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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 19,000 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.

    News and Events

    Read about recent and upcoming events, activities, and honors.
  • Learn Your Legal Rights Community Workshop

    The George Edgecomb Bar Association will host a free community workshop, Learn Your Legal Rights, on Saturday, May 14th, from 8 am to 4:30 pm, at the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa. Volunteer attorneys will provide information about a variety of legal topics, including bankruptcy, employment discrimination, restoration of civil rights, family law, and landlord/tenant disputes. For more information about the workshop, click here..

  • Free Videocast Training for Nonprofits

    Pfizer and DLA Piper will present a free videoconference for nonprofits, Building a Brand: How to Create an Identity for your Nonprofit that Works and is Legally Protected, on Wednesday, May 18th, from 1 to 3:30 pm. The seminar is designed for board members, executive directors and other nonprofit staff, and volunteers responsible for marketing, communications, and fundraising. For more information and to register, click here

  • Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Service Awards Ceremony

    Congratulations to the recipients of the 2015 Circuit Pro Bono Service Awards! On Thursday, April 21st, more than 150 attorneys received recognition at the Chester H. Ferguson Law Center in Tampa for the pro bono services they provided last year. The ceremony began with a procession of more than 20 judges, representing County, Circuit, Federal Courts and the 2nd District Court of Appeals. The following attorneys and firms were selected from many nominees to receive the listed awards for their pro bono legal assistance:

    Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Young Lawyer: Traci Koster
    Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Lawyer: Harley Herman
    Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Paralegal: Joyce Parrish
    Outstanding Pro Bono Service by an Organization: HCBA Marital & Family Law Section
    Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Law Firm: Kynes, Markman & Felman, P.A.
    Special Recognition Award: WMU Cooley Law School Debt Relief Clinic
    HCBA Jimmy Kynes Award: Stephen Todd

    Thank you to all the pro bono attorneys, paralegals, organizations, and firms in our community! Click here for a link to professional profiles of the recipients.

  • Tampa Bay Times Recognizes Bay Area Legal Services' "Culture of Empathy"

    For the third consecutive year, the Tampa Bay Times selected BALS as one of Tampa Bay's Top Workplaces in 2016 in its small business category. Click here to read why.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Your donations make a significant impact on our community. Last year we exceeded all benchmark standards for charitable accountability. Visit our facts and figures page to see how your donations are being spent wisely.