California Rural Legal Assistance


What is CRLA? 

CRLA is a private, non-profit law firm founded in 1966. It provides free legal assistance throughout California. CRLA provides representation and legal advice to persons whose income is below certain limits. Please contact the office for details. Each case is reviewed individually. Due to limited staff, it is not possible to provide full representation to each person who needs a free lawyer. However, we always try to provide some assistance, from referrals to other agencies.

What types of cases does CRLA handle? 

Examples of the typical types of CRLA cases are listed below:

  • Denial of benefits: Unemployment insurance benefits; state disability insurance; Cal WORKS (Welfare); general assistance; food stamps; Medi-Cal; Social Security & SSI.
  • Labor & Employment: Minimum wage and overtime claims; working conditions; retaliation and sexual harassment.
  • Health: Pesticide poisoning; health and safety at work; hospital bills; access to medical services; Medi-Cal
  • Education: Discipline; special education.
  • Housing: Evictions; lockouts and utility shut-offs by landlords; rent deposit refunds; poor housing conditions.

What types of case does CRLA not handle? 

Types of cases CRLA does not handle are listed below:

  • Criminal Law: You may ask the court to appoint legal counsel at your court appearance.
  • Family Law: CRLA will provide you with referrals to other agencies that may assist in your legal issue.
  • Personal Injury: CRLA does not handle cases that are regularly accepted by private attorneys on a contingency fee bases.
  • Traffic Law: CRLA does not handle any traffic ticket issues.
  • Worker's Compensation: CRLA does not handle cases that are regularly accepted by private attorneys on a contingency fee bases.

How do I contact CRLA? 

You may call or stop by CRLA office at: 175 Santa Rosa Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (805) 544-7997

The office hours are as follows:
Monday - Thursday 9:000 am - noon & 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - noon

CRLA staff is available to meet in Paso Robles. Please call the office to set up an appointment.
Or check out the CRLA web site at:

CRLA now offers clean slate services (expungement/reduction/reclassification of criminal convictions) to the public.  Income guidelines apply. Download the flyer for more information