In 1981, during a national convention held by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a program to support women seeking justice for gender discrimination was born. That pilot program became the Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF). Since then LAF has provided millions of dollars to balance the scales of justice for people working toward gender equity through the legal system.

We support brave plaintiffs seeking legal redress for Title VII, Title IX, equal pay, sexual harassment, and tenure denial violations and allocate $100,000 annually to help fund landmark cases such as Wal-Mart v. Dukes and Cioca v. Rumsfeld as well as cases with the potential to set future precedents, such as Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education.

LAF’s Impact Goes beyond Words

  • Financial support;
  • Organizational support through amicus participation; and
  • Strategic support through an integrated policy lens.


Case support decisions are made by the LAF Committee with AAUW Board of Directors approval. A case must meet these minimum requirements for consideration:

  1. Be filed in state or federal court;
  2. Address sex discrimination in employment or education, including topics like unfair pay, tenure or promotion denial, pregnancy discrimination, Title IX violations, and sexual harassment or sexual assault; and
  3. Have the potential to set or reinforce precedent for future cases on gender discrimination.

Additionally, plaintiffs must:

  1. Be represented by an attorney;
  2. Be willing to speak publicly at AAUW events or with AAUW; and
  3. Allow AAUW to publicize support for the case internally and externally, including in the media, on the website, and in electronic and print communications.

To obtain an application, email AAUW’s Legal Advocacy Fund program manager at Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. If a case meets the initial case-support criteria, applicants will receive an application.

PLEASE NOTE: AAUW does not provide legal advice or legal representation. Because we do not provide legal advice or representation, communications with us and materials sent to us are not protected by attorney-client privilege. We cannot promise that the information you share with us will remain confidential. We will not return calls or emails requesting legal advice.