In 1958 a group of prominent, experienced attorneys formed Legal Aid to correct the intolerable harm suffered by people who could not afford to hire attorneys in pursuit of justice. There was a system in place to protect the rights of people charged with criminal offenses, but there was no such system to protect those suffering through vicious, fraudulent acts which violated their right to peaceful, healthy lives. Through their own courtroom experience, these attorneys understood that the inability to hire legal counsel could preclude needy families from securing protective restraining orders, resolving consumer conflicts, and protecting themselves from fraudulent or negligent acts of others. Legal Aid was organized to address this disparity. Since its formation, Legal Aid has continually provided free legal services to the needy to protect their rights and assist in their proactive drive to remedy problems which affect their daily lives. We provide services through 9 sites located throughout our vast county of San Bernardino. In recent years we have been able to also provide services to some Riverside County residents through two specific projects.
During early years, Legal Aid was limited to a few attorneys representing a case for individual clients. However, as social detriments flourished, it became evident our program must evolve to provide service to an ever-increasing need.
Through community needs assessment and collaboration with the courts and various community-based organizations, Legal Aid has developed a variety of projects to insure the greatest needs are most effectively met.
We are governed by a Board of attorneys with non-profit management experience varying from 1 to 30 years in length. This structure offers Legal Aid the benefit of experienced wisdom bolstered by youthful and progressive enthusiasm. Board governance includes strategic planning, budgeting and fiscal oversight, program and policy review, and program oversight.