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Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County

Rating: 4.95 stars   57 reviews 1,325

Address:

Sobrato Center for Nonprofits - Redwood Shores 330 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 123 Redwood City CA 94065 USA

Mission:

The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County is a private, non-profit law firm created in 1959 to provide free civil legal services to low income residents of San Mateo County who are particularly vulnerable due to age, disability, language, or family violence. Legal Aid’s mission is to help disadvantaged people improve their lives through equal access to justice. Legal Aid provides individual representation, community education, systemic advocacy and strategic collaborative approaches to address legal issues and resolve problems in important areas of basic need including health, housing, income and freedom from violence. Legal Aid is an integral part of San Mateo County’s safety net, collaborating with community agencies, local government, health care providers and many others to provide coordinated services to low-income residents. Legal Aid leverages its resources by recruiting, training, and supervising nearly 400 pro bono attorneys and legal workers who provide thousands of hours of free legal service each year. As an independent legal service provider, the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County is not bound by restrictions imposed by federal legal services funding.

Results:

Since our founding hundreds of thousands of vulnerable and low income families have been able to stay in affordable homes and/or overcome food insecurity; children have been able to access health care coverage and medical care; adult, teen and senior survivors of domestic violence and elder abuse have been able to stabilize their lives and live in safety.

Target demographics:

create the community we all want to see and fight social injustcoe for poele living in poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year:

2400 clients in 2015

Geographic areas served:

San Mateo County

Programs:

legal advice, representation and education

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

650-558-0915
http://www.legalaidsmc.org

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Reviews for Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I believe that LASSMC is the premier legal services organization providing representation for disadvantaged residents of the county. As a practicing attorney for the last 16 years in the county, I have been involved in numerous pro bono cases, and my law firm supports a number of legal non-profits in the area. LASSMC stands out as a highly-focused, well-managed, and powerfully effective pro bono organization. Its attorneys possess credentials and experience that would rank them among the most elite in the private sector, yet they devote themselves to the pursuit of public, rather than private, good. Its superstar attorneys are backed by top-notch executive management with deep experience and decades of proven effectiveness. The organization has developed and successfully maintained broad and deep support within the local legal community and related fields. By virtue of these many strengths, LASSMC continues year after year to expand its track record of expanding access to justice among all of our neighbors in San Mateo County. Its mission yields practical results, and improved lives, for its many needy clients.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I participated in the Legal Aid Golf Classic in June and had an amazing time. It was well organized, great course, great food, great prizes, and the staff were very appreciative. I was fortunate enough to be able to play golf while also raise money for this great organization that really makes a difference. Hope to see more out there on the golf course next year!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I'm proud to be on the board of LASSMC. They have a fantastic staff and do terrific work in the community.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I am thrilled to support San Mateo Legal Aid for the terrific work they do to help families in our community obtain the health care and other services to which they are entitled, and protect them from eviction or unsafe living conditions.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County ("LASSMC") is a crucial player in the multitude of systems that affect individual's legal rights- be it housing, health care, disability, social security, immigration, or the courts, providing no cost representation and advice to those who might not otherwise have the ability to access such information. As an organization, they help the most vulnerable populations in San Mateo county, but as individuals they do so with a heartfelt passion that creates a safe, caring, and compassionate environment for those populations to truly feel empowered. LASSMC fights for systemic change through policy work (local, state, and nationally) and community involvement, allowing their efforts to have far wider consequences than just helping those that come to their door. Without LASSMC, each year thousands would never have their voices heard.

Every volunteer joins a supportive and knowledgeable team, and every amount of assistance, regardless of size, is supporting and working for those in the community in need of dire assistance. Please consider volunteering or donating today! Be the change.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

In the legal field, the plight of the most disadvantaged among us has perhaps never been so in focus. Laws are constantly being passed to help protect those most at risk-- children, elderly, low income -- yet the cost to access our legal system to protect those rights has never been greater. The San Mateo Legal Aid Society serves an increasingly important role in helping those who need it most understand and assert their rights. They do an outstanding job of reaching out to the legal community to garner its involvement in providing needed access to legal representation. A very worthy nonprofit that serves the community well and deserves broad support.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Legal Aid of San Mateo County is an amazing organization. I have worked with them for the past 3 years as a pro bono attorney and the experience has been one of the most rewarding of my life.

Prior to working with Legal Aid I had very little courtroom experience and my job as a corporate counsel was in stark contrast to the work at Legal Aid. Legal Aid provided mentoring and training so that I could advocate for survivors of domestic violence in court. The work has become a passion of mine and gives me the opportunity to empower survivors to find a safe environment free of violence.

The staff at Legal Aid are tremendous and really great to work with. They are some of my biggest supporters and have even nominated me for a pro bono award with the California Bar. I can't imagine another organization working so hard for it's clients and volunteers. They are truly amazing!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

SMLA has terrific training materials and is there to advise its volunteers along the way. They are excellent advisors and make sure that they have services available to the community. They care deeply about their clients.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have the extreme honor and privilege of working with Legal Aid of San Mateo County. I was lucky to run into Pro Bono Director Janet Seldon at a local bar association function and begin working with this group.

The efficiency of the organization is incredible. The commitment, both personally and professionally, of every single staff member of LAS of SMC is inspiring. I started my career wanting only to be a prosecutor, thinking that was the best way to help the aggrieved and vulnerable members of society. I was wrong. I learned after some time prosecuting, that working for the government limited my ability to interact with clients and help effectuate meaningful change. I worked in family law for nearly two years before connecting with Janet. My life has not been the same since starting to work with this group of exceptional humans.

Legal Aid of San Mateo County offers the support and advocacy needed by the most underrepresented persons in our community. While having a discussion with Marci, Janet and a fellow volunteer, we talked about the victims of domestic violence as being those who "have the least and need the most." Violence in one's home is one of the scariest situations a person can be in. Their partner typically controls their finances, their immigration status, they monitor their actions, communications and often isolate their spouse from the community. Those who find the courage to leave and find their way to Legal Aid of San Mateo County know they have found a safe place to help them escape the cycle of violence.

Part of the joy I get from my volunteer work with Legal Aid of San Mateo County is my relationships with the staff. I love meeting clients at the Legal Aid Office. I always arrive before or stay after a client meeting so I can spend time speaking with the team members. It is always an honor and I am humbled by the privilege of working with this organization. In the area of Family Law, especially working with domestic violence victims and their families, one can lose faith in humanity rapidly. The success stories from clients and the integrity and compassion of the team renew my faith in the innate goodness of people who care for others in their community.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2016

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County is a great nonprofit. They really try to help make the community better. Every individual that I have interacted with at Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County has been wonderful and committed to its cause. I am proud to have been pro-bono counsel for clients they identified and to have done a small part to further their mission.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I've worked with Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County over the past 5 years. Through my firm's relationship with Legal Aid Society, I've been able to take on interesting cases that gave me experience that I wouldn't have otherwise gotten. The attorneys at Legal Aid Society have been really helpful to me in navigating the legal claims I've looked into and are so committed to helping out the community. Whether through their community outreach, interfacing with private attorneys or events, Legal Aid Society has provided so much value to the community here and I'm very proud to be able to be part of that.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

 
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