In addition to community-based legal help from legal aid and pro bono programs, there are other programs, local, Statewide, and Nationwide that give free legal help to clients who are in special circumstances. If you need legal assistance, please visit www.LawHelpCalifornia.org for legal aid referrals by location and legal issue.
People over 60 who live in some states have access to a free legal hotline -- a telephone service where you can speak with an attorney about legal questions or problems. Hotlines do not offer actual representation in court, but they often can refer you to a legal services program or a low-cost lawyer.
If you are in immediate danger of domestic violence, call 911. If you want to talk to someone about an abusive relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY), or visit it online. Visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for a directory of organizations that provide help and support in your state.
Persons with Disabilities
Each state has one or more congressionally mandated legal advocacy organization for persons with disabilities. Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agencies provide legal representation and other advocacy services, under all federal and state laws, to all people with disabilities, based on a system of priorities. Client Assistance Program (CAP) agencies provide information and assistance to individuals seeking or receiving vocational rehabilitation services under the Rehabilitation Act, including assistance in pursuing administrative, legal and other appropriate remedies. For more information and a directory of these programs by state, visit the National Disability Rights Network.
Some cities offer special free or low-fee pro bono legal services programs for victims of cancer. View the Cancer Advicacy Pro Bono Legal Referral Services.
Each military service offers legal assistance to enlisted personnel and their families, but only if sufficient resources are available. Visit the Armed Forces Legal Assistance Web site for more information.
If you believe a child's safety is threatened or suspect child abuse, you can obtain information on reporting such abuse at Child Abuse Prevention Services. Many communities also have special programs to assist children. View the Directory of Pro Bono Children's Law Programs.
A legal aid 501(c)(3) organization founded at Harvard, ImmigrationHelp, provides free legal help for work permits, DACA, and citizenship. They also have a comprehensive database of educational guides that explain the immigration process.
Indian Child Welfare Act
The website of the California Tribal Families Coalition (CTFC) offers some resources regarding the ICWA.
Many non-profit organizations provide legal information, advice and/or representation to individuals based on their legal status or issues of concern. The following list provides links to a selection of local and state-wide organizations.
The ASUC Student Legal Clinic provides free legal research assistance in their office on the UC Berkeley campus at 312F Eshleman Hall throughout the academic year (i.e., not over summer) and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) in the spring.