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# 105 Legal Services: Low income

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This message describes Legal Services for Low-Income and Indigent Persons. This message lists several legal services agencies that help people who have very low income or virtually no income. The agencies are listed in alphabetical order. 

To qualify for most of these services, clients must meet low-income guidelines and reside in Los Angeles County. Generally, services are at a reduced rate or free. It is important to call these legal service agencies first; many of them do not accept walk-in clients.

For additional listings of legal services agencies based on the subject-matter areas in which they provide help, listen to messages 106 through 112. For a list of legal clinics currently available in L.A. County, listen to message 119.

Agency #1. ACLU FOUNDATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA provides legal representation for high-impact constitutional or civil rights cases, but mainly refers people to other agencies. Their telephone number is (213) 977-9500, Ext. 218. If you cannot reach them by phone, write to the ACLU Legal Intake at: 1616 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Online at

Agency #2. ASSISTANCE AND GUIDANCE INTERNATIONAL SERVICE provides free and reduced-rate legal services primarily to Spanish speakers in the areas of civil litigation, income tax, and unemployment benefits matters. Service is limited to the following geographic areas:

Alhambra, Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Cudahy, East LA, El Monte, Huntington Park, Montebello, and Monterey Park. Call (323) 264-2753.

Agency #3. BET TZEDEK LEGAL SERVICES provides legal assistance in the following areas: bankruptcy, conservatorships, consumer protection, housing, Medi-Cal rights, Social Security, unemployment insurance appeals, and wills. They also have a special project to assist senior citizens and residents of nursing homes. Their phone number is (323) 939-0506. Their San Fernando Valley office is at (818) 769-0136. They can also be found online at

Agency #4. CALIFORNIA LAWYER FOR THE ARTS provides legal assistance for art and entertainment law, general business litigation, and copyright and intellectual property rights issues. Their phone number is (310) 998-5590.

Agency #5. CLINICA LEGAL provides legal assistance in Spanish for criminal law, domestic violence, family law, juvenile law, immigration, and landlord/tenant matters. Initial consultation is free-of-charge but there is a sliding scale for all services. Their telephone number is (323) 727-2828.

Agency #6. COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES provides legal services for government benefits, housing, and other general civil law problems. Free services are provided to residents of the Southeast area of Los Angeles County who qualify under low-income guidelines. For their Norwalk office, call (562) 864-9935. For their Compton office, call (310) 638-6194.

Agency #7. The DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS investigates and mediates consumer complaints resulting from marketplace transactions. Their phone number for consumer issues is (213) 974-1452. Their phone number for small claims matters is (213) 974-1452.

Agency #8. GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY SERVICES CENTER provides legal services in bankruptcy, discrimination, government benefits, housing, insurance, and small claims. They have an Anti-Violence Project that assists victims of hate crimes and a Youth Law Project. Their telephone number is (323) 993-7670.

Agency #9. The INNER CITY LAW CENTER provides legal services for slum housing litigation, government benefits advocacy focusing on General Assistance, food stamps, and social service case managements. Free services are provided to the homeless and the low-income residents of substandard housing in Los Angeles County. Their telephone number is (213) 891-2880. Or visit them online at

Agency #10. LAMBDA LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND pursues test-case litigation around the country in all areas of lesbian/gay rights and people with HIV in the areas of employment discrimination, domestic partner benefits, hate crimes, housing discrimination, and military status. Their telephone number is (213) 382-7600.

Agency #11. LEGAL AID FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES offers an eviction clinic in its Long Beach office on Thursdays from 9 to 11:30. The office is located at 110 Pine Avenue, Suite 420. Call (562) 435-3501 for more information.

Agency #12. LEGAL AID FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES provides legal assistance in a number of areas. For client eligibility information or appointments, call their toll-free number at 1-800-399-4529 or call the local number (323) 801-7991. You can also review SmartLaw message number 104 for a detailed description of this agency.

Agency #13. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY NEIGHBORHOOD LEGAL SERVICES provides legal services for administrative, consumer, education, employment, government benefits, health, housing and immigration. Services are free to residents of the northern portion of Los Angeles County who qualify under low-income guidelines. Their telephone number is (818) 896-5211.

Agency #14. USC LAW CENTER'S POST-CONVICTION JUSTICE PROJECT provides legal assistance to indigent inmates in civil matters related to parole and prisoner's rights, and in criminal post-conviction proceedings. This program does not generally represent defendants in criminal trials or appeals. Services are free to indigent inmates incarcerated at Terminal Island, the U.S. Penitentiary at Lompoc and the California Institute for Women. Call (213) 740-2586.


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