How to get free legal aid is a question I get all the time, and there are actually plenty of ways to get free legal help in Los Angeles, but the best recommendation depends on your particular situation.
For example, if you have general questions about a legal matter you may only need to find and attend a free legal clinic, where you can get a consultation with an attorney or help from law students (I’ve volunteered at many of these). On the other hand, if you are involved in a criminal matter or are in deportation proceedings, you might need to find an attorney to represent you in court “pro bono” (which means providing professional work as a public service without charge).
Here are the top free legal resources in Los Angeles:
1. CARECEN: An immigration clinic held every few months, where attorneys such as myself volunteer to speak about current issues and then help some of the attendees one-on-one afterwards.
2. Harriet Buhai Center: A free family law clinic for low income persons.
3. Domestic Violence Clinics: most Court houses have a free domestic violence clinic to help victims with restraining orders.
4. LACBA Community Services: this is a great resource where you can search within different areas of law to find a lawyer who may be willing to assist you. You’ll need to fall below a certain income level to qualify for Pro Bono, usually.
5. Dept. of Justice List of Free Legal Service Providers in California: If you have a pending immigration case or removal case, you are provided with a list of low-cost or pro bono attorneys that can assist you with your matter.
Also, don’t forget to tune in to the radio show for general questions and answers on immigration topics. And if your situation is urgent, please send me a note by email by clicking here or call to receive a telephone consultation.