NASW Legal Defense Fund Has Your Back


NASW’s Legal Defense Fund (LDF) has been promoting social justice for more than 45 years. Established in 1972 to provide financial legal assistance and to support cases and issues of concern to NASW members and the social work profession, LDF also offers educational programs to improve the legal status and knowledge of social workers, including these:

  • Legal Issue of the Month. These articles present an overview of legal topics important to social work practice, focusing on a recent court decision or emerging legal issue. This archive of articles for NASW members addresses commonly asked questions as well as hot-button emerging issues.
  • “Friend of the Court” Briefs. LDF’s Amicus Brief Database, an online reference tool exclusively for NASW members, houses legal briefs filed by NASW in significant cases across the country and in the Supreme Court. Friend of the court briefs are accepted by courts to help understand aspects of issues that may not be fully addressed by the parties to the litigation, or where specialized knowledge may be helpful in reaching a conclusion in high-profile cases.
  • HIPAA Toolkit. In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) created new federal regulations for social workers and other mental health and health care practitioners. LDF developed the “Help with HIPAA” online toolkit for members and has analyzed HIPAA’s medical privacy regulations in relation to NASW’s Code of Ethics. NASW provides members with information and resources related to clinical practice, and this toolkit contains a comprehensive compilation of online HIPAA forms, office policies, and sample documents easily adapted to an individual social worker’s practice.

Access more LDF resources for social workers.

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