Public Counsel

Public Counsel is the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the world. Founded in 1970 by the , Public Counsel delivers free legal and social services to abused and abandoned children, homeless families and veterans, senior citizens, victims of consumer fraud, and nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities. Initially called the Beverly Hills Bar Association Law Foundation, it was the first bar-sponsored public interest law firm in the country.

The substantive areas in which Public Counsel works includes: Veterans Advocacy, Appellate Law & Federal Pro Se, Community Development, Early Care and Education Law, Homelessness Prevention Law, Children's Rights (including Adoptions and Guardianships), Consumer Law (including Bankruptcy), Immigrants' Rights, and Opportunity Under Law.[1]

In 1977, the Los Angeles County Bar Association joined the Beverly Hills Bar Association as a sponsor of the Law Foundation. This joint endeavor resulted not only in a name change to Public Counsel, but also in an expansion of the organization's purposes and goals. Direct involvement in public interest litigation was coupled with a mandate to mobilize and coordinate pro bono efforts of the Los Angeles legal community to serve the poor.

It is the public interest law office of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations and the Southern California affiliate of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Its full-time staff of 110 (including 62 staff attorneys in four offices), along with over 5,000 volunteer lawyers, law students, and legal professionals, assists over 30,000 children, youth, families, and community organizations every year.

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