Legal Advice and Assistance
Private legal services are expensive. However, there are places to obtain free or less expensive legal services. Each of the agencies listed below deals with specific legal matters; there are certain cases that they do not handle, so read each listing carefully before calling.
Alternative Legal Aid
Helps people trying to handle their own legal problems
(i.e. divorce, bankruptcy, custody). Paralegal advice.
Bay Area Legal Aid
Alameda County: (510) 663-4744
East and Central County: (510) 233-9954
San Francisco: (415) 345-6360
West County: (510) 250-5270
Provides free legal services to low-income residents for
cases involving housing, government benefits (Cal
Works, food stamps, General Assistance, SSI) and
health care (Medi-Cal, Medicare, County health care).
Domestic violence restraining orders, divorce custody
Spanish services available.
Child Abuse Forensic Institute
Napa (707) 226-6675
Pacific Grove (931) 655-6331
Resource and referral for: legal representation, system
advocacy, evaluation and therapy, medical examination,
testimony, and investigation for child abuse cases going
to court or in court.
Child Care Law Center
Legal support fostering the development of high quality,
affordable childcare through legal services,
policy development, advocacy, training, technical
assistance and education.
Services are free. Services available in Spanish.
Children's Interview Center of Contra Costa County
The Children's Interview Center is a child-friendly
center where children who allege sexual abuse can
safely tell their story in a comfortable, compassionate
setting. The goal is to reduce the number of interviews
as well as interactions with different adults to reduce
trauma. Clients must be referred by local police or
Children and Family Services. Services are free.
Spanish services available.
Contra Costa County Department of Child Support Services
Establishment of paternity, child support and medical
support orders. Enforcement of child support and
medical support orders. Services are free
Community Violence Solutions
(Formerly Rape Crisis)
Crisis Line 24 Hour: (800) 670-7273
Antioch: (925) 706-4290
Marin: (415) 259-2850
San Pablo: (510) 237-0113
Court Advocacy and Support and Rape Crisis Center
Court advocacy and support for sexual assault victims,
self-defense and assertiveness training, intervention,
group and individual therapy, presentations for outside
groups. Parenting classes and support groups through
Stepping Stones Counseling Center (800) 403-6111.
Sliding scale fees and free services available. Spanish
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
program was established to advocate for abused and
neglected children currently involved with the Juvenile
Court system. Through the use of highly trained
volunteers, CASA provides these children with
advocacy and mentoring services.
Divorce Center of California
Non-attorney legal service offering help with document
preparation and filing with the court. Specialize in
divorce and family law. Also stepparent adoption,
name changes, and simple wills. Court fee waivers
possible. Free consultation.
Family Law Alternative Resolution Program (FLARe)
Voluntary mediation services to assist parties in settling
family law cases, including separation and divorce, post
divorce, paternity, child custody and support, and other
family law matters. Trained neutral family law
attorneys to assist in mutually accepted agreements.
Varied costs, depending on type of mediation service
The Hawkins Center
Provides legal representation to individuals with
disabilities who are applying for Social Security and/or
SSI disability benefits. Limited representation available
for Contra Costa residents facing cut-off of benefits.
Advocate of the Day provides answers to disability
related questions. Advice and counseling regarding
Social Security beneficiaries who are working or
interested in returning to work. Variety of legal
services (housing, family, debt, etc.) for people living
with HIV/AIDS in Contra Costa County. Fees charged
for successful disability cases. Other services are free
of charge, including Advocate of the Day and
HIV/AIDS services. English, Spanish, Mien and
French services available.
Lawyer Referral Service - Contra Costa Bar Association
Non-profit lawyer referral service. Will schedule
30-minute consultation with an appropriate attorney in
the Contra Costa County area. Attorneys practice in
most areas of the law.
Legal Services For Children
Serves San Francisco and Bay Area Counties. Free
comprehensive law firm for young people who are
alone, abandoned, physically molested, sexually
assaulted, accused of or victims of crime. Assists with
juvenile court, disability, mental health, education
rights, institutional abuse, plus resources such as
housing, guardians, school placement and job training.
Serves HIV-affected families with children. Services
are free. Services available in Spanish, Mandarin,
National Center For Youth Law
Uses law to protect abused and neglected children in
Northern California. Expands access to health care for
children and adolescents. Secures public benefits to
meet children's special needs and increase access to
housing for families with children. Program to combat
criminalization of youth.
Public Defender of Contra Costa County
Concord: (925) 335-8000
Richmond: (510) 374-3233
Free or low-cost attorneys for those unable to pay who
are charged with a crime and, in cases of child
reclamation, when the State tries to remove a child.
Sliding scale and free services available.
STAND! Against Domestic Violence
Crisis Hotline: (888) 215-5555
(925) 676-2845 (business line)
Crisis line offers support, information and referrals
about support groups, individual counseling, shelter,
(up to 6 weeks) and transitional housing, (up to 2
years). STAND! also provides anger management,
batterer's treatment program, legal assistance referral,
(Bay Area Legal for restraining order help) and court
accompaniment for victims of domestic violence.
Surviving Parenthood Links
Central County Faith Based Organizations
Child Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment Services
Choosing Child Care
East County Faith Based Organizations
Gay and Lesbian Services
Legal Assistance and Advice
Mental Health Services
Miscellaneous New Additions
Parent Support Services
Services for Multi-Ethnic Groups
Services for Seniors
Services for Youth
Substance Abuse and Treatment Services
West County Faith Based Organizations