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New web site helps low-income residents find legal help

Monday, December 20, 2004

New web site helps low-income residents find legal help

California court officials have launched a new Web site to help low-income residents find legal aid across the state and in the federal court system.

During a meeting Friday in San Francisco, judicial leaders and representatives from various public interest legal groups announced the unveiling of www.LawHelpCA.org, which will include referrals for legal aid in all 58 California counties. The Internet site is targeted to those who cannot afford to hire their own lawyers in everything from bankruptcy to immigration matters.

Court officials cited studies showing a growing need for legal aid for the poor as growing numbers of people arrive in court, particularly family court, unrepresented. Chief Justice Ronald George said the site will ``offer practical tools for obtaining low-cost or free legal counsel.''

The state courts three years ago set up a self-help Web site to assist everyone in handling basic legal matters on their own, such as providing instructions for small claims cases. That site is www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp.

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