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1. Legal Agencies Providing Family Law Pro Bono or Low Fee Services

ACCESS – SF Superior Court Offers self-help services on a drop-in basis for family law matters and certain civil cases. Is available to self-represented parties who seek legal information and resources.

Adoptees Liberty Movement Association (ALMA) The ALMA Society is a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation funded by tax-deductible registration fees and donations. They were founded in 1971 and state they have the oldest, most comprehensive and successful adoption registry of its kind. ALMA has been helping their adoptee members connect with their birth relatives since 1971.

AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) The AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) is a non profit organization whose mission is to help people living with HIV/AIDS maintain or improve their health by resolving their legal issues.

Alameda County Bar Association Legal Services Clinic The Volunteer Legal Service Corporation (VLSC) is the pro bono arm of the Alameda County Bar Association. VLSC provides free legal services to low-income people in Alameda County and is the largest provider of pro bono legal services in the county.
Amarilis Medrano, Clinics Coordinator, amarilis@acbanet.org, (510) 302-2219

Alameda County Self-Help and Family Law Facilitator Centers Assists in pro se representation with information, instructions, self-help law books and referrals. No legal advice or representation.

Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach Founded in 1975, the mission of API Legal Outreach is to provide culturally competent and linguistically appropriate legal representation, social services, and advocacy for the most marginalized segments of the community including low-income women, seniors, recent immigrants, and youth.

BASF – Justice and Diversity Center (JDC) The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) provides pro bono legal services to low-income people as well as educational programs that foster diversity in the legal profession.

BASF – Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) – low fee referrals More than 500 attorneys participate in LRIS, including their low fee referral service. The LRIS clients have to qualify financially and the referral panel attorneys set their own reduced fee rate.

BASF – Legal Advice & Referral Clinic (LARC) & JDC JDC holds free legal clinics on one or two Saturdays a month. The Legal Advice and Referral Clinic (LARC) is a way for people to find out whether they have a legal issue, get brief advice, learn about next steps, and get referrals to further help in a variety of subject areas.

Bay Area Legal Aid Bay Area Legal Aid provides low-income clients with free civil legal assistance, including legal advice and counsel, effective referrals, and legal representation (including in the area of family law). They are the largest civil legal aid provider serving seven Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

Centro La Familia Through the Victim Assistance Program, their staff supports non-citizen victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and other serious crimes throughout Fresno County. Services include help with legal protective orders, mental health counseling and immigration-related assistance.

Centro Legal de la Raza Founded in 1969, Centro Legal de la Raza is a legal services agency protecting and advancing the legal rights of low-income, immigrant, and Latino communities through bilingual legal representation, education, and advocacy.

Chico - Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) CLIC is a student-run, non-profit organization that has been providing legal information to students and community members for over 40 years.

Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto is a nonprofit offering legal services for low-income families throughout the region. They specialize in immigration, housing, workers’ rights, records clearance, and consumer protection.

Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) CORA’s Legal Information Line helps those experiencing intimate partner abuse. Their attorneys provide advice, information and referrals on criminal and non-criminal intimate partner abuse cases. They offer assistance with understanding a victim’s role in the criminal process, restraining orders, child custody, divorce and more.

Contra Costa County Family Law Facilitator They provide assistance with the completion of legal forms and procedural guidance in most areas of family Law, including: child support, spousal support, child custody, visitation, dissolution, legal separation, nullity, and establishment of paternity.

Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic (CROC) The Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic (CROC) is a legal services agency in San Francisco that supports the legal rights and dignity of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking survivors. Committed to meeting the holistic legal needs of survivors through empowerment-based advocacy, CROC offers free legal advice and assistance in civil restraining order, criminal, and campus-based Title IX proceedings.

DA’s Family Violence Project The prosecutors, victim services advocates, investigators and paralegals in the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Unit are trained to handle domestic violence cases. They work with victims through every step of the criminal justice process and provide victims with access to services.

Disability Rights California Disability Rights California (DRC) is the agency designated under federal law to protect and advocate for the rights of Californians with disabilities. We provide programs for Information and Referral, Investigation of Abuse and Neglect, Legal Representation & Rights Protection, Education & Outreach, and Public Policy Advocacy.

Equal Rights Advocates Since 1974, Equal Rights Advocates has led the legal fight for women's equality. ERA's mission is to protect and secure equal rights and economic opportunities for women and girls through litigation and advocacy.

Family & Children's Law Center (FACLC) The Family & Children's Law Center (FACLC) assists children and families by helping them navigate the legal system. They provide low-cost legal services to children and families on matters ranging from domestic violence and immigration to child custody and support. The FACLC are advocates for the needs and rights of children and serve all forms of families.

Family Violence Appellate Project FVAP is dedicated to helping domestic violence survivors and their children appeal dangerous trial court decisions on their behalf for free and serves California and Washington state. We help survivors of abuse get the safety and justice they deserve.

Family Violence Law Center (FVLC) Founded in 1978, Family Violence Law Center (FVLC) helps diverse communities in Alameda County heal from domestic violence and sexual assault, advocating for justice and healthy relationships. They provide survivor-centered legal and crisis intervention services, offer prevention education for youth and other community members, and engage in policy work to create systemic change.

Legal Access Legal Access Alameda (Legal Access) is the pro bono arm of the Alameda County Bar Association. Legal Access provides free legal services to low-income people in Alameda County through monthly legal clinics in a range of areas of law. Legal Access relies on the support and commitment of volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and law school graduates to hold over 30 legal clinics a month in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, guardianship, housing and more.

Legal Advocates for Children & Youth or LACY LACY provides free and confidential legal assistance to children and youth in juvenile dependency, family law, probate guardianship, education matters and numerous other practice areas; advocacy to improve court and community systems designed to protect and promote child welfare; and workshops to educate youth, parents, caregivers and members of the community about issues impacting child welfare and legal rights.

Legal Aid of San Mateo County Legal Aid provides free, quality civil legal services to San Mateo County’s low-income residents.

Legal Assistance for Seniors (LAS) LAS provides free legal services to seniors throughout Alameda County, including free legal advice and information, representation in court and administrative hearings, referrals to other community resources, and community education and training on legal issues.

Legal Services for Children (LSC) Through a holistic team approach utilizing legal advocacy and social work services, LSC's goal is to empower their clients and involve them in the critical decisions that impact their lives. LSC seeks safety and stability at home for their clients, as well as educational success and freedom from detention and deportation.

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children LSPC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and a designated California State Bar legal support center for Qualified Legal Service Providers. LSPC does not provide direct services or take on individual legal cases. However, they are able to provide informational manuals and referrals to other legal services.

Marin County Family Law Facilitator The Family Law Facilitator, a licensed attorney employed by the court, provides assistance to parents involved in parentage actions and other family law matters concerning child and/or spousal support. The services of the Family Law Facilitator include: distributing court forms and voluntary declarations of paternity, providing assistance to parties in completing forms, preparing child and spousal support calculations, as well as mediation of support matters. The Family Law Facilitator also provides referrals to the Department of Child Support Services, Family Court Services, and other community agencies providing services to families.

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Program They offer a full range of programs and services to help break the cycle of violence, from those that give immediate relief to families in need to proactive services that help women and families move their lives in healthy directions.

Open Door Legal Open Door Legal is pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation. Their goal is to show that when everyone has access to the law, poverty will be dramatically reduced. They can assist low-income residents in specific San Francisco neighborhoods with advice or representation on various civil legal issues, including family law matters such as dissolution, custody/visitation, child support, domestic violence restraining orders, guardianship, or adoption.

Pro Bono Project For those who have a legal problem in a civil matter in Santa Clara County and live in the County of Santa Clara, but cannot afford a private attorney, Pro Bono Project might be able to help. They take or assist with cases in family law and consumer law.

Sacramento County Public Law Library The library is a practice library, focusing on practical materials for attorneys and the public. A team of highly skilled professional, technical, and clerical staff works together to provide appropriate resources to meet the legal research and information needs of library patrons.

Sacramento County Self-Help Center /Family Law Facilitator The Self-Help Center provides free legal, procedural assistance to individuals without an attorney in the areas of Family Support, Domestic Violence, Family Law and Probate. The Self-Help Center also houses a Community Resource Room for anyone in need of referrals to community services. All services are provided free of charge.

San Mateo County Family Law Facilitator The Self-Help Center / Family Law Facilitator (SHC/FLF) helps people who need legal information, but do not have lawyers. Help is free.

Santa Clara County Self-Service Center/Family Law Facilitator's Office The Self-Help Center can help with divorce, custody, visitation & support, eviction, guardianship, conservatorship, civil (non-family) and other issues.

Santa Cruz County Family Law Facilitator The Self Help Center assists with the following issues: Family Law, Restraining Orders, Guardianship (of the person), Landlord/Tenant, Name Changes, and Emancipations. They also offer Special Programs for assistance with Small Claims, Limited Civil and Conservatorship cases in addition to community and legal referrals, and public computers and self help legal resource library.

Sonoma County Guardianship Clinic Their mission is to ensure that children receive the services regarding parentage and financial support to which they are legally entitled.

Trinity County Family Law Facilitator Trinity Superior Court provides an Access to Justice Self-Help Center, located on the first floor of the courthouse, which includes the services of a Mediator and a Family Law Facilitator who can assist with filling out forms.

Voluntary Legal Services Program The Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California provides services to clients who need assistance with legal problems in family law. VLSP provides one time advice and forms assistance for separation, divorce, custody, support (child and spousal), paternity, etc. VLSP does not provide assistance with domestic violence issues or restraining orders.

WOMAN, Inc. W.O.M.A.N., Inc (Women Organized to Make Abuse Nonexistent) provides peer counseling, therapy, safety planning, and referrals.

Yolo County Family Law Facilitator The Self-Help Center / Family Law Facilitator’s Office provides legal information and assistance to self-represented parties. We assist with divorce, parentage, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, probate guardianship and conservatorship, small claims, unlawful detainers, domestic violence, civil harassment, elder abuse and workplace violence restraining orders, name changes and gender changes. We provide information regarding court forms, rules and procedures. We help parties to start their case or determine the next steps in their case. All services are free of charge.

2. Professional Organizations

AAML National American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys (AAML) This is the national website for the nonprofit American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. You can read or reprint the booklet Stepping Back From Anger, which is a guide for divorcing parents, read the Children’s Bill of Rights, order other publications, or find a family law specialist attorney through the site. This site has excellent information about the legal process of divorce as well. There are AAML chapters in Northern and in Southern California.

California Courts Information This is the site for the California courts featuring up-to- date information on Court of Appeal and Supreme Court opinions, court news, jury information, news releases, forms, etc.

American Bar Association: Family Law Section

ABA Center on Children and the Law

San Francisco County Bar Association

State Bar of California

Martindale Hubbell Since 1868, generations of lawyers have relied on Martindale-Hubbell as the authoritative guide to the American legal profession. The database is now regarded as the primary research source for information about attorneys and law firms around the world.

AFCC: The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, an international and interdisciplinary association dedicated to the constructive resolution of family disputes.

IACP: International Academy of Collaborative Professionals Site of the umbrella organization for Collaborative Practice (Collaborative Law, Collaborative Divorce) and information for subscriptions to the Collaborative Review

3. Alternative Dispute Resolution Sites

IACP: International Academy of Collaborative Professionals Site of the umbrella organization for Collaborative Practice (Collaborative Law, Collaborative Divorce) and information for subscriptions to the Collaborative Review

Collaborative Practice California (“CPCAL”) site of the umbrella organization for Collaborative Practice in California

Collaborative Divorce Home page for Collaborative Divorce, whose mission is to offer an effective, coordinated and affordable approach to divorce settlement through the team approach: (the collaborative lawyer, divorce counselor, child counselor and financial counselor)

Mediate.com Site for conflict resolution resources, index of professionals and information about mediation

Transforming Practices A website “with a clear and unique mission: to explore sources of meaning and pleasure in law practice”

5. Divorce/Marriage-Related Sites

California Divorce Guide Top quality family law guidance for people without attorneys

MAKING MARRIAGE LAST “A Guide to Preventing Divorce” can be ordered at the AAML national website www.aaml.org or by calling 1-800-422-6595 : this booklet is premised on the belief that “..divorce isn’t always the answer. Though some marriages should be abandoned…many “unsalvageable” unions can be saved. If you are willing to devote some time and energy to identifying and correcting the problems in your marriage, chances are, you can avoid the financially and emotionally draining process of divorce.”

Smart Marriages “… all couples disagree about all the same basic issues – money, kids, sex, housework, in-laws and leisure time. The difference between successful and unsuccessful couples is how they handle their differences. Successful couples disagree in a way that makes their relationship stronger. They also have other skills and attitudes which help them build long-term happiness and satisfaction. The good news is that anyone can learn to do it better and smarter. . .”

Nolo Press Since 1971 Nolo Press has published top-quality legal tools to give all Americans affordable legal access. Here you’ll find free information on personal, consumer and business law.

Divorce Online This web site provides numerous articles, some better than others, about the impact of divorce on children and parents. The article on dating is particularly good. It also has a book review section, question/answer area (which includes legal, financial, psychological, and real-estate information), and a chat area.

Divorce Central This site offers fairly extensive information about legal, financial, parenting and other aspects of divorce. The Expert Online area offers weekly in-depth explorations of specific topics by professionals; past appearances have been archived and can be read. The Total Parenting Handbook section of the site offers sound advice on parenting as a divorced parent.

Divorce Source Resources and research guidance

Divorce Net This site offers daily and weekly Q&A sessions with legal and mental health professionals, as well as interactive bulletin boards/chat rooms. Resources are listed by state.

Hilton House Information regarding interstate custody jurisdictional issues

Divorce Help General divorce helpline

Divorce Support This site offers state-specific guidebooks, a large divorce-related bookstore, links to resources and message centers, and, for a fee, child support calculations for your state.

KIDS TURN Kids’ Turn is renowned throughout the United States as a leader in divorce education for children and parents. The goal of Kids’ Turn programs is to help minimize the negative effects of divorce on children. The programs are educational (not therapy) focusing on skill building and positively affecting each family’s ability to manage the changes created by divorce or separation.

Children’s Rights Council The Children’s Rights Council is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting children of separation and divorce through advocacy and parenting education. Their site offers excellent, up-to-date research: legislative information, links to other sites and resources and a good book catalog. There is a California chapter

Splitup This site has information about the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of divorce, including state-by-state information. Visitors can participate in discussion groups, subscribe to their newsletter, or link to related sites.

6. Parenting Sites

KIDS TURN Kids’ Turn is renowned throughout the United States as a leader in divorce education for children and parents. The goal of Kids’ Turn programs is to help minimize the negative effects of divorce on children. The programs are educational (not therapy) focusing on skill building and positively affecting each family’s ability to manage the changes created by divorce or separation.

Parent News Clearinghouse for exchange of information among parents

Parents’ Place Look under the Family section for a listing of topics including divorce, single parenting, bereavement, etc. Chats and message boards on specific topics are listed in this area. Parents can search for information on a particular issue and a list of previously answered questions will be listed. Therapists answer the questions. Many other health-related news articles are reprinted here.

Teens and Pre-Teens: Practical Help for Parents. Founded by adolescent specialist Michael Y. Simon, MFT, a high school counseling director, noted speaker/educator and psychotherapist in private practice, Practical Help for Parents provides real-life solutions as you parent, suport and understand the teens and pre-teens in your life.

Parenthood Web This broad site can be searched for information about a particular topic; it covers everything from marital advice to health issues. An extensive array of childhood health experts and articles are listed. There is also a live chat section.

Parents’ Press/Teen Magazine Offers information on numerous topics, including children’s health, childcare, coping with family problems, mothers and fathers groups, and children with special needs. In particular, it offers Parent Support Online, which features parent-to-parent websites and e-mail lists, many focused on a specific interest.

Our Family This Bay Area organization for gay and lesbian families offers regular family gatherings and support groups. The site has information about the organization as well as links to other sites specifically related to LGBT families an general parenting issues.

UC Berkeley Parents Network This is a parenting website run by volunteers at the University of California at Berkeley. While some of the information about resources is local to the East Bay, much of the parenting information is relevant for parents anywhere. There are sections on childcare, medical, school and therapy referrals, as well as recommendations on products and family activities, and extensive, culturally diverse discussions about different aspects of parenting (including divorce). Past discussions are easily searched for a given topic.

CHADD This is the site for Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder. It provides information about the organization, AD/HD, school discipline, and locating local chapters.

Parents Leadership Institute The Parents Leadership Institute, a nonprofit agency, offers workshops, booklets, and audio-/videotapes for parents seeking to strengthen the parent-child relationship. Parents train other parents to improve their listening skills and connect with their children. Materials available in English and Spanish.

Care Guide Offers referrals and articles related to childcare and eldercare. Local childcare referrals still being developed.

Family Safe Directory Family friendly site, family resource and information – an encyclopedic resource for families

7. Support For Fathers

National Center for Fathering This organization aims “to inspire and equip men to be better fathers.” They offer practical tips on various topics such as step-dads, single dads, disciplining teens, and more. There is also a mechanism for contacting other fathers for fathering support, or finding out about fathering research.

Fathers World This site has lots of good links to father-related research, policy and practice

www.bamin.org This is the web site for the Bay Area Male Involvement Network, which is dedicated to getting and keeping men involved with children. It describes local programs as well as providing links to several other father-related sites.

National Fathers’ Resource Center This site provides information about father-related issues, including divorce, step-parenting, parental alienation, and child support. The site offers lots of good links to other organizations, and also chat rooms

Fathers Are Parents Too This sit is a coalition of family members working to encourage both parents’ participation in kids’ lives. There are some financial and legal articles and links to other father-related sites. You can also subscribe to Fathering Magazine.

8. Support for Mothers

Moms Online While the home page of this site addresses a wide variety of mothering and parenting topics, if you search for “divorce” you will be able to access their supportive message boards (Divorced Moms and Divorced Moms Online, among others). There are also “Tip and Fact Sheets” which offer brief articles by a psychologist about divorce-related topics (e.g., “Holidays with Divorced Parents,” “Helping Children Cope With Divorce”).

Support Group For Mothers This site offers information about Berkeley- and Oakland-area groups for mothers of children aged 2-12.

9. Step-Family/Single Parent Sites

Stepfamily Foundation This site lists 10 steps for step-dads and step-moms, kids, young mothers and grandparents (among others) to help form healthy stepfamilies. It offers online counseling, question and answer areas, and other links.

Parents Without Partners This site offers a limited amount of information about Parents Without Partners, a national organization offering a community for single parents. It does include some research and some single parenting tips, and directs readers to PWP chapters in their area.

Making Lemonade This is a whimsical and highly informative single parenting support site. There are extensive links to other sites, resources, advice about kids, dating tips, even business networking. Mediators, attorneys and child psychologists from all over the world can advertise their services in the Making Lemonade Resource Guide.

10. San Francisco Bay Area Resources

KIDS TURN Kids’ Turn is renowned throughout the United States as a leader in divorce education for children and parents. The goal of Kids’ Turn programs is to help minimize the negative effects of divorce on children. The programs are educational (not therapy) focusing on skill building and positively affecting each family’s ability to manage the changes created by divorce or separation.

La Casa This is the bilingual Spanish/English website for a San Francisco agency which provides help for victims of domestic violence. The page on “Warning Signs” can help you figure out whether you-re at risk for abuse, and what to do if you are being abused. It also lists their 1-800 number.

Bay Area Region Agency Network This website offers a searchable, confidential, on-line database of support groups and other human services. There are over 1600 health and human services listed in San Francisco, Marin, Napa and Solano counties. If you are looking for counseling on a particular topic, this is a great place to start.


Contact Information
Executive Director, Jennifer Cass admin@aamlnorcal.org

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