Free Legal Assistance

USD Legal Clinics are funded by the University of San Diego and, in part, by grants from the State Bar of California and the U.S. Department of Treasury. Services are available to lower income individuals. If you are interested in obtaining free assistance from USD Legal Clinics, or have any questions, please contact us at (619) 260-7470.

Free legal assistance may be provided in these areas:

  • Appellate—Handles the entire appeal from start to finish - brief to oral argument.  These cases are referred from the pro bono panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Civil—Includes consumer issues, breach of contract, uninsured motorist defense, landlord tenant, fraud and consumer debt collection disputes.
  • Education and Disability—Represents the parents of students with disabilities in cases ranging from IEP eligibility and services, placement, discipline and expulsions, 504 Plans, Early Start, Regional Center eligibility and services, and limited conservatorships. 
  • Entrepreneurship—Provides comprehensive legal assistance to individuals or groups who have questions about small business ventures, including non-profit corporations, whether starting or expanding a business; advises on trademark and copyright issues.
  • Federal Tax—Represents lower-income taxpayers who have disputes with the Internal Revenue Service in matters such as collection action, audits, earned income tax credits and offers in compromise. Make appearances at U.S. Tax Court.  
  • Immigration—Offers assistance for immigration-related problems including asylum, immigrating family members, naturalization and deportation. Provides legal information, consultation and opportunity for representation in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 
  • Small Claims—Provides assistance to individuals filing in the Small Claims Court (claims less than $10,000), and represents clients in small claims appeals in Superior Court.
  • State Income Tax—The "Taxpayer Appeals Assistance Program” is a joint effort between the USD Legal Clinics and the California State Board of Equalization (BOE). Under supervision of an attorney from the BOE's Taxpayer Rights Advocate Office, students assist taxpayers with state income tax disputes against the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB).
  • State Sales and Use Tax—This clinic is a joint effort between USD Legal Clinics and the California State Board of Equalization (BOE). Under the supervision of an attorney from the BOE’s Taxpayers' Rights Advocate Office, students will represent clients who are appealing California Sales and Use Tax determinations.
  • Veterans Clinic—Provides free legal assistance to veterans, limited to disputes with for-profit institutions over the use of GI Bill funds and predatory lending, discharge upgrades, and VA Disability Claims appeals. Legal services range from advice to identification of potential claims to representation of veterans in litigation, arbitration and before governmental review boards.  Visit the website.

Unfortunately, we are UNABLE to provide assistance with:

  • Adoptions
  • Bankruptcy
  • Collections
  • Constitutional Rights Issues
  • Criminal Matters
  • Estate Planning/Probate
  • Family law/Dissolution of marriage
  • Malpractice—Medical or Legal
  • Patents
  • Personal Injury
  • Preparation of Tax Returns
  • Real Estate/Real Property
  • SSI Appeals
  • Worker's Compensation Claims

DisclaimerThe Legal Clinics at University of San Diego School of Law provide training to upper-level law students while providing needed legal services to the community. All Legal Clinic students are supervised by a practicing attorney.  We will make appointments for qualifying individuals to meet for an intake with a law student, on a space available basis. We do NOT accommodate walk-in clients.  You can reach us by calling (619) 260-7470.

Contact:

Legal Clinics
Barcelona Hall, Room 305
Phone: (619) 260-7470
Fax: (619) 260-7425

Hours

M-F: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.