Legal Services Directory

We have created this directory as an additional resource to use as you navigate the legal system.

Review these websites listed below. You’d be surprised at the valuable services that are available to help your resolve your legal issues or answer your legal questions.

Always visit the website itself for complete information and details about what each organization can offer you.

211

www.211database.org

CALL 2-1-1 to access thousands of local community services. It’s free. It’s confidential. It’s available 24 hours a day in over 150 languages. Locate child care, find help in times of disaster, find food, shelter, crisis counseling plus much more.

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Civil Rights

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
www.aclunc.org

Civil rights issues such as voting rights, discrimination based on disability, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or national origin, police reform language rights, racial justice, post 9/11 backlash, and worker’s rights.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
www.naacp.org

Civil rights with a focus on class actions and other cases of broad significance in areas including employment, education, housing, environmental justice, criminal law, and voting.

National Center for Lesbian Rights
www.nclrights.org

Offers legal information to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients.

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Consumer

Better Business Bureau
www.oakland.bbb.or

Consumers may make inquiries about or file complaints against businesses.

Bureau of Automotive Repair
www.bar.ca.gov

Offers automotive repair and smog inspection complaints when you believe work has not been done properly, or that you have not been treated fairly by an automotive repair dealer.

California Dept. of Consumer Affairs
www.dca.ca.gov

Inquiries and complaints against over 180 different businesses or professionals licensed by the DCA, including doctors, dentists, contractors and auto-repair technicians.

CA Office of Information Security & Privacy Protection
www.oispp.ca.gov

Explains “Identity Theft Victims’ Rights” and offers other information about how to protect yourself from identity theft and what to do if it happens to you.

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc

Regulates and resolves complaints with privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies.

Cemetery and Funeral Bureau
www.cfb.ca.gov

Look up a license; file a complaint against cemeteries and related businesses.

Community Care Licensing Division
www.ccld.ca.gov

Offers information about and complaints against facilities such as child day care, adult day programs, group homes, foster homes, residential care for the elderly and health care.

Consumer Credit Counseling Services of the East Bay
www.cccsebay.org

Offers a variety of low-cost services, including credit counseling and money management education that enables people to regain and keep control of their finances. In addition to in-person counseling and financial education, CCCS offers 24 hour a day, 7 days a week counseling by telephone and Internet.

Contractor’s State License Board
www.cslb.ca.gov

Look up a license; file a complaint against licensed or unlicensed contractors.

Dental Board of California
www.dbc.ca.gov

Review a dentist’s license; or file a complaint when you believe that a licensee of the Board has engaged in illegal activities which are related to his/her professional responsibilities. This includes substandard dental care.

District Attorney Fraud Units
www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=935

Reviews complaints received directly from consumers. They look for a pattern and practice of unlawful and unfair business activities, and where appropriate, institute informal, civil or criminal enforcement actions.

Federal Communications Commission
www.fcc.gov

File a complaint with them about telecommunications (radio, television, wire, satellite and cable) goods and services.

Medical Board of California
www.medbd.ca.gov

Review a physician’s license; or file a complaint with the Medical Board when you believe what a physician has done, is doing, or not doing has harmed or may cause harm to you or another person.

Veterinary Medical Board
www.medbd.ca.gov

Anyone who witnesses or believes that a licensed veterinarian or unlicensed person’s behavior or activities may cause harm (or the potential for harm) to animal patients or may be illegal—can file a complaint.

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Contra Costa County Agencies

Contra Costa County
www.co.contra-costa.ca.us

Information about and contact information for departments such as the Clerk-Recorder, Child Support Services, District Attorney, Public Defender and the Probation Department.

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Criminal Justice Services

Friends Outside
www.friendsoutside.org

A non-profit organization that provides assistance to inmates and their families through Visitor Centers each state prison, the Family Reunification Project and the Fatherhood Program.

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
www.prisonerswithchildren.org

Their focus is on women prisoners and their families, and emphasize that issues of race are central to any discussion of incarceration. Provide manuals such as “Incarcerated Parents Manual—Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities.”

Prison Law Office
www.prisonlaw.com

Provides free legal services to California state prisoners, and occasionally to California state parolees. Assistance is generally limited to cases regarding conditions of confinement.

Victims of Crime Resource Center
www.1800victims.org

McGeorge School of Law students, under attorney supervision, provide information and referral statewide to victims, their families, victim service providers, and victim advocates.

Victim-Witness Assistance Program
www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=972

Advocates guide victims and witnesses through the legal system and direct them to agencies and organizations that offer assistance and emergency services.

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Disability & Health Care

Adult Protective Services Contra Costa County
www.ehsd.org/adult/adult001.html

Provides assistance 24-hours a day to elderly and dependent individuals who are victims of physical, emotional or financial harm or abuse.

American with Disabilities Act
www.ada.gov/infoline.htm

This service permits businesses, State and local governments, or others to call and ask questions about general or specific ADA requirements including questions about the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

Bay Area Legal Aid
www.baylegal.org

Provides free legal services and advice to low-income individuals in the priority areas of housing, domestic violence, public benefits and health access. They handle complex legal issues involving Unlawful Detainer, Social Security, Medi-Cal, spousal abuse and array of legal issues within their priorities.

California Dept. of Managed Health Care
www.dmhc.ca.gov

The Help Center will explain your health care rights and help you understand how to use your health care benefits. They make sure that health plans follow the law and address member complaints on time.

California Health Advocates
www.cahealthadvocates.org

A non-profit organization provides free individual counseling to Californians about Medicare and other health care issues is available through the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).

Community Alliance for Special Education (CASE)
www.caseadvocacy.org

Technical assistance consultation on special education rights, responsibilities and services; Direct representation at Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings, due process mediations, and hearings if necessary on behalf of students with disabilities and their parents.

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
www.dredf.org

An Education Advocate can talk to you about special education and give you resources so you can make informed decisions about your child’s education and other individual needs; and help obtain appropriate education and services for children with disabilities.

Rubicon Legal Services (formerly known as The Hawkins Center)
www.rubiconprograms.org/legalservices.html

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1986. The Hawkins Center specializes in Social Security Disability Law (SSDI/SSI), HIV Legal Services and Access to Healthcare issues, Mental Health Medical-Legal Partnerships, Legal and Workforce Development Partnerships, and Reentry Legal Services.

In 2003, The Hawkins Center merged with Rubicon Programs. A nationally recognized agency, Rubicon provides affordable housing, employment, job training, mental health, and other supportive services to individuals who have disabilities, are homeless, formerly incarcerated, or are economically disadvantaged.

Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa County
www.ccombudsman.org

A senior citizen’s advocacy group that serves Contra Costa County, they investigate and rectify claims of abuse and neglect in long term care facilities so that seniors can live with dignity and respect.

Social Security / Medicare Eligibility
www.socialsecurity.gov

Official website of the U.S. Social Security Administration provides information and forms to apply for Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

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Family Law & Domestic Violence Services

Bay Area Legal Aid
www.baylegal.org

Provides free legal services and advice to low-income individuals in the priority areas of housing, domestic violence, public benefits and health access. They handle complex legal issues involving Unlawful Detainer, Social Security, Medi-Cal, spousal abuse and array of legal issues within their priorities.

Children & Family
www.ehsd.org/child000.html

Child welfare programs and projects.

Community Violence Solutions and Rape Crisis Center
www.cvsolutions.org

Offers crisis services and treatment to child, adolescent and adult survivors of recent or past rape, incest, molestation or other forms of sexual abuse, as well as to friends or family members of sexual assault survivors. Serves Marin and Contra Costa Counties.

Department of Child Support Services
www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=1374

The Contra Costa County agency is responsible for establishing, collecting and distributing child and medical support for minors.

Employment & Human Services—Contra Costa County
www.ehsd.org

Social services program and contact information.

Family Law Facilitator Program
www.cc-courts.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&PageID=6766

Helps people who do not have attorneys to handle their divorce, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and paternity cases.

STAND! Against Domestic Violence
www.standagainstdv.org

Helps by providing a crisis hotline and emergency services.

West Contra Costa Family Justice Center (click the link for more information)

The West Contra Costa Family Justice Center is a warm and welcoming multi-service center helping survivors of violence to find hope, safety, and healing through a single door. We assist survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, child abuse and trafficking. (510) 965-4949

Workforce Services
www.ehsd.org/work000.html

CalWORKS and general assistance.

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Family Law — Children’s Services

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
www.cccocasa.org

Volunteers watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children to make sure they do not get lost in the over-burdened legal system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home.

Legal Services for Children
www.lsc-sf.org

Provides free legal and social work services to children and youth. They represent children and youth in cases that include legal guardianship, dependency, school discipline, immigration, emancipation, and restraining order proceedings.

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Housing & Property Services

Bay Area Legal Aid
www.baylegal.org

Provides free legal services and advice to low-income individuals in the priority areas of housing, domestic violence, public benefits and health access. They handle complex legal issues involving Unlawful Detainer, Social Security, Medi-Cal, spousal abuse and array of legal issues within their priorities.

Department of Fair Employment & Housing
www.dfeh.ca.gov/DFEH/default/

Maintains the authority to investigate complaints of discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations and hate violence.

Foreclosure
www.foreclosureinfoca.org

Are you looking for a manageable mortgage? Are you facing foreclosure? Are you a renter who may be facing eviction due to a foreclosure? This website can help answer your questions.

Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA)
www.heraca.org

HERA provides legal advice and counseling in-person and over the phone to the public in their core practice areas which are are predatory or unfair mortgage lending, abusive mortgage servicing, foreclosure prevention, wrongful collections and wrongful credit reporting.

La Raza Centro Legal
www.techforpeople.net/~lrcl

Provides direct legal services in the areas of immigration law, workers’ rights and senior law to the low-income, monolingual Spanish-speaking and immigrant communities.

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Immigration/Immigrant Services

La Raza Centro Legal
www.techforpeople.net/~lrcl

Provides direct legal services in the areas of immigration law, workers’ rights and senior law to the low-income, monolingual Spanish-speaking and immigrant communities.

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Labor & Employment Services

Department of Fair Employment & Housing
www.dfeh.ca.gov/DFEH/default/

Maintains the authority to investigate complaints of discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations and hate violence.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
www.eeoc.gov

Any individual who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated may file a charge of discrimination with EEOC.

La Raza Centro Legal
www.techforpeople.net/~lrcl

Provides direct legal services in the areas of immigration law, workers’ rights and senior law to the low-income, monolingual Spanish-speaking and immigrant communities.

Labor Commissioner
www.dir.ca.gov

Adjudicates wage claims, investigate discrimination and public works complaints, and enforces Labor Code statutes and Industrial Welfare Commission orders.

The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center
www.las-elc.org/clinics.html

Operates Workers' Rights Clinics throughout California that provide free and confidential information to workers about their legal rights for a wide variety of work-related problems, including denial of wages, discrimination, work and safety issues, unemployment benefits, harassment, and wrongful termination. To be eligible for Clinic services, individuals must meet their income guidelines. See their website for details and locations.Clinics provide services in Spanish, mandarin, and Cantonese, and often can accommodate other languages as well.

Workers’ Compensation
www.dir.ca.gov/dwc

California Dept of Industrial Relations/Division of Worker’s Compensation provides detailed information about workers’ compensation claims and benefits.

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Legal Referral & Complaints

State Bar of California Complaint Department
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation.aspx

Register a complaint with the State Bar if you believe that your lawyer acted improperly or unethically, but not just because there is some disagreement between you, or you believe he or she did a poor job.

Commission on Judicial Performance
cjp.ca.gov

Independent state agency investigates complaints of judicial misconduct, judicial incapacity and for disciplining judges.

The Law Center
thelawcenter.cc

The Law Center responds to the needs of our local community by matching pro bono attorneys with clients who do not qualify for assistance through existing service providers and who cannot afford paid representation.

Small Claims Court Advisor
www.cc-courts.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.viewPage&pageID=2928&nodeID=24

The Small Claims Advisor helps both plaintiffs and defendants understand how to prepare and file their court forms, follow court procedures, consider different ways to settle a case, and get ready for court.

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Senior Services

Adult Protective Services Contra Costa County
www.ehsd.org/adult/adult001.html

Provides assistance 24-hours a day to elderly and dependent individuals who are victims of physical, emotional or financial harm or abuse.

A Place for Mom
www.aplaceformom.com

A free referral service helping families find nursing homes, assisted living, Alzheimer’s care, retirement communities, home care, and other senior care options.

Bay Area Legal Aid
www.baylegal.org

Provides free legal services and advice to low-income individuals in the priority areas of housing, domestic violence, public benefits and health access. They handle complex legal issues involving Unlawful Detainer, Social Security, Medi-Cal, spousal abuse and array of legal issues within their priorities.

California Dept. of Managed Health Care
www.dmhc.ca.gov

The Help Center at the Department of Managed Health Care will explain your health care rights and help you understand how to use your health care benefits. They make sure that health plans follow the law and address member complaints on time.

California Health Advocates
www.cahealthadvocates.org

A non-profit organization provides free individual counseling to Californians about Medicare and other health care issues is available through the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).

Contra Costa Senior Legal Services
www.ccsls.org

Non-profit organization dedicated to providing free civil legal services to Contra Costa County residents who are 60 or older.

La Raza Centro Legal
www.techforpeople.net/~lrcl

Provides direct legal services in the areas of immigration law, workers’ rights and senior law to the low-income, monolingual Spanish-speaking and immigrant communities.

Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa County
www.ccombudsman.org

A senior citizen’s advocacy group that serves Contra Costa County, they investigate and rectify claims of abuse and neglect in long term care facilities so that seniors can live with dignity and respect.

Social Security/Medicare Eligibility
www.socialsecurity.gov

Official website of the U.S. Social Security Administration provides information and forms to apply for Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

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Superior Court Services

Superior Court of California County of Contra Costa
www.cc-courts.org

Court hours, contact information, on-line case information, local court rules, court divisions and case types, jury service, court administration and court resources.

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Veteran’s Services

CC County Veterans Service Office
www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/depart/veterans/

Comprehensive benefit counseling, claim preparation, case management and appeal assistance when appropriate.

Stateside Legal
statesidelegal.org

To help military members, veterans and their families access benefits, find free legal help, and better understand your legal issues.

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