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Welcome to Bay Area Legal Services

We believe that access to justice is fundamental to strong, safe communities. Our lawyers, paralegals, and support staff are dedicated to providing free civil legal services to qualified and low-income residents and nonprofits throughout the Tampa Bay area. Last year, we helped and educated more than 25,000 individuals, families, and community groups.

If you need legal assistance, please use this site to learn about our services. Then, take the first step and call us today. If you are interested in volunteering your time or making a donation to help us accomplish our mission, this site is your guide.

At Bay Area Legal Services, we are here for one reason: To help.

  • Hillsborough County Opens New Domestic Partner and Advanced-Directives Registry

    Hillsborough residents can now designate a support person or domestic partner to make significant decisions, including hospital or jail visitation, healthcare, and childcare. The registry is administered by the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court office. For more information, including how to register, click here.

  • Florida Supreme Court Pro Bono Service Awards Ceremony

    On January 29, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court held its annual Pro Bono Service Awards Ceremony. Hillsborough County attorneys once again received recognition for their outstanding pro bono service. Congratulations to the following award recipients:

    The Chief Justice’s Distinguished Judicial Service Award: The Honorable Ashley B. Moody, 13th Judicial Circuit.

    The Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation: Akerman LLP (Headquarters in Miami).

    The Chief Justice’s Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award: Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers (HAWL).

    The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award: Sara Alpert, Tampa.

    The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit: Elizabeth L. “Betsey” Hapner.

    The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the Sixth Judicial Circuit: Brent A. Woody.

    The 2015 Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, presented by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga to John W. Kozyak (Miami).

    To view a video of the Florida Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Service Awards Ceremony, please click here.

  • Florida Veterans Support Line

    The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay has launched a helpline for veterans living in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Polk counties, who are transitioning to life after the military. Their new Florida Veterans Support Line, 1-844-MYFLVET (693-5838) is a free service for veterans to speak with other veterans about their problems and where they can get support. Click here for an ABC Action News story highlighting the program, and information about what veterans can expect when they call.

  • Legal Help for Taxpayers Now Available in Pasco County

    BALS' Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic in Hillsborough County has expanded its services to Pasco County residents. BALS receives funding from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent unit within the IRS, to provide access to legal representation, education, and advocacy on behalf of low-income taxpayers and taxpayers who speak English as a second language. Eligible residents of Hillsborough and Pasco counties can receive tax assistance through the Clinic. Click here for more information.

  • Foreclosure Assistance for Hillsborough and Pasco County Residents

    If you are a resident of Hillsborough or Pasco Counties, please call the Legal Aid Line at 813.232.1343 (Hillsborough) or 1.800.625.2257 (Pasco) to be screened for an appointment to speak with an attorney about the legal options available to you through our foreclosure project. To learn more about the project, click here for a story on ABC Action News - WFTS/TV.

  • Our Sustaining Law Firm Campaign is going strong!

    Thank you to all of the attorneys and firms who have supported us. Click here to see our Sustaining Law Firms.


    Bay Area Legal Services has recently joined AmazonSmile as a recipient charity. Choose Bay Area Legal Services as your charity and AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the eligible purchase price to Bay Area.

    Click here for more information about the AmazonSmile/BALS donation program.