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Lawyers serving the public good.

Central California Legal Services *

Central California Legal Services

Organization Description

Central California Legal Services is a non-profit law firm. We provide free legal assistance to low income familes and individuals in the following counties: Fresno, Kings, Mariposa, Merced, Tulare, and Tuolumne. Our mission: to advance justice and empower people through education, outreach and zealous representation in civil legal matters.

Attorneys & Law Firms

The Voluntary Legal Services Program (VLSP) is the primary vehicle for pro bono legal assistance delivered to low-income individuals and families in Central California. Our clients are the working poor, immigrants, families with young children, the disabled, veterans, victims of domestic violence and elder abuse, seniors and other low-income individuals. VLSP, a project of Central California Legal Services, Inc. (CCLS), supports attorneys and law firms who donate their time and/or resources in providing legal assistance to low-income seniors, individuals and families. Individual attorneys and law firms provide invaluable pro bono assistance to our clients every day through legal clinics and limited scope and direct representation on individual cases and actions involving major litigation.

CCLS provides legal advice and representation to eligible individuals in the following areas:

• Family Law/Education/Immigration Team
• Consumer/Tax/Labor Law Team
• Housing/Community Economic Development Team
• Public Benefits
• Fresno Health Consumer Center (FHCC) Team

There are many advantages for attorneys seeking to engage in Pro Bono Legal work:

Qualified Pro Bono
To receive free legal services from CCLS, all clients must meet the income and eligibility guidelines as set forth in the regulations of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) or U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Clients must also meet citizenship or alien guidelines as outlined in LSC regulations (see 45 C.F.R. § § 1626.5 et seq.).

Screening
CCLS attorneys carefully screen potential pro bono cases for viable causes of action or defenses to ensure that your clients will be able to actively participate in their cases.

Malpractice Insurance
CCLS provides you with primary malpractice insurance coverage for all work conducted on behalf of CCLS clients, so that CCLS'S coverage takes effect before your coverage and deductible.

Transcript Reimbursement
Clients placed by VLSP with pro bono attorneys may qualify for reimbursement of deposition and trial transcript costs through the Transcript Reimbursement Fund (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code sections 8030.2-8030.8).

Fee Waiver
A majority of our pro bono clients qualify for a waiver of court costs and fees under California Rules of Court, Rule 985 and Cal. Gov. Code section 68511.3. If a clerk or bench officer denies a fee-waiver application, please contact us for assistance.

Discounts/Free Access to MCLE Seminars
Pro bono attorneys who have represent CCLS clients on a pro bono basis are eligible to receive discounts or free access to MCLE seminars. Please contact the VLSP Supervising Attorney for further information on how to take part in these MCLE seminars.

Technical Assistance
For the majority of cases handled by our pro bono volunteers, VLSP also provides access to mentor attorneys, poverty law experts, and other professional volunteers to support you throughout your representation.

For more information about the VLSP and pro bono cases that are available with CCLS, please contact VLSP Supervising Attorney, Ugochi Anaebere, at ugochi@centralcallegal.org or call 559-570-1238.

Please also visit CentralValleyProBono.org for more information

  • Counties of Volunteer Opportunity: Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Tuolumne
  • Area of law: Civil Rights, Community Development, Consumer, Disability, Education, Employment, Family & Juvenile, Health, Immigration & Naturalization, Public Benefits
  • Does the organization provide malpractice insurance for volunteers? No
  • Training Provided: No
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: No
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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Volunteer Profile

Neil Steinkamp

Rebecca Berlow, a corporate attorney, has worked as a volunteer with The Legal Aid Society's Immigration Unit Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") clinics and has assisted the Society with disaster relief efforts, greatly improving their Access to Benefits hotline by developing a new intake system. Learn more

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