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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: The mission of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County is to fight social injustice through civil legal advocacy for people living in poverty. The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County’s vision is for every person to have the basic necessities of life, including safe affordable housing, access to health care, economic security, secure immigration status, an appropriate education and freedom from violence and abuse. We strive to empower people to overcome the causes and effects of poverty so they can participate in their community with dignity and respect. We seek to remove barriers related to poverty, disability, race, language, age, gender, sexual orientation and immigration status through community education, legal representation, systemic advocacy and collaboration with community partners.

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: fight social injustice for people living in poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2309 clients from 7/1/2016-6/30/2017

Geographic areas served: San Mateo County

Programs: legal advice, representation and education

Community Stories

67 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering in the Share of Cost clinic organized regularly by the Legal Aid Society for years. It is a very well organized program, with good training and training refreshers at the beginning of every clinic, and there are always attorneys around to help with questions you have as they come up. I would definitely encourage others to work with this great nonprofit organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered several times over the past few years at the Share of Costs" clinic to help clients who have lost their medical coverage obtain coverage. Athough the training was excellent and I have practiced law for over twenty years, it was a very humbling expreience to work with clients in an area of law that was unfamiliar to me.The supervising attorney, Trish, was amazing. She always seemed poised and unflappable, despite having multiple volunteer attorneys all trying to get her attention at once to ask for help. When she comes to your table to provide help, she very quickly helps you clarify the issue and guide you to formulating advice to provide the client in a manner that well serves the client's needs and doesn't make you feel like you don't know what you are doing. After each volunteer session I felt that in some very small way I was helping people in dire need of assistance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Share of Costs clinic is a very good program. They provide good training materials, and excellent backup help is always available during the clinic.

Patrick P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My law firm and I have worked directly with Legal Aid of Society of San Mateo County for many years. The staff attorneys are excellent, not only are they very knowledgeable but they mentor and assist the volunteer attorneys. My volunteer experience has been very rewarding and would strongly encourage other legal professionals in the area to work witih this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Legal Aid for a few weeks now and can tell you it is rewarding. Legal Aid's lawyers and staff are super knowledgeable and their level of care for their clients is unparalleled. There are so many people in San Mateo County that are in such dire need of even basic legal counsel let alone help with evictions and other court related matters. It is a wonderful feeling to know these people can find solace and advice from such a fabulous organization that is aimed at providing and filling a need in our community. I am proud and honored to be a part of Legal Aid.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This is a great organization, not only to work with but also in providing a valuable service to the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Legal Aid Society of San Mateo provides essential services to the community. Their attorneys have incredible expertise in their field and passion for their work. I have worked alongside them in the monthly Share of Costs clinic helping low income seniors and people with disabilities obtain the critical health services they need.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County provides essential direct legal services and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable and low income children, families and seniors in the County. I have worked with the organization for several years and have seen first hand the hard work and dedication of its incredibly talented staff and volunteers.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Legal Aid of San Mateo County provides an invaluable service to members of our community. I have worked with Legal Aid in many capacities, most notably along side of them in the San Mateo Bar Association Legal Clinic, which provides free legal services to residents of various homeless shelters in San Mateo County. Legal Aid's staff is warm, welcoming and dedicated to providing these individuals with the legal services that aid them in helping break the cycle of homelessness.

Donor

Rating: 4

A friend who ended up in a homeless shelter for a variety of financial, physical and personal issues. This person was disabled and could not work. He had applied for early social security and denied 3 times.
It was only when Legal Aid of San Mateo County visited the homeless shelter and provided assistance to appeal the Social Security decision. This assistance including counseling and referring an attorney.
This friend did win the appeal, was able to leave the homeless shelter and move into his own place.
This person is in a safe home, receiving Medicare for his disability and in a much better place.

Thanks a bunch! Thank you Legal Aid for the great work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Among its programs, the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo hosts a monthly "Share the Costs" clinic for poverty-level residents having difficulty negotiating the complexity of federal and state medical expense suport programs. Attorneys at this clinic regularly resolve major life crises for people who are suffering significant medical problems and simultaneous encountering crushing expenses for their care. And, for those with problems too complex to be resolved in a law clinic setting, the Society's in-house counsel provides the necessary continuing legal representation so they find themselves supported during these difficult life periods.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an attorney who volunteers for Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, I have come to appreciate the quality with which this organization provides legal services to needy residents of San Mateo County. In the several months I have volunteered there, I have met many caring staff members helping the public in so many ways, and who are always willing to help volunteers like me as questions arise.
I have seen how Legal Aid's new office space in Redwood Shores provides a professional facility that sets needy persons at ease and gives them confidence, starting with dedicated off-street parking, a comfortable waiting area with amenities for children, and private offices that allow confidential consultation with Legal Aid attorneys and staff.
I have also enjoyed volunteering at the clinics run by Legal Aid to provide services in the community for the benefit of low-income tenants facing eviction.
In every way, my volunteer work has been so fulfilling because, with the support of the dedicated staff at Legal Aid, I have been able to help so many people so well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LSAMC serves a widely diverse community and serves many more than their staff should allow. They serve children to elder on issues. housing to DV. They set up matters in a way that makes the pro bono volunteer's work easy to start and are always there with a helping hand to keep things moving. Their training programs and staff are top notch. They are a great blessing to the penninsula region and their impact is felt far beyond the region by their coordination with other agencies statewide.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo has a wonderful domestic violence restraining order clinic. This program is able to provide great training to pro bono attorneys and to quickly match them up with clients who need their services in navigating the legal system. At a recent hearing in San Mateo Superior Court, I met four other attorneys representing clients in obtaining restraining orders that morning. These attorneys were from both large and small firms, which shows that the clinic has a rich network. I look forward to working with this organization in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For many years now, I have been consistently WOWED by the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. It offers such a diverse array of critical services -- FOR FREE -- to needy families in the community. It has been quite an honor to be able to volunteer with this great organization on occasion. Janet Seldon, the E.D., is particularly fantastic -- knowledgeable, smart, and caring.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County has an amazing staff of talented and devoted attorneys.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County provides legal services to the members of our community who are the most needy- the elderly, the homeless, the unemployed with children, the disabled- who simply cannot afford legal representation, and they provide these services at a high quality level. The attorneys and staff at Legal Aid are some of the most dedicated professionals you will find in a non-profit.

Donor

Rating: 5

Legal Aid is deeply rooted in San Mateo County legal community. It attracts the faithful support of lawyers because of the direct legal services it provides for the county citizens. The staff lawyers are respected not only for their sterling credentials but also because of their effective advocacy and concern for the least privileged in our community. Their collaboration with county government, health care professionals, and social workers is well-known. Sitting in their offices and clinics for even a few minutes brings home the fact that these lawyers are giving 100% to their clients. Their results are outstanding.

Board Member

Rating: 5

LASSMC is an award-winning, homegrown, 50 year old fixture in the community. Staff are top-notch professionals and wonderful human beings who care deeply about helping our clients overcome barriers to food, housing, safety and health care. We are a trusted advocate and collaborator with local government and non-profits in improving the lives of disadvantaged people in San Mateo County.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

With the few resources available to them, Legal Aid changes lives every day. They are a group of amazing lawyers and support staff who give their all to their low-income clients and are heros in the legal non-profit world.