Legal Aid Society of Orange County

Special Programs

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LASOC and CLS provide many services. For information on all of our services, please click here. Below are some of our programs for special populations or legal issues:

Orange County

Asian-American Outreach Program

LASOC/CLS has staff dedicated to legal outreach in Orange County’s Korean and Vietnamese communities.  Intake services are available in these and other languages.

Health Consumer Action Center (HCAC) and the MedLaw Project (A Medical-Legal Partnership with University of California, Irvine Medical Center)

LASOC/CLS is proud to host Orange County’s Health Consumer Action Center, in association with the Health Consumer Alliance.  Orange County residents with any type of health-related legal matter can contact our Hotline for evaluation for referral to the Health Consumer Action Center’s services, such as a health callback.

Homeless Legal Outreach Project

City of Irvine Project

LASOC/CLS and the City of Irvine have partnered to offer eligible Irvine residents free legal services in certain legal matters.  If you are an Irvine resident and would like to see if you qualify, please call our Hotline.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic ensures the fairness and integrity of the tax system by educating low income taxpayers about their rights and responsibilities, by providing pro bono representation to taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS, by conducting outreach and education to taxpayers who speak English as a second language, and by identifying and advocating for issues that impact low income taxpayers.

The LITC department accepts matters from outside of our normal service area.

Santa Ana Central Justice Center Self-Help Center

The Self-Help Center at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana is open daily. The staff provides procedural assistance for divorce, establishing parentage, child custody and visitation, child support, evictions, small claims, civil harassment restraining orders, name change, some civil actions, and cleaning up your criminal record. How-to booklets and form packets are available to self-represented litigants, and court forms can be reviewed for completeness.

The Self-Help Center is free and open to all pro per litigants. No appointment is necessary.  The address is 700 Civic Center Dr. West, First Floor, Room 100-A, Santa Ana, CA 92701.

Orange County Senior Citizens Legal Advocacy Program 

LASOC/CLS provides free legal services to eligible residents ages 60 and over via the Orange County Senior Citizens Legal Advocacy Program.  You can request legal assistance by calling the Legal Aid Hotline or by making an appointment at one of many Senior Centers located throughout Orange County that we visit once each month. You can also view or download one of our Fact Sheets.

The Seniors Program provides legal advice on a wide variety of issues:  Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, Medi-Cal, HMO and Nursing Home issues, landlord-tenant, eviction defense, mobile homes, and board & care issues, consumer contracts and debt collection defenses, financial and personal elder abuse.  The Seniors Program provides representation in the areas of:  government benefits, health, housing, consumer problems, elder abuse, and other areas (to the extent that resources allow in the event of a serious, pressing need).

Orange County Small Claims Advisory Program

The O.C. Small Claims Advisory Program is hosted by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County.  All O.C. Small Claims litigants can receive assistance on the Small Claims hotline or by attending a free workshop.  The O.C. Small Claims Advisory is located within the Legal Resolutions Center of the Santa Ana office.


Southeast LA County

Services are provided to the residents of southeast Los Angeles County under the program name Community Legal Services (CLS), which operates under the administrative umbrella of Legal Aid Society of Orange County. With offices in Compton and Norwalk, CLS responds directly to the needs of the southeast Los Angeles community. As noted previously, the Hotline is the gateway to all of the services offered by CLS and LASOC. In addition to providing legal counsel and representation, attorney referrals, self-help clinics and workshops, CLS has established unique legal outreach and assistance programs.

CALWorks-Domestic Violence Program

LASOC/CLS assists eligible recipients of CALWorks with legal matters caused by or relating to domestic abuse through the CALWorks/Domestic Violence Program grant.  Legal services identified in the case assessment are undertaken on behalf of each recipient and generally include court representation. To see if you qualify for this type of assistance, please call our Hotline.

Compton Self-Help Legal Assistance Center

The Compton office of CLS provides outreach to the community through two unique programs. Its free Self-Help Center at the Compton Courthouse is staffed by bilingual attorneys and paralegals and helps people to understand their legal problem and determine the steps necessary to resolve them. CSHLAC offers computer access to legal documents relating to family law, landlord/tenant actions, consumer and small claims court matters and also provides access to legal resource portals and other court-facilitated websites. Both one-on-one assistance and group workshops are available at the CSHLAC.

Domestic Violence Prevention Program

With two on-site locations at the Compton and Norwalk Courthouses, CLS provides direct assistance to victims of domestic violence through its Domestic Violence Prevention Program (DVPP). The DVPP is funded by several local cities including Compton, Pico Rivera, Whittier, La Mirada and Bellflower, as well as the County of Los Angeles. It is open five mornings a week from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and it operates under the supervision of an attorney. Victims are assisted with the preparation of restraining order documents, including applications for orders, declarations, temporary restraining orders, and related documents. Program staff also advise clients on court and law enforcement procedures and schedule office appointment for clients needing additional legal services.

Before the DVPP came into existence nearly two decades ago, many victims of domestic violence submitted incomplete restraining order applications, which prevented judges from taking immediate action on crucial requests. Thus, technical and procedural errors left victims and their children vulnerable to their abusers. The DVPP has effectively reduced the problems and errors in paperwork so much so that judges of the Norwalk Superior Court refer persons seeking restraining orders to use the service. Since the DVPP’s implementation, thousands of battered women and their family members have secured the protection they desperately needed through assistance received by the DVPP’s staff. The Domestic Violence Legal Assistance Center (DVLAC) In addition to the court-based DVPP, CLS helps victims of domestic violence and their families to become safe, stable and self-sufficient through a special grant from the County of Los Angeles CalWORKs program. The special funding enables CLS attorneys and paralegals to assist CalWORKs recipients who are victims by completing a comprehensive assessment of the legal services that are needed to stablize their family situation so that they can live independent of the abuser and eventually move to self-sufficiency. Legal services identified in the case assessment are undertaken on behalf of each recipient and generally include court representation.

JusticeCorps

CLS – Compton is an active participant in the JusticeCorps program a collaborative project which enables college/university students to work in court-based programs. JusticeCorps participants are provided extensive training and work side-by-side with CLS staff to help clients access the legal self-help programs and complete their legal forms.

Norwalk Social Services Center Outreach Program 

Funding provided by the City of Norwalk CDBG program enables the Norwalk office of Community Legal Services to provide low- income residents with a legal services outreach program at the Norwalk Social Services Center. By offering services at the Center, CLS attorneys and paralegals are able to quickly respond to the legal needs of clients, particularly victims of domestic violence, who are identified by the Center’s social workers and are scheduled an appointment.