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 17,600 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.
- Low-Income FL Veterans Now Have Access to Statewide Legal Helpline
The Florida Legislature approved $500,000 in funding to staff and launch a statewide Veterans Legal Helpline Project. The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with Bay Area Legal Services to lead the initiative, which is now underway. “The funding will provide more veterans with access to justice who would otherwise be rejected due to their location or income, despite not being able to afford an attorney,” said Alexandra Srsic, managing attorney of the Major General Ernest A. and Marilyn Bedke Veterans Law Center at Bay Area Legal. Read the press release.
Veterans can reach the helpline at 1.866.486.6161.
- Food Banks in Tampa Bay
A list of Tampa Bay area food banks in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota counties available October 11-November 15. Download the list in English and Spanish.
- 2019 Veterans Outreach Court
The 13th Judicial Circuit will host the 2019 Veterans Outreach Court for homeless and low-income veterans on November 8, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Primary Care VA Annex at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital located at 13515 Lake Terrace Lane, Tampa, Florida. Veterans who attend may be eligible for the reduction or forgiveness of fines associated with past cases that are hindering them from getting their driver’s licenses back. Participants must register in advance by Sunday, October , 2019, using the online form. For more information, visit HillsClerk.com.
- Energy Bill Assistance Program
Hillsborough County participates in the federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides energy payment to qualified residents. Do you qualify? Learn more or apply for energy assistance.
- Safe and Healthy Home Program
Featuring the Healthier Homes for Children Program and the Roof Repair and Replacement Program. Get assistance from Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay with home repair services to reduce asthma triggers in the home. For information about the Healthier Homes For Children Program, click here. Para información en Español sobre el Programa de Hogares Más Saludables Para Los Niños, oprime aquí. For information about the Roof Repair and Replacement Program to assist homeowners, click here.
20th Anniversary of the National Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Program
As a proud recipient of funding from the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant program since 2002, Bay Area Legal Services joins other LITCs from around the country in celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the LITC program. Click here to see our video honoring the LITC program. BALS' LITC is one of many clinics nationwide that provides outreach, education, and representation to low-income residents seeking help with tax-related matters. For more info about BALS' LITC, click here.
Join The Collective
Socialize with likeminded professionals during a nonprofit networking hour hosted by BALS. A group of socially conscious and public-spirited friends come together over constructive conversation (and maybe a cocktail). At each event, members enjoy a free adult beverage and the happiness that comes with bringing justice in support of civil legal aid. Click here to learn more about The Collective.
The No Place Like Home project can assist low-income homeowners clear title to their homes
Many homeowners cannot qualify for much needed homestead exemptions or FEMA assistance due to their inability to prove they are the titled homeowner. The No Place Like Home project can help! For more information in English, click here. Para más informacíon en Español, oprima aquí.
HURRICANE IRMA INFORMATION
BALS will be maintaining a Hurricane Irma Resources page on our website for people affected by Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria. Please check the page periodically for updates.
NEW Pro Bono Project for Attorneys! Provide legal advice and brief services to clients via Skype from the comfort of your own home or office one evening a month from 5pm to 7pm. This project is ideal for attorneys looking for after-hours volunteer opportunities that require no travel and little to no follow up. To volunteer or for more information, please call iLawyer Project Manager Linda Anderson at 813-232-1343, ext. 179.
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.
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.