BayLegal Assisting Valley Fire & Butte Fire Victims

BayLegal has joined forces with FEMA and other agencies to establish a toll-free number for victims of the Valley Fire in Lake County and the Butte Fire in Calaveras County to request legal assistance.

The service, which allows callers to request the assistance of a lawyer, is a partnership between the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD), Bay Area Legal Aid, Northern California Lawyer Access, Legal Services of Northern California, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Disaster survivors facing legal issues who are unable to afford a lawyer can call the hotline (1-844-657-0479) for assistance, or visit the Disaster Recovery Centers in their area for more information.

The type of legal assistance available includes:
• Assistance with securing FEMA and other government benefits available to disaster victims
• Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims
• Help with home repair contracts and contractors
• Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster
• Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures
• Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems
• Counseling on landlord-tenant problems

Full press release

BayLegal Board Member Arlene Hipp Shares Her Story

Arlene Hipp, Alex Gulotta, Robert Grey

Photo (L-R): Robert Grey, LSC Board Member;  Arlene Hipp, BayLegal Board Member; Alex Gulotta, BayLegal Executive Director.

October 6, 2015 — Board member Arlene Hipp spoke to distinguished members of the Legal Service Corporation’s Board of Directors during the agency’s recent meeting in San Francisco.

On behalf of BayLegal’s clients, Arlene shared her personal story. In her speech, Arlene discussed how hard working Americans can do everything right — go to school, get a good job, work hard — and then have it all taken away due to factors beyond your control. She testified to how legal aid can save a person’s life, and why she supports BayLegal.

Thank you, Arlene!


Thank You, Covington & Burling LLP!

Cuvington LSC Award

October 5, 2015– The Legal Service Corporation Board of Directors presented its Pro Bono Service Award to Covington & Burling LLP, for its longstanding commitment to supporting economically disadvantaged individuals and families through pro bono work with Bay Area Legal Aid. BayLegal is grateful for Covington’s partnership, dedication, and commitment to improving the lives of our clients. Congratulations and thank you Covington & Burling!

Read the full list of honorees this year. 

New Skadden Fellow Joins BayLegal

Sheela Ramesh, a recentRamesh Headshot graduate of Yale Law School, was selected as a Skadden Fellow, a highly competitive two year fellowship that funds law students to work for nonprofit organizations in the public interest. This fall, Sheela joined the Bay Area Legal Aid team in Oakland, providing assistance to sexually exploited youth.

BayLegal is thrilled to sponsor Sheela Ramesh to join us in our Youth Justice Project; a project that will provide comprehensive, direct civil legal services to and systemic advocacy on behalf of commercially sexually exploited youth and those most at risk of exploitation in the Bay Area. Services will facilitate access to legal entitlements such as physical and mental healthcare, education, cash/food assistance, safe housing, and supportive social services.

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California Ticket Amnesty Law in Effect

4543027041_88d4a4d290_o-881x563At least 300,000 Bay Area residents could be eligible for help under a California law that went into effect this Thursday Oct 1st, to cut old ticket fines and reinstate lost driver’s licenses. The state is allowing certain income-dependent reductions, ranging from 50 to 80 percent, on fines issued before Jan. 1, 2013.

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Calling all stakeholders!

Bay Area Legal Aid needs your input for our 2015 Community Partner Survey. We want to hear from other legal service providers, members of the private bar, courts, and government and community agencies that serve our clients. This information will be combined with information gathered in BayLegal’s 2015 Client Survey to help us ensure that we are working strategically and effectively to provide access to justice for all.

To get started on the Community Partner Survey, simply click this link. This survey is only 12 questions long and should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Thank you in advance for your time.

New Housing Protection Ordinance in Richmond

House logoCongratulations to tenants and housing rights advocates in Richmond on the passage of Just Cause for Eviction and Rent Control protections!  If you are a tenant in Richmond who receives a notice of termination or rent increase and/or has questions about your rights under the new ordinance, please take a look at this FAQ prepared by Tenants Together (click here for the Spanish version).

If you have additional concerns, please feel free to call our Legal Advice Line at 800-551-5554 or visit our Housing Clinics in Contra Costa:

            Housing Clinic Schedule (English)

            Housing Clinic schedule (Español)

UPDATE: Proponents of a referendum on the ‘rent control and just cause for eviction ordinance’ timely submitted to the City Clerk enough signatures to suspend the effective date of the ordinance (see Elections Code 9237). The petitions will be delivered to the County Elections Office for verification of the signatures. The County has 30 days, not counting weekends and holidays, to complete the verification and certify the results. Once that is accomplished, the matter comes to the Council for consideration. The Council may then repeal the ordinance or place it on the ballot at the next regular municipal election (November 2016) or call a special election (possibly the presidential primary in June 2016).

BayLegal on KTVU

Bay Area Legal Aid Consumer Law Attorney, Claire Johnson Raba, speaks on KTVU News about what renters need to know before they rent. Click here to see the video.

BayLegal needs you! Share your experience with us!

If you are a client, former client, or someone who might become a client of Bay Area Legal Aid in the future, we would like your help with our 2015 Client Needs Survey. BayLegal regularly conducts these surveys in order to learn from people in the community about the different problems they face, and what role BayLegal might play in meeting those needs. This year, we are very excited to offer participants the chance to complete the survey online. Click here to get started.

Thank you for helping us improve our service to the community!

**Information gathered in surveys is anonymous and is not used for client intake purposes. Click here if you are looking for information about how to get legal help from BayLegal.

BayLegal Fights for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors

BayLegal attorney Healthcare-HHS-AP_605sheds light on our nation’s Unaccompanied Refugee Minors’ struggles to get healthcare coverage. Too often, these youths have their benefits prematurely terminated or wrongfully denied, despite the fact that they qualify for Medi-Cal and are most likely  in need of medical services and care due to the various emotional and physical trauma they’ve survived as refugees without parents.

Click here to listen and read about how BayLegal attorney Marina Pantchenko continues to fight and advocate for the safety and well-being of these vulnerable youths.

Love and Equality Conquer!

BayLegal is Proud to Partner in Justice!BayLegal applauds the Supreme Court’s historic decision honoring the American value of equality.

Legal Help for Students of the Corinthian Colleges

Bay Area Legal Aid is offering clinics to assist students who attended the now-closed Corinthian Colleges, including Heald, WyoTech, Bryman, and Everest College. Attorneys and advocates from BayLegal, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, the East Bay Community Law Center are working together to provide information to former students about their legal rights in relation to both federal and private loans taken out to attend these institutions. There are upcoming clinics throughout the Bay Area to help reach students in need, with dates throughout June and into July. See below for more details and information on how to sign up for help.

Click here for clinic details

Corinthian Clinic Flyer 2

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