Pro Bono & Nonprofit Programs

Free Legal Aid California

Find social services and free legal aid California for victims of domestic violence in the Golden State.

A number of non-profit organizations and legal aid advocates offer legal work programs that serve all counties in the state, specifically set on local priorities.

These organizations help low-incomed individuals and families, senior citizens, and the disabled and disadvantaged to have some form of access to affordable representation is the goal of these free legal aid CA programs.

The legal aid, pro bono work is performed by volunteer attorneys, law students, and social service experts partnering with each other, community-based organizations, legal courts, law universities, local law firms and local, state and federal governments to share and expand the resources available and coordinate the service delivered.

These free services help make vulnerable, low-income Californian families better able to:

  • Have access to the judicial system,
  • Have access to the welfare system,
  • Have food on the table,
  • Keep a roof over their heads,
  • Fight for their rights,
  • Right any wrong they have suffered,
  • Prevent homelessness,
  • Keep their families together.

Here are some of the legal problems or issues California legal aid can offer assistance with: consumer and debt issues, bankruptcy, housing matters, home foreclosure, evictions, poverty issues, debt collectors’ illegal calls and harassment, predatory lenders, illegal mortgages, high interest rate loans, wage garnishment, car repossession, credit discrimination, illegal credit card agreements, family disputes, elder law, landlord/tenant disputes, disability support, family benefits payments, welfare and health benefits, insurance problems, health care services, medical debt collectors, violence against women, getting out of an abusive or dangerous home situation, temporary restraining orders, divorce, annulments, or legal separation, battered spouse waivers, paternity, spousal or child support, custody and home visitation orders and concerns, employees' rights, sexual harassment at work, minimum wage and overtime claims, unsafe or illegal working conditions, retaliation from employer, unemployment compensation and claims and immigration issues.

Attorneys and law firms are committed to provide free, pro bono legal services to low-income families and disadvantaged individuals as well as nonprofit groups.

Feel free to contact a legal office near you for more information and advice.

Law firms and private attorneys offering pro bono assistance in California.

Finding law firms and private attorneys offering pro bono services in California can involve several approaches. Here are some steps you can take:

Legal Aid Organizations:

Contact legal aid organizations in California, as they often have lists of attorneys who provide pro bono services. Examples include:Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA)Bay Area Legal AidInland Counties Legal Services

State Bar Associations:

Check with the State Bar of California. They may have a pro bono program or resources to help you find attorneys who offer free legal services.

Local Bar Associations:

Reach out to local bar associations in your area. They often have information on pro bono initiatives and attorneys willing to volunteer their services.

Law School Clinics:

Contact law schools in California. Law students, supervised by professors, often provide free legal services through clinics. Examples include the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) or the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law.

Online Directories:

Utilize online directories that focus on pro bono services. Websites like the American Bar Association's Pro Bono Directory or may have information on attorneys offering free legal help.

Court System:

Check with your local court system. They may have information on pro bono programs or a list of attorneys who are willing to provide free services.

Community Legal Clinics:

Attend local legal clinics or community events that offer free legal services. Attorneys participating in these events may also provide pro bono services.

Nonprofit Organizations:

Reach out to nonprofit organizations that focus on specific legal issues (e.g., immigration, housing). These organizations may have partnerships with attorneys who offer pro bono assistance.

Referral Services:

Use legal referral services. Some organizations connect individuals with attorneys based on their legal needs. Examples include the California Lawyers for the Arts for arts-related legal matters.

Online Legal Platforms:

Explore online legal platforms that connect individuals with pro bono attorneys. Websites like Avvo, LawHelp California, or LegalMatch may have resources or connections to pro bono services.

Remember, when reaching out to these resources, be clear about your legal needs and your financial situation. They will help direct you to the appropriate services based on your circumstances.

Here is a database of pro bono, free and low-cost legal services in California.

If you're unable to afford an attorney, explore these options to find the support you need. Consider consulting with legal professionals or organizations to discuss your case and get personalized advice.

FREE LEGAL AID CALIFORNIA - Programs and Services

Anaheim Outreach:  250 E. Cypress  Anaheim, CA  Office: (714) 571'5200  Also serves residents of Brea, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Placentia and Yorba Linda.

Legal Services of Northern California Auburn Office (Motherlode Region): 190 Reamer Street Auburn, CA 95603 Office: (530) 823'7560

Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance Inc. 615 California Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93304 Office: (805) 325'5943

East Bay Community Law Center 3130 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley, CA 94705 Office: (510) 548'4040

Legal Services of Northern California Chico Office (Butte Region): 541 Normal Avenue Chico, CA 95927 Office: (530) 345'9493

Compton Outreach: 725 W. Rosecrans Compton, CA Office: (800) 834'5001 Located at the Thurgood Marshall Justice Center.

Serves the residents of Carson (north of the 405 Freeway), Compton, East Compton, West Compton, Cudahy, Hollydale, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Maywood, South Gate, Walnut Park and Willowbrook.

Legal Services of Northern California Eureka Office (Redwood Region): 123 Third Street Eureka, CA 95502 Office: (707) 445'0866 (800) 972'0002 (Del Norte County toll free)

Free Legal Aid California Main Office, Fresno: 2014 Tulare, #600 Fresno, CA 93721 Office: (559) 570'1200 or Toll Free (800)675'8001

California Rural Legal Assistance 2115 Kern Street Fresno, CA 93721 (559) 441'8721

Disability Rights California 567 West Shaw Fresno, CA 93704 (559) 476'2000

Centro La Familia Advocacy Services 2014 Tulare Street Fresno, CA 93721 (559) 237'2961

Central California Legal Services, Inc. 208 W. Main Street, Suite U-1 Visalia, CA 93291 (559) 733'8770

Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County 110 S. "C" Street, Suite C Lompoc, CA 93436 Office: (805) 736'6582

Long Beach
Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach 110 Pine Avenue, Suite 420 Long Beach, CA 90802-4421 Office: (562) 435'3501 Service Area: Los Angeles (Greater Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbor areas)

Free Legal Aid California - LOS ANGELES
Break the Cycle - provides free and confidential legal services to young people who have been abused. (Se habla espanol) Los Angeles Office PO Box 64996 Los Angeles, CA 90064 Office: (310) 286'3366 or Toll Free (888) 988'TEEN

University of Southern California Legal Clinic Office: (213) 745-3600 Provides representation and pro se assistance to victims of domestic violence in the Los Angeles area who have a child with their batterer.

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles 1102 South Crenshaw Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90019-3111 Office: (800) 399'4529

Free Legal Aid California - Merced, Mariposa, Tuolomne Office: 357 W. Main, #201 Merced, CA 95340 Office: (209) 723'5466 or Toll Free (800) 675'8001

Norwalk Outreach: 11834 E. Firestone Norwalk, CA Office: (800) 834'5001.

Serves the residents of Artesia, Bell, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Norwalk and Paramount.

Free Legal Aid California - OAKLAND
Bay Area Legal Aid Central Support Office 405 14th Street, 9th Floor. Oakland, CA 94612 Office: (510) 663'4755 or Toll Free (800)551'5554

Law Center for Families 510 16th Street, Suite 300 Oakland, CA 94612 Office: 510-451'9261

Alameda County Regional Office 405 14th Street, 11th Floor Oakland, CA 94612 Office: (510) 663'4744 or Toll Free (800) 551'5554

California Indian Legal Services Inc. Main Office: 510 16th Street Suite 301 Oakland , CA 94612-1500 Office: (510) 835'0284 or Toll Free (800) 829'0284

Channel Counties Legal Services Association 250 Citrus Grove Lane., Ste 210 P.O. Box 1228 Oxnard, CA 93032-1228 Office: (805) 487'6531 Service Area: Santa Barbara (southern portion, including cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta), Ventura

San Fernando Valley Neighborhood Legal Services Inc. 13327 Van Nuys Boulevard Pacoima, CA 91331-3099 Office: (818) 896'5211 Service Area: Los Angeles (San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys, Glendale, Burbank)

Legal Services Program for Pasadena and San Gabriel-Pomona Valley 243 E. Mission Blvd. Pomona, CA 91766 Office: (909) 623'6357 (909) 620'5547 Service Area: Pasadena and San Gabriel-Pomona Valley.

Legal Services of Northern California Redding Office (Shasta Region): 1370 West Street Redding, CA 96001 Office: (530) 241'3565

Contra Costa County Office 1017 Macdonald Avenue Richmond, CA 94801 Office: (510) 233'9954 or Toll Free (800) 551'5554

Inland Counties Legal Services, Inc. 1040 Iowa Avenue Suite 109 Riverside, CA 92507 Office: (951) 368'2555

Legal Services of Northern California Executive Office: 517 - 12th Street Sacramento, CA 95814 Office: (916) 551'2150

Sacramento Office: 515 - 12th Street Sacramento, CA 95814 Office: (916) 551'2150

San Diego
Legal Aid Society of San Diego Inc. 110 South Euclid Avenue San Diego, CA 92114 Office: (619) 262'0896

Disability Rights California 1111 Sixth Avenue San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 239'7861

Senior Citizens Legal Services 3675 Ruffin Road San Diego, CA 92123 (858) 565'1392

San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program 625 Broadway, Ste 925 San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 235'5656

Casa Cornelia Law Center 2760 Fifth Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 231'7788

California Innocence Project 225 Cedar Street San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 525'1485

Center for Community Solutions Domestic Violence Legal Clinic 4508 Mission Bay Dr San Diego, CA 92109 (619) 272'5328

Free Legal Aid California - SAN FRANCISCO
California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. 631 Howard Street Suite 300 San Francisco, CA 94105-3907 Office: (415) 777'2752 Service Area: Colusa, Imperial, Madera, Monterey (North Coast and Salinas Valley areas), San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara (Gilroy and Morgan Hill areas), Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Yuba, Kern (northwest portion), Santa Barbara (northern portion including Santa Maria)

Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic Office: (415) 252'2844 Offers legal assistance in applying for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, including child custody and child support if you have a child with your abuser.

San Francisco Office 50 Fell Street San Francisco, CA 94102 Office: (415) 982'1300 or Toll Free (800) 551'5554

Insituto Laboral de la Raza 2947 16th Street San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 431'7522 and (415) 575'3500

Legal Services for Children 1254 Market St, Ste Fl 3 San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 863'3762

California Rural Legal Assistance 631 Howard Street San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 777'2752

Legal Assistance to the Elderly 100 McAllister Street San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 861'4444

Free Legal Aid California - SAN JOSE
Tele-Legal: (408) 283'1550 (Family Law Information) Mailing Address: P. O. Box 103 San Jose, CA 95103-0103 Service Area: Santa Clara County

Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County W. Robert Morgan Legal Services Center 480 North First Street (at Empire Street) San Jose, California 95112 Office: (408) 9985200 Voice Mail: (408) 283'1535

San Mateo
San Mateo County 2287 El Camino Real San Mateo, CA 94403 Office: (650) 358'0745 or Toll Free (800) 551'5554

San Rafael
Marin County Office 30 North San Pedro Rd. San Rafael, CA 94903 Office: (415) 479'8224 or Toll Free (800) 551'5554

Santa Ana
Legal Aid Main Office: 902 N. Main Street Santa Ana, CA Office: (714) 571'5200 or Toll Free (800) 834'5001 Serves the residents of Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Midway City, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Sunset Beach, Tustin, Villa Park and Westminster.

Santa Barbara
Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County 301 E. Canon Perdido Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Office: (805) 963'6754

Santa Maria
Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County 301 S. Miller Street, Suite 116 Santa Maria, CA 93454 Office: (805) 922'9909

Legal Services of Northern California Ukiah Office (Redwood Region): 421 North Oak Street Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 462'1471 (Client line) (877) 529'7700 (Client toll free line) (707) 462'4117 (Attorney line)

Legal Services of Northern California Vallejo Office (Solano County) 1810 Capitol Street Vallejo, CA 94590 Office: (707) 643'0054

Free Legal Aid California - Kings, Tulare Office: 208 W. Main, #U-1 Visalia, CA 93291 IN VISALIA: (559) 733'8770 or Toll Free (800) 350'3654 IN HANFORD: (559) 584'2631 or Toll Free (800) 417'3296 Service Area: Fresno, Kings, Mariposa, Merced, Tulare, and Tuolumne Counties.

Legal Aid of the Central Coast 21 Carr Street Watsonville, CA 95076 Office: (831) 724'2253

Service Area: Monterey (urban and coastal areas south of Castroville) and Santa Cruz

Legal Services of Northern California Woodland Office (Yolo County) 619 North Street Woodland, CA 95695

Case Types: Divorce, Child Custody

Here is some general guidance that might help you in seeking free or low-cost legal services in California for your legali ssues.

Legal Aid Organizations:

  • Contact local legal aid organizations that provide free or low-cost legal assistance to low-income individuals. In California, organizations like Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Bay Area Legal Aid, and California Rural Legal Assistance may be able to help.

Pro Bono Programs:

  • Some law firms and private attorneys offer pro bono services to individuals in need. You can check with local bar associations or legal clinics to see if they can connect you with pro bono assistance.

Self-Help Centers:

  • Many California courthouses have self-help centers where you can access resources, workshops, and sometimes limited legal assistance. They may guide you through the process of filling out legal forms.

Family Law Facilitators:

  • Some counties in California have family law facilitators who can provide information and assistance with family law matters. They may not represent you in court, but they can help you understand the legal process and complete forms.

Law Schools:

  • Law schools often have legal clinics where law students, supervised by professors, provide free legal services. Contact local law schools to inquire if they offer assistance in family law matters.

Online Resources:

  • Explore online resources provided by the California Courts or legal aid websites. They may offer information, forms, and guidance for individuals navigating divorce and child custody issues.

Mediation Services:

  • Mediation can be a more affordable alternative to litigation. Look for community mediation services that can help you and your spouse work through issues with the assistance of a neutral third party.

Reach out to these resources directly to inquire about your specific situation and eligibility. Keep in mind that family law cases can be complex, so seeking professional legal advice is important. 

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to legal aid agencies in California along with their answers:

  • How do I qualify for legal aid services in California?
  • Legal aid services in California typically prioritize assistance to low-income individuals. Eligibility criteria may vary, but income, family size, and the nature of the legal issue are common factors. Contact your local legal aid organization to inquire about specific eligibility requirements.
  • What types of legal issues do legal aid agencies in California handle?
  • Legal aid agencies in California often assist with a range of civil legal issues, including family law, housing, employment, and immigration. The specific services offered may vary by organization. Check with the legal aid agency to determine if they can provide assistance for your particular legal matter.
  • Are legal aid services provided for free in California?
  • While legal aid services are designed to be affordable for low-income individuals, they may not always be entirely free. Some services may have nominal fees or sliding-scale fees based on income. However, legal aid agencies are committed to providing assistance to those who cannot afford private legal representation.
  • How can I find a legal aid organization in my local area?
  • Answer: To find a legal aid organization in your local area, you can start by searching online or contacting the State Bar of California for referrals. Additionally, many county courthouses have information on legal aid services, and community organizations may be able to provide recommendations.
  • Can legal aid agencies in California help with my immigration case?
  • Yes, some legal aid agencies in California offer assistance with immigration issues, particularly for low-income individuals. They may provide help with matters such as family-based immigration, DACA applications, or deportation defense. Contact the legal aid organization directly to inquire about their immigration services.

The answers provided here are general in nature, and it's crucial to contact the specific legal aid organization you are interested in for the most accurate and up-to-date information tailored to your situation.

Legal aid agencies are there to help guide you through the legal process, so don't hesitate to reach out for assistance.

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DISCLAIMER: The law will vary depending on your state, jurisdiction and the specifics of your case. The information provided by is intended for educational purposes only. The content on this site should NOT be considered professional legal advice or a substitute for professional legal advice. For such services, we recommend getting a free initial consultation by a licensed Attorney in your state.

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