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Free or Low-Cost Legal Services

Do you have a legal issue, but cannot afford to hire an attorney? There are many ways to obtain free or low cost legal help. Some, but not all, of the services listed below are reserved for people of low-income.

The resources on this page are organized in two ways: by topic and by organizations that assist specific populations. Begin by clicking on either the link to browse topics or the link to browse specialized populations (e.g. Hispanic, disabled, elderly). Click on a topic or population to view a list of organizations that provide services for that topic or population. Then, click on the link to the organization to read a description and determine if it is appropriate for you. You can then navigate back to the list of resources for each topic or population by clicking on the link to return to either the list of topics or populations.

 

Help from a California county law librarian is available via live chat at the ASK NOW website.

 

You can also find answers to your legal questions by using the Law Library's Nolo Legal Information Reference Center. This database includes the full text of hundreds of legal books written for non-attorneys, and remote access is available.

 

Free and Low-Cost Legal Services by Topic

 

Free and Low-Cost Legal Services for Specialized Populations

 

Free and Low-Cost Legal Services by Topic

 

 Bankruptcy   Environmental Justice  Mortgage and Foreclosure
 Business  Family Law  Native American Law
 Civil Rights  Federal Courts  Name Changes
 Conservatorships  Foster Care  Pensions
 Consumer Protection   Guardianship  Personal Injury
 Contracts   Gender Changes  Public Benefits
 Criminal Law   Health Care  Restraining Orders (see also: Domestic Violence)
 Domestic Violence   Human Trafficking  Sexual Harassment
 Education   Immigration and Asylum  Small Claims
 Elder Law   Insurance  Tax
 Emancipation   Landlord/Tenant and Eviction  Traffic Violations
 Employment   Military and Veterans  Wills, Trusts, and Estates

 

Bankruptcy

    ABA Military Pro Bono Project

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel

    LawHelpCalifornia

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco

    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

    Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
 

Business 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco
 

Civil Rights

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel

    American Civil Liberties Union

    Asian Law Caucus

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    La Raza Centro Legal

    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area

    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco
 

Conservatorships

    ACCESS Center of the San Francisco Superior Court

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    San Francisco Superior Court Website 
 

Consumer Protection

    ABA Military Pro Bono Project

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    La Raza Centro Legal 
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Assistance to the Elderly

    Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco
 

Contracts 
    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

Criminal Law

    California Habeas Project

    LawHelpCalifornia

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

Domestic Violence

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 
    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 

    Bay Area Legal Aid 

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    California Habeas Project 

    Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic
    LawHelpCalifornia

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Services for Children

Education

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation 

    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Services for Children

Elder Law

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    La Raza Centro Legal 
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Assistance to the Elderly

    San Francisco Superior Court Website 
 

Emancipation

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Services for Children

Employment

    ABA Military Pro Bono Project

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Asian Law Caucus 

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation 
    La Raza Centro Legal 
    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center

 

Environmental Justice

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Family Law

    ABA Military Pro Bono Project

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    San Francisco Family Law Self-Help Center and Office of the Family Law Facilitator 
    Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco

Federal Courts

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Volunteer Legal Services Program Legal Help Center: Federal Pro Bono Project

 

Foster Care

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

    Legal Services for Children

Guardianship

    ABA Military Pro Bono Project

    ACCESS Center of the San Francisco Superior Court

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    San Francisco Superior Court Website

 

Gender Changes

    ACCESS Center of the San Francisco Superior Court

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Health Care

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel     

    Bay Area Legal Aid
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Human Trafficking

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Immigration and Asylum

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Asian Law Caucus 

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

    Central American Resource Center 

    Homeless Advocacy Project of the Bar Association of San Francisco
    ImmigrationLawHelp.org
    La Raza Centro Legal 
    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Services for Children 

    San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network

Insurance

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    AMVETS Legal Clinic: Chapman/Berkeley Soldier’s Project 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Landlord/Tenant and Eviction

    ABA Military Pro Bono Project 

    ACCESS Center of the San Francisco Superior Court

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    AMVETS Legal Clinic: Chapman/Berkeley Soldier’s Project 

    Asian Law Caucus 

    Bay Area Legal Aid
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal (no emergency eviction services)

    California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

    Eviction Defense Collaborative 

    Homeless Advocacy Project of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco 
    La Raza Centro Legal 
    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Assistance to the Elderly

    San Francisco Rent Board 

    San Francisco Tenants Union 
    Tenants Together

    Tenderloin Housing Clinic 
    Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco

Military and Veterans

    ABA Military Pro Bono Project 

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    AMVETS Legal Clinic: Chapman/Berkeley Soldier’s Project 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

 

Mortgage and Foreclosure

    ABA Military Pro Bono Project  

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Tenants Together (for tenants whose buildings are in foreclosure)

 

Native American Law
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    California Indian Legal Services 
    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Name Changes

    ACCESS Center of the San Francisco Superior Court

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Pensions

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Personal Injury

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco (Defense only)

 

Public Benefits

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 

    Bay Area Legal Aid

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

    Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations, Inc

    Homeless Advocacy Project of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    LawHelpCalifornia

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Assistance to the Elderly

 

Restraining Orders (see also: Domestic Violence)

    ACCESS Center of the San Francisco Superior Court

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Sexual Harassment

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Services for Children

 

Small Claims
    ACCESS Center of the San Francisco Superior Court

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    San Francisco Superior Court Website

 

Tax

    Earn It! Keep It! Save It!

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco

 

Traffic Violations
    
Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    LawHelpCalifornia     

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    San Francisco Superior Court Website

Wills, Trusts, and Estates 

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel     

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach 
    Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
    La Raza Centro Legal 
    LawHelpCalifornia 

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco 
    Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco 

    Legal Assistance to the Elderly

 

Free and Low-Cost Legal Services for Specialized Populations

 

 AIDS/HIV Positive  Disabled   Military and Veteran
 African-American  Elders  Minors
 Asian  Hispanic or Latino    Native Americans
 Bayview/Hunters Point    Homeless  

 

  

AIDS/HIV Postive 

    AIDS Legal Referral Panel

 

African-American

    Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area 

 

Asian 

    Asian Law Caucus

    Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach

  

Bayview/Hunters Point
    
Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal

 

Disabled

    Legal Assistance to the Elderly (assists disabled adults of any age)
    Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center 

 

Elders

    Legal Assistance to the Elderly

 

Hispanic or Latino

    Central American Resource Center

    La Raza Cento Legal

 

Homeless

    Homeless Advocacy Project

    Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area 
 

Military and Veterans

    ABA Military Pro Bono Project

    AMVETS Legal Clinic: Chapman/Berkeley Sodier's Project

  

Minors

    Legal Services for Children 

Native Americans

    California Indian Legal Services

 

Alphabetical List of Free or Low Cost Legal Resources

 

ABA Military Pro Bono Project
This project accepts referrals from military attorneys on behalf of active-duty military personnel and their families. The project accepts service members at a paygrade of E6 and below, and typically only handles cases involving landlord/tenant, consumer law and bankruptcy, family law, trusts and estates, guardianship, and employment, but may take on other types of cases. If you are a service member interested in this program, contact your JAG legal assistance attorney, who will determine whether you should be referred to the project. 

 

Return to List of Topics        Return to List of Populations

 

ACCESS Center of the San Francisco Superior Court

The ACCESS Center is a multilingual court program for people without a lawyer. Although the ACCESS Center does not provide legal representation, they offer legal advice regarding civil harassment restraining orders, guardianships, conservatorships, name and gender changes, small claims, and eviction. Some questions may be answered by visiting the ACCESS Center’s website, as it includes links to necessary forms, as well as informational pamphlets and a brief outline of procedure. The ACCESS Center also facilitates the Self-Represented Litigant (SRL) Mediation Program, which provides free mediation for most small claims and limited civil cases.

 

Return to List of Topics        Return to List of Populations

 

AIDS Legal Referral Panel 

The AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) provides free and low-cost legal services to people with HIV or AIDS in the Bay Area. ALRP will take on virtually any civil matter, including housing, employment, family law, insurance, and many others. The ALRP Immigrant HIV Assistance Project provides free immigration legal services to HIV positive immigrants living in San Francisco. Visit About ALRP for a complete list of their programs and services, call (415) 701-1100, or email info@alrp.org.

 

Return to List of Topics        Return to List of Populations 

 

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

The ACLU litigates cases that involve civil liberties or civil rights and the outcome of which would affect people other than the complainant. If the ACLU elects to litigate your case, it does so free of charge. Contact the ACLU intake hotline at 415-621-2488 (Spanish: 415-293-6356). 

 

Return to List of Topics         Return to List of Populations 

 

AMVETS Legal Clinic: Chapman/Berkeley Soldier’s Project  

AMVETS Legal Clinic was founded by Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California, which forged a partnership with the University of California’s Boalt Hall School of Law to extend the clinic’s services to the Bay Area. The clinic handles basic civil legal matters, Traumatic Service Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) appeals, discharge upgrade applications, and veteran’s benefits appeals. Services are free of charge and extended to veterans, active service members, and their families. To apply to the AMVETS clinic, complete the application form and submit it by email, fax, or mail. Contact Kiana Boyce, office coordinator, at 714-628-2692 or kboyce@chapman.edu.

 

Return to List of Topics         Return to List of Populations

 

Asian Law Caucus 

This legal and civil rights organization serves low-income Asian and Pacific Islanders with issues in immigration, housing, workers’ rights, and civil rights. Call 415-896-1701.

 

Return to List of Topics         Return to List of Populations 

 

Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach

This social justice organization provides legal, social, and educational services in more than a dozen languages and dialects for members of the Asian Pacific Islander community in the Bay Area. Legal services include domestic violence, family law, immigration, sexual harassment, human trafficking, and senior law, which covers elder abuse, long-term care, estate planning and powers of attorney, public benefits, tax, conservatorships, and consumer fraud. Contact the San Francisco office at 415-567-6255, or email info@apilegaloutreach.org

 

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Bay Area Legal Aid

Bay Area Legal Aid is the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Bay Area. Their seven regional offices work together to provide legal assistance to low-income people regardless of their location, language, or disability. They assist people in the areas of housing, public benefits, health care access, and domestic violence.

 

Return to List of Topics         Return to List of Populations

 

Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal  
This organization exclusively serves the Bayview/Hunters Point community, so you must live or work in the 94124 zip code to qualify for their services. No one is turned away for lack of ability to pay, and a contribution from the client is requested based on a sliding scale. They assist with every type of case except for bankruptcy and emergency eviction defense. Representation generally does not include courtroom appearances, but if the case requires such appearances, they work with an extensive network of partners to represent clients in court.

Return to List of Topics          Return to List of Populations

California Habeas Project 

The California Habeas Project seeks to free women who are incarcerated for crimes related to their experiences of being abused. Visit their website for additional information.

 

Return to List of Topics         Return to List of Populations  

  

California Indian Legal Services (CILS)

CILS is an Indian-controlled law firm that provides free or low-cost legal representation to Indians and Indian tribes. The four offices of CILS serve the entire state of California, with the Sacramento office serving San Francisco. Visit CILS’ website for information on types of cases handled and financial eligibility for free or low-cost services. Self-help resources specific to Native Americans and the California Judges Benchbook on The Indian Child Welfare Act are also available on CILS’ website.

  

Return to List of Topics         Return to List of Populations 

 

California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF)

CRLAF is a statewide legal and policy organization that advocates for California’s farm workers, migrant workers, and rural poor. It provides free legal assistance to individuals at 125% of the federal poverty guidelines in the areas of immigration, education, environmental justice, employment, health, housing, and pesticides and worker safety. Call 916-446-7904.

 

Return to List of Topics        Return to List of Populations 
 

Central American Resource Center

The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) provides low-cost immigration legal services to low-income Latino immigrants. Both in-person and telephone counseling are available, and CARECEN can provide legal representation in immigration court. Call 415-642-4400 or email info@carecensf.org.

 

Return to List of Topics         Return to List of Populations  

 

Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations, Inc. (CCWRO)

CCWRO is a statewide organization located in Sacramento that provides consultation, information, and representation to California residents on issues relating to public benefit programs. Questions can be submitted online, by mail, in person, or by telephone at 916-736-0616. CCWRO’s website contains information on types of welfare benefits and links to the online welfare application.

 

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Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic 
The Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic (CROC) provides free and confidential services to help San Francisco survivors of domestic violence obtain a restraining order. CROC will complete the forms for the restraining order and file them with the Family Court. CROC attorneys will also accompany you to the restraining order hearing. Interpreters, child care, and evening hours are available at the clinic. Call 415-252-2844 to schedule an appointment.

 

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Eviction Defense Collaborative

The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) provides legal assistance for low-income San Francisco tenants facing eviction on a sliding scale, and no one is turned away for lack of funds. Services are offered via EDC’s drop-in clinic. EDC also runs the Rental Assistance Disbursement Component, RADCo, which provides interest-free loans and grants to San Francisco tenants who have fallen behind on their rent because of a temporary financial setback.

 

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Homeless Advocacy Project
The Bar Association of San Francisco’s (BASF) Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP) provides the Homeless Advocacy Clinic (HAP), a free legal clinic for homeless people and those in immediate danger of becoming homeless. HAP can assist with landlord/tenant, immigration, SSI, public benefits, and other types of legal issues. Priority is given to those with mental health disabilities. Spanish and Vietnamese speakers are available at the clinic. The HAP Resource Manual is available at the Reference Desk of all locations of the San Francisco Law Library. HAP also collaborates with San Francisco County’s Local Homeless Coordinating Board to provide the San Francisco Homeless Resource, an online WIKI listing of a wide range of agencies that provide services to the homeless, including legal service providers in the Bay Area. Contact HAP at (415) 575-3130 or 1-800-405-4HAP. 

 

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Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
This tenants’ rights organization offers free counseling for San Francisco renters. Call-in, drop-in, and email counseling is available. Call 415-703-8644, visit 417 South Van Ness Avenue Monday through Thursday between 1 and 5 pm, or email info@hrcsf.org. Renters’ rights information is available online in Spanish.


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ImmigrationLawHelp.org
ImmigrationLawHelp.org is a project of Immigration Advocates, and the result is a searchable directory of hundreds of free or low-cost immigration legal services providers across the country for people of low to moderate income. Use the website to browse by state, county, or detention facility, then narrow your results to types of assistance available or languages spoken.

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La Raza Centro Legal
La Raza provides free or low-cost legal services to low-income Bay Area residents for issues of immigration, workers’ rights, fair housing, and senior law, which includes consumer fraud, housing, public benefits, pensions, estate planning, and abuse. Call 415-575-3500 to schedule an appointment. 

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LawHelpCalifornia
This online service helps Californians find legal aid referrals and self-help resources. It provides basic legal information on a variety of topics in an easy to use format, including listings and links to free or low-cost service programs and state agencies. Choose your legal issue and enter your location, and LegalHelpCalifornia will provide you with a list of legal aid resources, how to qualify for their services, and state whether they provide representation in court. 

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Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco

The Bar Association of San Francisco’s (BASF), Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) provides a way to meet and evaluate an attorney specializing in your legal issues. A one-half hour consultation costs $35, but there is no fee for personal injury or workers’ compensation cases. Before assessing a cost, LRIS will determine whether you qualify for free representation through their clinics and projects for low-income San Franciscans. Spanish and Chinese language interviewers are available. The Law Library has brochures about this program, or contact BASF by calling (415) 989-1616 or completing the confidential online request form. 

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Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights offers legal assistance and representation in civil matters to people of color, people of low-income, immigrants, and refugees. LCCR’s services include immigration and asylum, homeless rights, legal services for entrepreneurs, and other matters of social justice and equality. Call 415-543-9444 or email info@lccr.com. LCCR also offers The Second Chance Legal Services Clinic, which assists clients who are overcoming barriers to employment and housing because of a criminal record. Call 415-814-7610 for the clinic.

  

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Legal Advice and Referral Clinic of the Bar Association of San Francisco

On two Saturdays each month, the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) offers a free, walk-in Legal Advice and Referral Clinic (LARC). LARC alternates between the Civic Center and Hunter’s Point/Bayview areas of San Francisco. You may meet with a volunteer attorney for legal issues including landlord/tenant, family law, criminal, domestic violence, employment, personal injury, estate planning, consumer, contracts, business issues, and other areas of the law. Contact BASF for more information at (415) 989-1616.

 

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Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center    
The Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center offers fact sheets and Workers' Rights Clinics for low-income workers at three locations in the Bay Area (San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley), among other California locations, as well as a phone-in clinic. For disabled workers, there is a Workers' Rights Disability Law Clinic in Berkeley, and informational videos in American Sign Language are available online. Coverage includes hiring and termination, wage and hours, benefits, leaves-of-absence, unemployment insurance, safety and on-the-job injury, discrimination and harassment, disability rights, privacy rights, language rights, sexual assault, labor unions, and more. Call the phone-in clinic at 866-864-8208 for English or Spanish, or (415) 593-0066 for Cantonese or Mandarin.

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Legal Assistance to the Elderly

This organization provides free advice and, in some cases, representation, for San Francisco residents over 60 or San Francisco adults with a disability, regardless of income. LAE’s services include eviction, illegal rent increases, repairs to residential rented property, public benefits, elder abuse, consumer debt collection, and simple wills. Call 415-538-3333 or email info@laesf.org.

 

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Legal Services for Children

Legal Services for Children offers free legal and social services to people under the age of 18. Most of their services go to San Franciscans, but they can sometimes take cases from other Bay Area counties. Any youth in California can call LSC’s Warm Line for advice at 415-863-3762. LSC’s services include legal guardianship, education (including students facing expulsion), foster care, emancipation, immigration, and domestic violence and other issues affecting women. Click here for a complete list of LSC’s projects. Visit LSC’s website for valuable information about what to do if you need help and what your legal rights are. You can also visit their drop-in clinic on Wednesdays from 4 to 6, or call 415-863-3762. LSC’s services are free and confidential, and available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. 

 

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San Francisco Family Law Self-Help Center and Office of the Family Law Facilitator
The Family Law Self-Help Center provides free assistance regarding many family law issues to people without an attorney. The facilitators do not provide legal advice or representation, but they help self-represented parties handle their own family matter. Their services are neutral and offered to the parties on both sides of a case. 

  

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San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network (SFILEN)

SFILEN provides free immigration legal services and operates a legal advice telephone line. Call 415-282-6209 (ext. 15) to make an appointment with the legal department. Reach the advice line in Spanish at 415-504-4987, or in Chinese at 415-504-4698.

 

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San Francisco Rent Board

Created by the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board protects tenants from excessive rent increases and assures landlords of fair and adequate rents. The Board conducts hearings and mediations regarding the adjustment of rents under San Francisco’s rent control laws, investigates wrongful eviction complaints, and provides counseling on subjects covered by the Rent Ordinance. Counseling is available in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and there is a telephonic language interpretation service in 20 languages. Call 415-252-4602.

 

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San Francisco Superior Court Website
The Court’s website provides valuable self-help information, including assistance with family law; probate court, which includes conservatorship of adults, guardianship of children, and elder abuse; traffic citations, including how to read a citation and how to contest a citation, and information on red light cameras and traffic school; small claims; and ACCESS Center information. 

 

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San Francisco Tenants Union

This tenant’s rights organization provides a drop-in Counseling Clinic with daytime, evening, and weekend hours. Their services are available on a donation basis, and no one is turned away for lack of funds. Call (415) 282-6622 for the schedule. The SFTU’s publication, Tenants Rights Handbook, is available at the Law Library. Visit the SFTU’s website for extensive information about San Francisco tenant’s rights.

 

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Tenants Together

This California organization provides links and information about renters' rights in order to advance its mission of securing safe, decent, and affordable housing for California tenants. Tenants Together runs a Tenant Foreclosure Hotline to help renters whose buildings are in foreclosure: call 1-888-495-8020.

 

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Tenderloin Housing Clinic

The Tenderloin Housing Clinic (THC) represents low-income San Francisco tenants in eviction defense, wrongful eviction, and substandard housing conditions. THC also offers housing and support services. Call 415-771-9850 for an intake interview.

 

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Volunteer Legal Services Program Legal Help Center: Federal Pro Bono Project
The VLSP Legal Help Center is a service of the Federal Pro Bono Project, and offers free legal help to litigants representing themselves in a civil lawsuit in either the San Francisco or Oakland divisions of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Please note that the Legal Help Center attorneys will provide assistance and information, but will not appear in court as your lawyer. Appointments are required—please either sign up in the appointment book outside the door at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 15th floor, Room 2796, or call (415) 782-9000 x8657.

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Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco: Low Income Clinics and Projects
The Bar Association of San Francisco’s (BASF) Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP) provides free legal services for individuals and nonprofit corporations via several specialized clinics and projects for low-income San Francisco residents. VLSP offers Bankruptcy, Collections Defense, and Tax clinics, as well as Family Law, Eviction Defense, Tort Defense, Consumer, Tax and Business, Federal Pro Bono, and Homeless Advocacy projects. Clients must be pre-qualified to use these services. Call the BASF Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (415) 989-1616 to determine eligibility. 
  

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Last updated: 9/17/2014 4:41:53 PM