San Diego County Bar Foundation Awards $521,000 in Grants to 24 Local Nonprofits

SAN DIEGO (Mar. 12, 2019) – The San Diego County Bar Foundation has awarded $521,000 to 24 local nonprofit organizations providing legal services, public awareness education and improvements to the region’s justice and court system.

The awards, from two Foundation grant programs — general and indigent criminal defense — focus on people and communities that are impacted by poverty, abuse and discrimination. Funds assist organizations that serve refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, working poor, domestic violence victims, the disabled, veterans, the homeless, low income seniors and at-risk youth.

“The San Diego County Bar Foundation has demonstrated its leadership in championing full and equal access to justice for all residents,” said San Diego County Bar Association President Lilys D. McCoy. “Through the Foundation’s vetting process, we are assured the donations from our legal community are well spent.”

The largest award from the 2018 Indigent Criminal Defense Fund of $100,000 was awarded to California Western School of Law’s California Innocence Project, to assist in overturning wrongful conviction cases. The additional seven recipients are:

  • Appellate Defenders – $20,000 to provide professional development lectures and workshops to appellate defenders staff and attendance at the national summit in Washington D.C.;
  • Californian Veterans Legal Task Force – $45,000 to provide criminal defense attorneys for veterans;
  • Center for Employment Homeless Court –$10,000 to support legal services for indigent participants;
  • National Conflict Resolution Center – $50,000 to support and expand the restorative justice project for juveniles;
  • Vincent de Paul Village – $30,000 to support homeless court representatives who prepare clients for court;
  • The Bail Project, Inc. – $75,000 to help clients out of federal criminal custody; and
  • Think Dignity – $50,000 for the Homeless Youth Legal Advocacy Project that helps young people with a variety of criminal legal issues.

The Bar Foundation awarded $141,100 in general grants to 18 nonprofit organizations:

  • American Bar Association – $10,000 for the Pro Bono Program to help meet the need for attorneys in the immigration court system;
  • Access, Inc. – $10,000 for the WAVE project that provides advocacy and representation for undocumented immigrants and refugee victims of workplace sexual harassment, assault and sex trafficking;
  • California Rural Legal Assistance – $15,000 to provide labor law and employee rights legal services for migrant farmworkers;
  • Cal-Western Community Law Project – $7,500 for legal consultations and community legal education for low-income individuals;
  • Casa Cornelia Law Center – $10,000 for immigration related services to immigrant victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and other serious crimes;
  • Center for Community Solutions – $5,000 for legal assistance regarding restraining orders and other family law matters;
  • Children’s Legal Services of San Diego, Inc. – $10,000 to provide assistance to non-minor dependents on civil legal issues such as housing, family law, employment law and personal injury;
  • Community Resource Center – $5,000 for legal assistance to domestic violence survivors;
  • Elder Law & Advocacy – $10,000 to provide legal advice and advocacy for low-income seniors;
  • Interfaith Community Services, Inc. – $5,000 for the Immigration Legal Services Program;
  • Jewish Family Service – $5,000 to assist refugees and asylum seekers with legal support;
  • Karen Organization of San Diego – $8,600 to expand legal services and promote public understanding of the law among Burmese refugees;
  • La Maestra Family Clinic – $5,000 to expand legal services for low-income immigrants;
  • Legal Aid Society of San Diego – $5,000 to support the San Diego County Conservatorship Assistance Program;
  • People’s Legal Services, Inc. – $10,000 to support the Family Law Program’s immigration services;
  • San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program – $5,000 to provide representation to low-income individuals, prioritizing survivors of domestic violence and their children;
  • Think Dignity – $7,500 to coordinate legal services for the homeless and provide “Know Your Rights” materials to the indigent; and
  • Voices for Children – $7,500 to provide court appointed special advocates to young children in foster care and fund assessment and triage for additional children’s cases.

Since the Bar Foundation began its grants program in 1979, it has distributed more than $4 million to more than 50 legal aid and public interest organizations.

For more information about the San Diego County Bar Foundation, or to make a donation, visit

About San Diego County Bar Foundation
The San Diego County Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA). Through this partnership with the San Diego County legal community, the Bar Foundation aims to benefit underprivileged communities in the region, by providing them with access to support, funding and public service programs with legal services. The Foundation’s beneficiaries include more than 50 legal aid and public interest organizations. For more information, visit