Expert legal advocates should be available to all, regardless of economic status. As the only provider of free legal services in San Francisco for our city's most vulnerable residents, we make that happen.
While LAE receives partial funding from government agencies annually, we also rely on the generosity of your donations to fund our legal services for hundreds of vulnerable San Franciscans each year.
"LAE staff attorneys are so much more than legal attorneys — they are true counselors, with compassion and the ability to empathize with their clients. There is deep experience and expertise they bring to each case.
They help this special population truly understand their situation and the issues they are facing in order to move forward. A satisfying result of working with LAE is clients say they come away feeling more empowered, able to understand what happened to them and why."
We are seeking volunteers to perform the following:
Attorney, paralegal or student enrolled in law school, paralegal program or related academic program; Strong written, verbal & interviewing skills; Interest in elder law and/or poverty law; computer literate; Willingness to work a minimum of 8 hours per week over a period of at least 10 weeks
Call Christine Lau, Staff Attorney at (415) 538-3333 x 306
We are seeking individuals knowledgeable about the problems experienced by older and disabled San Franciscans are being sought to participate on our board of directors. A background in law, gerontology or contacts with one or more of San Francisco's diverse communities are especially welcome. Commitment required is approximately 3 hours per month.
Like many small non-profits, we do not have a fund raising professional on staff. We are seeking a new board member with the energy and skills to take on a leadership role in fund raising.
This requires working with the existing board fund raising committee to develop and execute a fund raising plan, including the solicitation of individual, corporate, business and law firm donations. It may also include working with staff to prepare foundation grants.
We are seeking an individual with event planning experience who is willing to take primary responsibility to expand our small annual event, and initiate other new events. The volunteer will work with the staff and board.
Responsibilities include: finding a free or low cost venue with a little bit of glitz; planning entertainment; soliciting donations of food and drink; identifying underwriters and expanding existing list of potential attendees.
Call Howard Levy, Executive Director at (415) 538-3333 x 307
A key member of the Hayes Valley group who helped bring down the Central Free-way in 1992, Madeline also co-founded The Hayes Art Coalition, and in 2008 was recognized as District 5 Woman of the Year for her devotion to promoting art in the community. When Madeline's housemate died in 2009, her sadness turned to shock and fear at the reality of being evicted, as she'd previously been involved in an owner move-out one other time. When LAE attorney Tom Drohan came to her aid, through-out two years of negotiation he revealed numerous things wrong with the eviction process. One after another, the landlord's claims against this talented artist were dismissed out of court, and Madeline was allowed to remain in her home.
After 35 years in her Castro District third floor apartment, Sandi received an eviction order due to "excessive clutter." She had 3 days to clean up—Sandi was in jeopardy of losing her home. Even with her family's help, Sandi's severe arthritis limited her ability to comply on short notice. LAE stepped in to negotiate for more time. The landlord was adamant that he wanted her out, and the case went to trial. Attorney Tom Drohan helped Sandi receive a judgment in her favor because the clutter had been abated, and she kept her Castro District home.
When Joe allowed his son Larry to move in, Joe discovered Larry had a severe alcohol problem. Larry yelled and swore at Joe, and one day when Joe tried to leave, Larry blocked the door, grabbed his father's shoulders and threatened to put a bullet in his brain. Joe knew that his son had a gun; he'd seen Larry waving it around. Later, Larry pushed Joe so hard that he bounced back against the bed, hit the wall, then fell and bruised his arms and wrist. Larry was arrested and charged with elder abuse, and Joe came to LAE. Attorney Judy Hitchcock helped Joe get a restraining order, ensuring that Larry could not return to abuse Joe.
Enrique is a working senior who got behind on his credit cards and signed up with a debt reduction service, not knowing that many are "rip–offs." As instructed, Enrique sent his money to the service, but when his credit card companies sued, he realized the debt reduction service had not paid his creditors. LAE attorney Robert Schoen defended Enrique in court, recovered the money the service had taken, and applied it to his credit cards. LAE also assisted Enrique with structuring payment plans for his credit cards. Enrique is now within months of being totally debt–free.
"LAE is not just handing out free advice, they are saving people who are vital, vulnerable residents of San Francisco."
Madeline, age 69, LAE Eviction Defense Client
"What I love about LAE is how qualified the attorneys are and how they stay committed to our most vulnerable San Francisco residents. They are so passionate about making a difference in the lives of the people they serve."
Ana Maria Lara, Social Services, City & County of San Francisco
"Tom Drohan is the best eviction defense attorney in the city. Because of his unique mix of experience, personality, and genuine commitment to seniors, he's the gold standard in our industry."
Tyler Macmillan, Former Executive Director, Eviction Defense Collaborative