ACBA and VLSC are proud to be a founding member of the Bay Area Resilience Collaborative (BARC)

Home destroyed by fire in Santa Rosa, CA


Our coalition of private and public legal organizations have created a hotline in an effort to provide legal aide to fire victims across the state.

The hotline number is 415-575-3120.

Callers can also leave a message. Spanish and Chinese language attorneys will be available.

Attorneys will guide victims through a variety of legal issues with a focus on the following:
  • Landlord tenant legal issues
  • Life, medical and property insurance issues
  • Emergency aid applications (FEMA)
  • Home repair contracts
  • Mortgage foreclosure issues
  • Replacement of wills and other important legal documents

Read the press release here.

Morrison Foerster LLP put together a great handbook covering issues that individuals, families, and small businesses may face. Read the handbook here


Disaster Tips for Homeowners


Know Your Rights

California law prohibits lawyers or others acting on behalf of a lawyer from:

— Soliciting clients at an accident scene, at a hospital, or on the way to a hospital.

— Soliciting clients who, due to their physical, emotional or mental state, may not be able to have reasonable judgment about the hiring of an attorney .

— Seeking clients by mail unless the letter and envelope are clearly labeled as an advertisement.

— Promising a particular outcome from legal representation.

In the wake of the fires, there is also the risk of victims being approached by people posing as attorneys. Consumers should determine if they are legitimate and licensed to provide legal services. Before hiring an attorney, look up their name or State Bar number on the State Bar website — — to check the status of their license to practice law and whether they have any record of discipline.

Source: State Bar of California

New Deadline for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

The new deadline to file for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is December 18th (here’s a link to the EDD webpage with the updated information). Updated DUA Factsheets in English and Spanish

Get Involved

Lawyers are ready to provide on-the-ground relief.

But they need your help. Donate today!

Here’s the plan – Donations will be used to provide immediate and long term relief to the people of Sonoma, Napa, and other affected regions of California.
Learn more

Volunteer to help local fire survivors with legal issues!

Staff our hotline

A legal advice hotline, based in downtown SF has launched this week offering brief legal advice on issues ranging from landlord-tenant, insurance issues, and FEMA benefits to employment and immigration. Our tentative plan is that the hotline will be staffed by volunteer attorneys from 4-8 pm Monday-Thursday, with attorneys taking live calls and returning calls received during the earlier part of the day. Here’s a flyer you can share 

In addition, volunteers will be needed to staff Disaster Recovery Centers in Sonoma and Napa, and possibly Solano – these DRC’s are centralized locations that will offer one-stop resources for survivors of the fire, set up by local, state or federal authorities.  We will need attorneys into these centers to offer brief advice, and help completing forms (largely FEMA benefits applications or insurance forms). Volunteers will also likely be needed to help staff clinics in those counties, focused on FEMA benefits. Read more

Mofo put together a helpful handbook designed for individuals, families, and small businesses. Read the 2017 Northern California Wildfires Helping Handbook.

VOLUNTEER – Please sign up for the hotline using this link:

Bay Area Resilience Colaborative

Who is the Bay Area Resilience Collaborative (BARC)?

BARC is a group of representatives from the entities below that have developed a regional coordination plan for the provision of legal services in the aftermath of a major disaster in the San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Alameda County Bar Association and Volunteer Legal Services Corporation – The ACBA is a community of lawyers who live or practice in Alameda County and who are committed to excellence in the profession and facilitating equal access to justice. VLSC provides free legal assistance to low-income communities in a variety of areas, as well as running a legal incubator to help new attorneys open community-based practices.
  • Bar Association of San Francisco’s SF-Marin Lawyer Referral and Information Service and the Justice & Diversity Center – BASF provides San Francisco legal professionals with networking and pro bono opportunities to better serve the community. The SF-Marin LRIS is a State Bar of California certified lawyer referral service program providing experienced, insured attorneys for consultation and case representation and community legal resources information to the public. The Justice & Diversity Center advances fairness and equality by providing pro bono legal services to low-income people, and educational programs that foster diversity in the legal
  • Bay Area Legal Aid – BayLegal ensures fairness in the civil justice system for the most vulnerable members of the community. From Silicon Valley to Napa Valley, clients receive help to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families.
  • Legal Aid Association of California – LAAC is the statewide membership organization for almost 100 legal nonprofits. LAAC advocates for more funding and better laws for legal nonprofits, facilitates communication and coordination between organizations, trains in core substantive areas, analyzes best practices, and works to increase access to justice for all Californians.
  • Pro Bono Net – Pro Bono Net is a nonprofit leader in developing innovative technology and forging collaborations that enable legal advocates to make a stronger impact, increase volunteer participation and empower the public with legal resources and self-help tools.
  • State Bar of California – The State Bar of California’s mission is to protect the public and includes the primary functions of licensing, regulation and discipline of attorneys; the advancement of the ethical and competent practice of law; and support of efforts for greater access to, and inclusion in, the legal system.