Frequently Asked Questions

If you live in San Diego County and are a low-income individual, then yes, you do qualify. Please note that SDVLP only handles civil legal cases; for criminal cases, contact the San Diego County Office of the Public Defender at (619) 338-4700, or the San Diego County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at (800)-464-1529.
Yes, we offer a free clinic for assistance in obtaining legal guardianship of children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents (for locations and times, click here). Appointments are not necessary. Applicants must meet financial eligibility requirements and be residents of San Diego county.
Yes, we offer free representation to students who are foster or dependent youth who are struggling academically. Staff and volunteer attorneys assist these youth in meeting their educational needs and goals by reviewing educational records, attending individualized educational program (IEP) team meetings, and, as needed, filing for mediation and due process hearings. Please contact our office for further information at (619) 235-5656.
Yes, we offer legal services to financially eligible San Diego county residents who are infected with HIV or AIDS. Legal assistance is available on such civil matters as:

  • Public and disability benefits issues
  • Estate planning
  • Employment or housing discrimination situations (or other civil rights violations)
  • Bankruptcy and other debtor/creditor problems
  • Other legal issues arising from your HIV+/AIDS status

Infected individuals, their family members and partners may obtain free legal advice by visiting one of SDVLP’s confidential legal clinics (for locations, click here). SDVLP also offers on-going representation to financially eligible clients on a variety of civil legal issues who can also provide proof of their income and proof of their diagnosis.

If you live in North San Diego county, you may walk in to our unlawful detainer clinic. There are no income eligibility requirements to obtain services at this clinic. For locations and times, click here.

For all other cities in San Diego, please contact the Legal Aid Society of San Diego at 1-877-LEGAL AID (1-877-534-2524).

If you live in North San Diego county, you may walk in to our unlawful detainer clinic. For locations and times, click here.

For all other cities in San Diego, please contact the Legal Aid Society of San Diego at 1-877-LEGAL AID (1-877-534-2524).

SDVLP provides direct representation in family law cases involving custody and visitation disputes. In order to be eligible for services, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Are you low income?
  2. Do you or the other parent want primary or legal custody of your child/children?
  3. Does the other parent have an attorney?

If you can answer, “yes” to these three questions, and your case is located in downtown San Diego or El Cajon, please call 1-866-244-0101 to apply for services.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you may contact the San Diego County Family Law Facilitator at (619) 450-5200; they do not provide an attorney but can give you information on how to get started with a custody case. You may also contact the San Diego County Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) at (619) 231-8585 to obtain a private attorney for a fee.

We may be able to provide you with assistance with your family law issue at our Family Law Clinic.  If you are low-income, please call (619) 235-5656, ext 124 to see if you are eligible for an appointment.  The Family Law Clinic hours and location can be found here.
No, unfortunately, due to funding restrictions we do not offer legal assistance in immigration matters at this time. However, there are a number of resources in San Diego county that you may be eligible for. Access (858-560-0871), Casa Cornelia Law Center (800-704-4041) and Catholic Charities (619-287-1270) all offer legal services for qualifying individuals in immigration matters. You may also call the San Diego County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at (619) 231-8585 to obtain an attorney for a fee.
We do not offer services for the following issues:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Traffic violations
  • Fee-generating cases
  • Medical/dental malpractice

Please call the San Diego County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at (619) 231-8585 to obtain a private attorney for a fee.