There are many resources available to help you help yourself and many of them are listed here. No endorsement is implied other than the programs offered by the San Mateo County Bar Association.
The Superior Court of California – County of San Mateo
The San Mateo County Superior Court offers information for ways to address your legal problems, including: Complete Your Legal Forms Online; Traffic Information; Small Claims; Domestic Violence; Local Forms; Local Rules; Being Your Own Lawyer; Child Custody and Visitation; Child Support; Divorce and Separation; Mediation and Arbitration; Modifying Court Orders; Temporary Restraining Orders; Information and Legal Help; Resources and Assistance.
Sources of Legal Assistance
Bay Area Legal Aid offers a Domestic Violence Retraining Order Clinic and Consumer Law Clinic. Visit their Legal Clinic Calendar for more information. Bay Area Legal Aid also offers a a Legal Advice Line for low-income Bay Area residents. For Civil help, please call the toll-free line at 800-551-5554.
Community Law Night The Law Library in collaboration with the San Mateo County Bar Association is proud to present Community Law Night where members of the general public can benefit from free a one-on-one legal consultation. You must sign up by calling the Law Library at (650) 363.4913. Visit the Community Law Night Program page for more information, upcoming dates and topics.
Family Law Facilitator provides free services to help people who need legal information but do not have lawyers. The office is located on the 2nd floor in the Southern Branch: Hall of Justice and Records at 400 County Center, Redwood City, California. People are seen on a first come, first served basis – space is limited!
Lawyers In The Library Program The San Mateo County Law Library participates in the San Mateo County Public Library System’s ‘Lawyer in the Library’ Program to provide free, one-on-one, 20 minute consultations with on the legal topic covered that month. Visit the Lawyers in the Library Program page for more infotmation and upcoming dates and topics.
Lawyer Referral Service of the San Mateo County Bar Association
The Lawyer Referral Service (certified by the State Bar of California), for a nominal fee, provides you with the name of an attorney so that you can set up an interview of up to thirty minutes with an attorney who practices in the area of law related to your problem.
La Raza Centro Legal provides assistance with Employment, housing, immigration, senior, and youth law for Spanish-speaking community as well as numerous legal clinics.
Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County serves low-income residents (individuals, families and groups) of San Mateo County with civil matters including health care, housing, public benefits, special education services, domestic violence, immigration, and elder abuse. They also offer a Landlord/Tenant Clinic every Monday, 8:30am to 11:30am, in the Family Law Facilitator’s Office, 2nd floor, 400 County Center, Redwood City. For more information or to schedule an appointment to see a Legal Aid lawyer, please call (650) 558-0915.
Legal Services for Children provides services and representation for minors, including guardianship, emancipation, special education, school discipline hearings.
Private Defender Program (PDP) provides indigent criminal defense to all persons financially eligible for the appointment of counsel at public expense, including but not limited to: persons accused of all felonies and misdemeanors, juveniles in delinquency cases, juveniles and parents in dependency cases, and cases brought pursuant to the provisions of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. For more information, visit the PDP’s website or contact them at (650) 298-4000.
Other County Lawyer Referral Services
Certified by the California State Bar Association.
California Courts Self Help Center provides assistance and information on working better with an attorney, and self-representation in some legal matters, finding low-cost legal assistance, small claims and more.
Help.org is an organization dedicated to assist Veterans within the community who are dealing with substance abuse. Help.org has recently connected with medical professionals and addiction experts. Help.org provides a guide of comprehensive information on substance abuse, and offer referral to government programs that offer treatments, and steps that veterans can take to get the aide that they need.
Click on the link for more information: https://www.help.org/substance-abuse-rehab-for-veterans/
Justia provides a variety of links that could become helpful to anyone in the community. It provides links to legal practice areas, legal research and up-to-date cases in the news.
Lexbe provides the latest analysis tool needed to successfully handle cases. From anywhere, at anytime.
Nolo Press Self Help Books on a variety of legal topics – written in plain English!
San Mateo County Law Library provides access to legal materials to all persons interested in the law. To meet this end, the Law Library is a resource library open to the Judiciary, members of the State Bar of California, and all residents of the County of San Mateo and the State of California, for the purpose of legal research and legal information.
Resolving a Dispute
Project Sentinel provides landlords and tenants information on their rights and answers the most frequently asked questions. English and Spanish.
Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County provides legal advice on civil matters for individuals, families and groups whose incomes are below an established level.
San Mateo County Superior Court Appropriate Dispute Resolution ADR stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution, some people call it “Appropriate” Dispute Resolution. It just means finding a different way to resolve your dispute without going through the court process. There are different kinds of ADR. The San Mateo County Superior Court’s ADR Program is called the “Multi-Option ADR Project” or “MAP,” for short. MAP has programs in seven different areas including Civil, Family Law, Small Claims, Juvenile Dependency, Juvenile Delinquency, Probate and Judicial Arbitration.
Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center(PCRC) is a public benefit corporation serving individuals, groups, and organizations throughout San Mateo County. Provides conflict prevention, management, and resolution services and promote the use of non-adversarial processes in a wide variety of situations. Through its mediation programs, PCRC staff and volunteers help clients identify problems, clarify perspectives and concerns, develop viable options, and reach durable and mutually satisfactory agreements.
Find out if consumers’ reports have been filed against at local company; consumer tips on selecting contractors, home improvement projects; insurance; charities and more.
California Contractors State Licensing Board
Consumer complaints; license checks; applying for a license; general consumer information.
California Dept. of Consumer Affairs
Consumer complaints and investigations; extensive information for consumers and professional licensing and complaints database.
California Department of Real Estate
License checks, applying for a license; consumer complaints; consumer protection information.
Consumer complaints; access to medical records, choosing a doctor, etc.
Advancing consumer rights, referring consumers to complaint-handling agencies through our free hotline, publishing educational materials in Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages, advocating for consumers in the media and before lawmakers, and comparing prices on credit cards, bank accounts, and long distance services.
Consumer Law Clinic sponsored by Bay Area Legal Aid every 2nd Monday of the month starting from 9:30am. RSVP for your spot by calling (650) 358.0745. The clinic meets in the Law Library Conference Room.
Stop Unwanted Credit Card Offers. If you have received an unsolicited fax or received a fax from someone who has not received your prior express permission in writing, you may file a complaint by completing the FCC’s online.
The online source for county services and information.
County of San Mateo District Attorney Consumer & Environmental Protection
Enforces laws against false advertising, unfair competition and other forms of consumer fraud.
Consumer Complaint Form for complaints about transactions with companies, violations of No Not Call List, Identity Theft, online transactions with foreign companies, and email fraud/spam.
California State Attorney General’s Guide for Victims of Identity Theft.
Federal law required the credit reporting agencies to set up a toll-free number for consumers to stop the agencies from selling your name and credit rating to other businesses. (888) 5-OPTOUT (567.8688).
State Attorney General Public Inquiry Unit
Consumer complaints and investigations.
License checks; consumer complaints; working with attorneys; fee arbitration programs; lawyer referral services and other consumer information.
If you would prefer not to receive catalogs from any direct mail company, you may contact the Direct Marketing Association, Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, New York, 10512. 212.768.7277.
The ABC’s of Non Profits – Non Profit Information
This guidebook offers a basic introduction to what a nonprofit corporation is; how it is formed; options for organizational structure; operating the corporation; basic tax; and much more.
211 is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day in more than 150 languages.
Statewide youth crisis counseling and information.
This organization is dedicated to researching and creating free resources for those interested or already working in the field of criminal justice.
Click on the links below:
In-Depth Guides on Paralegal Studies
Associate | Bachelor’s | Returning to School | Financial Aid |
Legal Aid at Work offers help on employment issues in California. Call (415) 864.8848 for general information or the Workers’ Rights Clinic helplines at (866) 864.8208 (toll-free).
The Official U.S. Government Site for People with Medicare – Eligibility, Nursing Homes, Physician Directory & more.