Keyholders are a community of monthly givers who believe we can reduce poverty in San Francisco.

We believe poverty will be dramatically reduced when everyone has access to the law. We’ve served over 2,600 clients and pioneered the first system of universal access to legal help. Over 73% of our clients say we make a large or extreme difference in their lives.

We have found consistent donations are the most reliable way to maintain ongoing legal services to address poverty. Monthly Keyholders are the community members dedicated to long-term sustainable and innovative change.



  • Exclusive access to Townhalls, to engage with ODL staff and community members on special topics
  • Quarterly Financial Impact Reports
  • Twice monthly emails, featuring updates and stories from our clients
  • Invitations to our Annual Meeting and Annual Gala

Prefer a one-time gift? Make one here.

$25 Monthly: Guest Intake

Each case begins with an intake. $25 a month or $300 over a year would cover three intakes. This includes an hour of a lawyer’s time, preparation, speaking with the guest to understand their potential case, and often a translator.

$50 Monthly: Immigration Papers

$50 monthly/ $600 a year allows our Immigration Team to help two immigration law clients and file the correct paperwork to stay in the United States legally. We also access translators as needed to make our clients feel safe and understood.

$100 Monthly: Protection of Victims

This amount at $100 a month for a total of $1200 a year can complete two filings for separation or Domestic Violence Restraining Orders to protect abused women and children and help them start a new life.

$200 Monthly: An Entire Case

Start to finish, you could fund 2 cases a year! Each case costs $2,400, and with each one, we strive to get safe and fair treatment for our clients, be it in Employment, Housing, Elder, Immigration, or Family law.

Your monthly commitment makes our neighborhoods stronger, encourages innovative thinking, and shows that with enough drive, anything is possible. Here’s what some current Keyholders have to say:

“I focus my giving locally. Local nonprofits are close and need support. The fact that Open Door Legal can so directly demonstrate that its work contributes to real, concrete change to individuals and people structurally is really cool.”

Current Monthly Donor

“I like monthly giving. If I give $100 a month, that’s 1200 a year! You end up giving significantly without it being half of a paycheck.” 

Current Monthly Donor

“It’s important for nonprofits in particular to have steady streams of revenue that they can rely on. I want to contribute in a sustained way to Open Door Legal’s mission.”

Current Monthly Donor

Keyholders will open doors with us as we grow, until everyone in San Francisco has access to the law. 

Vision Zero Displacement Call-Back

Please make checks payable to Open Door Legal and mail them to:

Open Door Legal
PO Box #369
San Francisco, CA 94112

We also accept donations via:


Donor-Advised Fund


You can view all of the ways to give at

Please contact if you have any questions or need any additional information.  Thank you so much for the support!

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.


1. American University, Key Studies and Data About How Legal Aid Improves Housing Outcomes

2. George Washington Law School, In Pursuit of Justice? Case Outcomes and the Delivery of Unbundled Legal Services