About Us

THE PROBLEM

Our legal system is multi-faceted and complex. There aren’t enough free legal services, and those that exist are silo’ed and difficult to navigate. The legal community as a whole holds tightly to legal knowledge and expertise. On this backdrop, our low-income communities face multiple legal issues a year, many of which are part of the fabric of being low-income. Resolution of these issues, and navigation of the systems of which they are a part, is critical to a low-income family’s path out of poverty, yet our approaches to finding solutions are often divorced from our clients’ trusted networks and real life goals.

WHAT WE DO – LEGAL FIRST AID ON THE FRONTLINES

We believe that removing legal barriers for low-income communities working hard to rise out of poverty is critical and requires creativity. The answer is not just in funding more attorneys, but also in fundamentally shifting where and how legal knowledge and access is gained. In a system in deep scarcity – clients, their social service advocates, and non-profit attorneys alike – we as lawyers need to find our natural allies, leverage technology, and find new, innovative ways to add capacity.

At Project Legal Link we do this by working to educate and equip low-income residents and their advocates with the information and tools they need to more effectively navigate the legal system on their paths out of poverty.  We primarily serve grantees of Tipping Point Community – all top-performing social service non-profits. We:

  • Train client-facing staff in our Legal First Aid for Providers curriculum and build expertise inside the organizations that are on the frontlines;
  • Offer easy ways for caseworkers to consult with us on any legal issue, recognizing that many legal issues take legal expertise to understand and unravel; and
  • Collect and curate online tools, written resources, and referrals for providers so that they can more effectively work with clients in moments of crisis, openness, trust, and transformation.

We have been building this new model while providing services – testing and iterating as we go. This past year, we worked with Tipping Point Community’s T Lab to test our model and design the next steps. We are a work in progress, and we will continue to refine, build, and test, while always holding clients and their paths out of poverty as our north star. 

WHAT DOES THIS WEBSITE PROVIDE?

This website is designed for social service providers who serve low-income Bay Area residents.

  • The “Referrals” tab offers curated referrals for San Francisco-based issues or clients depending on the type of service your client needs. The referrals we offer are not the only place to find help, but are the best first try or the easiest access point.
  • The “Resources” tab houses up-to-date information for all of the non-profit legal providers serving low-income San Franciscans, plus many other key legal referrals around the Bay Area.

This website does not provide legal advice or act as a lawyer referral service. For referrals to private attorneys, contact the Bar Association of San Francisco.

Have feedback or want to connect? We would love to hear from you! Contact us at [email protected] or 415.851.1PLL (415.851.1755)

News & Trainings

T Lab Project Summary

February 6th, 2018

After a year of work with Tipping Point’s T Lab, the summary of our R+D work and findings is here:  PLL Final Stakeholder Report

T Lab Research Findngs

February 2017

After 50+ interviews with caseworkers, clients, and non-profit attorneys, the research to kick-off our R+D work with T Lab is summarized here: T Lab PLL Research … [Read More]

Legal Link in pictures

Margaret Hagan, at Stanford’s Law Design Tech Program, put the Legal Link story into image form! Check it out: http://lawdesigntech.tumblr.com/post/128642908387/how-can-social-service-providers-to-get-people-to

Legal Link in Open Law Lab

Margaret Hagan, a Stanford lawyer and designer, published a blog post on Project Legal Link at http://www.openlawlab.com/2015/04/27/project-legal-link-for-legal-social-service-coordination/