Join the Campaign for Justice

Your opportunity to help low-income Californians receive legal assistance.

Learn About the Campaign

California is home to 39 million people and is the world’s 12th largest economy – yet 8 million of us live in poverty. Legal problems can disrupt or destroy their families, can lead to homelessness or the loss of critical medical treatment, and can put their lives at risk. Conservatorships, restraining orders, housing law, homeless veterans and kids with special needs – every problem they face has a legal component.  Yet three-quarters of them can’t get any legal help at all.

The Campaign for Justice works to make legal services available to every indigent person in California.  We help by providing funding to 94 non-profit legal assistance organizations that serve all 58 California Counties, boosting the grants they receive through the State Bar to provide free civil legal services to people in need.

The Campaign brings together legal professionals from the for-profit, non-profit, governmental, and judicial realms, to collaborate on ways to expand the legal services available in California. We educate policymakers and financial institutions on ways they can improve access to justice, and encourage legal professionals to contribute their time and money to helping those in legal crisis. Our impact runs from Crescent City and El Centro, to Skid Row and the Tenderloin. We change lives every day.  Please join us!

The State Bar of California administers four main sources of funding for legal aid in California: Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), Equal Access Funds through the court budget, voluntary contributions to the Justice Gap Fund and settlement funds designated for foreclosure legal assistance and community development legal assistance.  Unfortunately, legal aid had not fully recovered from the downturn in the economy in 2008, when interest rates dropped from $22 million in 2008 to less than $6 million, where rates have hovered since.   In addition, currently less than five percent of California lawyers contribute individually to the Justice Gap Fund, yielding just less than a million dollars annually.

The need for access to justice is likely to increase in the coming years as federal policy shifts may threaten public education, immigrant rights, healthcare access and potentially, legal services itself.  While the safety net shrinks, California’s most vulnerable residents face housing crises, job losses, domestic violence, elder abuse, and obstacles to health care and education.  When justice is available to those who need it, the greater society benefits from increased family stability, safer communities, and a stronger workforce.

Yet, most people do not know what legal aid does, or how important it is in making a difference in people’s lives. The Campaign for Justice exists change that. When you support the Campaign for Justice, you support critical access to healthcare, safety, food, education, and shelter.

The Campaign for Justice supports about 100 nonprofit organizations throughout California that provide legal help to hundreds of thousands of individuals every year. These organizations form broad and creative partnerships to effectively leverage resources and expand critical legal services. Some programs provide services directly and other programs coordinate legal services through attorney and law student pro bono, or through legal support and advocacy.

From the smallest legal aid program serving frail seniors in Yuba County, to the largest, providing statewide protection and advocacy for people with disabilities throughout California; from the legal aid program that fights to rehabilitate inner-city slums in Los Angeles, to the legal aid program that secures guardianships for grandparent caretakers in Bakersfield and surrounding rural areas – each of these legal assistance organizations has a mission to provide legal aid to people who otherwise could not afford access to justice.

Legal aid needs your help to support the many Californians who have lost their homes, their jobs, and their healthcare. If you already contribute your time or money to a local legal non-profit, please sustain that connection and ask your friends to join you.  Educate your colleagues about the important work of legal aid. If you do not know what legal aid is already doing in your community, please browse this site and learn more.

While national research indicates that investments in legal aid show returns of 500% to even 1000% on the dollar, donations of monetary support are only one of the many components to this campaign.  You could write an article about a pro bono case that changed your perspective, or mentor a volunteer.  You could designate the Campaign or your local legal aid as a cy press beneficiary, if your practice involves undistributable residual funds. There are innumerable ways to help. There are even more opportunities. Please use our Donate button to support legal assistance in California today. The solution to the Justice Gap lies with you. 

Share Our Goals

Educating policymakers about the importance of legal assistance.

Encouraging banks to maximize interest and waive fees on IOLTA accounts

Promoting pro bono services that leverage legal aid resources

Increasing individual contributions to the Justice Gap Fund and Legal Assistance organizations

If you are in need of legal assistance, please visit www.lawhelpca.org or call (866)-442-2529

THREE WAYS YOU CAN CHOOSE JUSTICE NOW

Contribute Statewide

Donate to the Justice Gap Fund

Support Local Legal Aid

Direct your financial or pro bono support to nonprofit legal aid organizations

Cy Pres Beneficiary

Designate the Justice Gap Fund or your local provider as a cy pres beneficiary

“There is nothing more important to the stability and welfare of our country than our justice system. Critical to the proper functioning of the judicial system is the public’s confidence in and respect for it. We have the chance to see that the needy are provided with the legal services they need, a goal that I strongly believe is critical to the maintenance of the public’s confidence in and respect for our justice system.”
– Honorable John A. Sutro, Jr., Retired, Legal Services Trust Fund Commission Member

Our Contributors

Thank you to the more than 17,000 donors who have contributed to the Justice Gap Fund since 2008!

  • Gargir v. SeaWorld ($125,396.56)
  • Greenberg Traurig, LLP
    Frank O’Shea et al. v. Falcon Cable Systems Company ($143,884.64)
  • King v. West Marine, Inc. ($3,927.58)
  • Alejandra Vazquez Flores v. Neal C. Tenen, A Law Corporation, et al. ($18,728.54)
  • Serochi v. Bosa Development California ($471,596.22)
  • Taylor v. West Marine Products, Inc. ($42,477.06)
  • Michael A. Gould, Gould & Associates, APC
    Martinez v. AutoZone ($143,945.89)
  • Ryan L. Hicks, Law Offices of Michael S. Sorgen
    Jessica Neu-Helms, et al. v. UHS of Delaware, Inc. et al. ($148,478.45)
  • Mark A. Griffin, Kller Rohrback, LLP
    Jerry Cooper, Inc. v. Lifequotes of America, Inc. ($1,210,748.11)
  • Wells Fargo Bank ($25,000)
  • Latham & Watkins, LLP ($20,000)
  • JAMS Arbitration, Mediation, and ADR Services ($10,000)
  • Qatalyst Partners ($10,000)

(donated over $1,000 in a single year)

  • Keith L. Altman
  • Bingham McCutchen, LLP
  • Dulcie D. Brand
  • Joanne E. Caruso
  • Paul P. Caslavka, II
  • Jose L. Chairez
  • Richard H. Chernick
  • Collection at Law, Inc., APLC
  • Ethan D. Dettmer
  • Frank J. Fox, Jr.
  • Lee K. Franck
  • Joanne M. Garvey
  • Marshall B. Grossman
  • Jeffrey C. Hammes
  • William N. Hebert
  • Rex S. Heinke
  • Richard E. Hodge
  • Mary E. Kelly
  • Steven A. Kolodney
  • Kolodney & Anteau
  • Susan G. Kupfer
  • Law Offices of Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez, APC
  • Arthur J. Levine
  • Robert W. Loewen
  • Jack W. Londen
  • Harold J. McElhinny
  • Crystal D.S. McKellar
  • Kathleen M. O’Dea
  • Richard W. Odgers
  • Charles P. Rettig
  • Lawrence J. Salisbury
  • Daveed A. Schwartz
  • David S. Schwartz
  • David R. Snyder
  • Laura Stein
  • John V. Stevens, Jr.
  • Lincoln L. Stone
  • Christopher S. Tocher
  • Jaime E. Walters
  • Mark G. Weidmann
  • Janet A. Weiss
  • The Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati Foundation
  • Edward H. Yun
  • The State Bar of California
  • California Bar Foundation
  • California Commission on Access to Justice
  • California State Assembly
  • California State Senate
  • Judicial Council of California
  • Legal Aid Association of California
  • Legal Services Trust Fund Commission
  • Office of Legal Services, State Bar of California
  • Pro Bono Coordinating Committee
  • Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services
  • State Bar of California
  • 95 nonprofit legal aid organizations
  • Hon. Douglas Miller, Co-chair, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two
  • Jim Preis, Co-chair, Executive Director, Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc.
  • Catherine Blakemore, Executive Director, Disability Rights California
  • Diego Cartagena, Pro Bono Director, Bet Tzedek Legal Services
  • Salena Copeland, Executive Director, Legal Aid Association of California
  • Kelli Evans, Senior Director Administration of Justice, State Bar of California
  • Amos E. Hartston, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice
  • Kira Klatchko, Partner, Best, Best & Krieger, LLP
  • Paul Marks, Partner, Neufeld, Marks & Gralnek, APC
  • Deborah Moss-West, Assistant Director, Center for Social Justice & Public Service, Santa Clara University Law School
  • Toby Rothschild, Retired, Legal Services Attorney
  • Amos E. Hartston, Chair, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice
  • Salena Copeland, Executive Director, Legal Aid Association of California
  • Kira Klatchko, Partner, Best, Best & Krieger, LLP
  • Paul Marks, Partner, Neufeld, Marks & Gralnek
  • Hon. Douglas Miller, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two
  • Stephanie Choy, Managing Director, Legal Services Trust Fund Program, State Bar of California
  • Daniel Passamaneck, Grants Administrator, Legal Services Trust Fund Program, State Bar of California
  • Diego Cartagena, Chair, Pro Bono Director, Bet Tzedek Legal Services
  • Catherine Blakemore, Executive Director, Disability Rights California
  • Salena Copeland, Executive Director, Legal Aid Association of California
  • Barbara Duncan, Communications Director, Disability Rights California
  • Amos E. Hartston, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice
  • Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations, The Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Stephanie Choy, Managing Director, Legal Services Trust Fund Program, State Bar of California
  • Jennifer Kregear, Project Coordinator, Legal Services Trust Fund Program, State Bar of California
  • Adrian Dollard, Chair, Founder, Qatalyst Partners
  • Hon. Aviva Bobb (retired), Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Salena Copeland, Executive Director, Legal Aid Association of California
  • Hon. Terry Freidman (retired), Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Brian S. Kabateck, Founding and Managing Partner, Kabateck, Brown and Kellner, LLP
  • Hon. James Lambden (retired), Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Two
  • Jocelyn Larkin, Executive Director, Impact Fund
  • Hon. Howard Matz (retired), United States District Court, Central District of California
  • Anne Marie Murphy, Principal, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP
  • David Pasternak, Partner, Pasternak, Pasternak & Patton
  • Christian Schreiber, Associate, Chavez and Gertler, LLP
  • Stephanie Choy, Managing Director, Legal Services Trust Fund Program, State Bar of California
  • Elena Enzweiler, IOLTA Compliance & Bank Relations, Legal Services Trust Fund Program, State Bar of California
  •  
  • Kenneth W. Babcock, Co-chair, Executive Director & General Counsel, Public Law Center
  • Robin Crawford, Co-chair, Family Law Attorney, Law Office of Robin Crawford
  • Bonnie Hough, Managing Attorney, Center for Families, Children and the Courts, Administrative Office of the Courts
  • Deborah Moss-West, Assistant Director, Center for Social Justice & Public Service, Santa Clara University Law School
  • Gary F. Smith, Executive Director, Legal Services of Northern California
  • Hon. Jack Sutro, Jr. (retired)
  • Stephanie Choy, Managing Director, Legal Services Trust Fund Program, State Bar of California
  • Elena Enzweiler, IOLTA Compliance & Bank Relations, Legal Services Trust Fund Program, State Bar of California

Our Partners

Thank you to all of our partners who continue to share the vision of equal access for all.

This site is maintained by the Legal Aid Association of California.