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Vivian is a 72-year old disabled woman who is in the crossfire of a messy estate dispute

Vivian is a 72-year old disabled woman who is in the crossfire of a messy estate dispute. Not long after her dear friend and landlord became too sick to remain in the home herself, or able to continue to act as the landlord for the property, Vivian started receiving notifications that her beloved home of 16 years was going to be sold at auction by her friend’s daughter.

Felipe is a full-time employed student facing eviction after his property manager lost his paperwork

Felipe is a 23-year old whose family has been living in their public housing apartment since he was in kindergarten. When his mom moved to Dixon to live with his sister, Felipe filled out the necessary paperwork to renew his childhood home. What he didn’t expect was having to wait over 8 months to take his mother’s name off the lease. Furthermore, Felipe had to quit one of his two jobs in order to keep up with the demands of being a full-time student. When he went back to check on the status of his paperwork, the housing office told him…

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11-year-old Andre was hit and injured by a driver while riding his bike in Bayview

Andre is a happy child, who loves to ride his bike around the neighborhood. Due to a negligent driver, Andre was hit, and the driver drove off. This hit and run injured Andre, and left his bike destroyed.

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Nunc et vestibulum velit. Suspendisse euismod eros vel urna bibendum gravida. Phasellus et metus nec dui ornare molestie. In consequat urna sed tincidunt euismod. Praesent non pharetra arcu, at tincidunt sapien. Nullam lobortis ultricies bibendum. Duis elit leo, porta vel nisl in, ullamcorper scelerisque velit. Fusce volutpat purus dolor, vel pulvinar dui porttitor sed. Phasellus ac odio eu quam varius elementum sit amet euismod justo.

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CITATIONS

1. American University, Key Studies and Data About How Legal Aid Improves Housing Outcomes https://www.american.edu/spa/jpo/toolkit/upload/housing-7-30-19.pdf

2. George Washington Law School, In Pursuit of Justice? Case Outcomes and the Delivery of Unbundled Legal Services https://scholarship.law.gwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi

Ever since childhood, our co-founder Adrian has been dedicated to reducing poverty.

He studied systemic poverty in college and went to work in the field for a few years. Eventually, he had a thesis that legal aid was the most cost-effective way to address poverty in America. He wrote up a business plan and used it to apply to law school. 

The idea was to create the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation that ensures everyone can obtain timely, competent legal help for any legal issue, regardless of ability to pay. That had never been done before in the history of the United States.

In law school, he met Virginia, our Programs Director. Together, they co-founded the organization, two weeks after Adrian passed the bar.

When we opened we put a sign in the window, and with just that marketing and almost no other outreach we were overwhelmed with requests for help from people with good cases who had been turned away everywhere else.

Our first year we had revenue of $35,000. We would hand shred documents because a shredder was too expensive. Despite the financial challenges, we were able to work on over 280 cases in everything from housing law to family law to consumer law in the first year alone.

The hours were extreme, the pay was low, and the learning curve was steep. Still, we persisted. We knew that almost everyone we helped was not able to receive services anywhere else. Eventually, we attracted the interest of funders. We tripled our revenue for several years in a row. In 2015, we won the Bay Area Google Impact Challenge, which enabled us to expand even more. In 2019, we secured additional funding from the city that allowed us to open two new centers in the Excelsior and Western Addition.

As of 2020, our staff has grown to 27 full-time employees. We’ve shown that universal access is possible. Now, we plan to scale city-wide, make San Francisco the first city in the country’s history to have universal access to legal help, and become a model for national replication.