenged a host of adversaries including predatory lenders, municipalities, transportation agencies and more. While challenges persist in the fight for equity and access, through advocacy and impact litigation in the areas of employment, public contracting, and micro-enterprise development we have made notable strides. We are committed to remaining vigilant whenever there is an opportunity to right the wrong of an economic injustice that thwarts the civil rights of an individual or a group based on race, gender or some other classification.

Associated General Contractors, San Diego Chapter v. Caltrans

With access to federal contracts at stake for minority and women-owned businesses, the Lawyers’ Committee scored a major victory for civil rights in the case of Associated General Contractors, San Diego Chapter v. Caltrans. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the California Department of Transportation’s outreach program to promote fairness and equity in its federal contracting, securing a major legal victory in favor of disadvantaged business programs to ensure equal contracting opportunities for minority-owned businesses. The group challenging Caltrans’ program decided not to seek review in the United States Supreme Court, rendering the appellate decision final.

Read a full history of the case.

If you are minority business owner concerned about contracting equity, please contact Sushil Jacob at Please note that we generally do not handle individual cases, but focus instead on class actions or other matters seeking systemic reform.