Our Mission

We increase access to justice in the San Diego area by offering holistic legal and social services at below-market prices on a sliding scale. We offer our services to people who need them, regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.    

We work to help people stay with their families and out of detention, in recovery and out of jail, on a path to success and out of trouble.

We think outside the cage and beyond the fence.


We value respect. We listen, we answer questions, and we respond to requests. We return phone calls, we answer emails, and we regularly visit our detained clients. We treat people how we like to be treated, but nicer.

Photo: " Ninguna persona es ilegal ,"  by  Michael Righi  available under a  CC-BY 2.0  license. 

Photo: "Ninguna persona es ilegal," by Michael Righi available under a CC-BY 2.0 license. 

We value storytelling. Every client has a story, and we know that learning and sharing those stories wins cases. Telling our clients’ stories also helps us explain how the legal and social communities can do better.

We value teamwork. We work together with clients, with each other, with supporters, with community members, and with partner organizations. When we don’t know the answer to a question, we ask. And when we have helpful skills or information, we share!

Photo: " Veteran ,"  by  mbietz , available under a  CC BY-SA 2.0  license.

Photo: "Veteran," by mbietz, available under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

We value inclusion and intersectionality. San Diego is the 8th largest and 8th most diverse city in the United States. San Diego’s population includes over 600,000 immigrants, 8500 homeless people, 275,000 people with disabilities, and 230,000 veterans. San Diego is a refugee resettlement city near the busiest land border in the world, and San Diego residents speak over 100 languages at home. San Diego is home to the first Harvey Milk Street in the United States and was the first city where gay soldiers marched in uniform in a Pride parade. We believe that this diversity makes San Diego beautiful, we work with members of all these communities, and we recognize that each of us fits into many of these categories at the same time.

We value openness. Clients and supporters have a right to know that we are spending our time and their money effectively and responsibly, so we update them often.

We value innovation. We believe that the legal system needs change and that change begins at home. We are fans of legal design thinking and legal hacking, and we believe that social workers can be both macro and micro. We use technology to save time, money, and the environment, and we strive to be a nearly paperless office. We embrace the cloud.

We value accountability. We keep our promises. We admit and apologize for our mistakes. We welcome comments, and we respond directly to all complaints.

Banner photo: "When I speak of love," by JoeinSouthernCA available under a CC BY 2.0 License.