Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County

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Legal Aid Assists Struggling Homeowners with Foreclosure Prevention and Mortgage Relief 

Across the county, financial hardships have either been created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For homeowners who experienced reductions […more…]

Tipping the Scales of Justice

California’s rental assistance program is designed to pay 100 percent of past-due rent, providing sorely needed relief to income-eligible renters […more…]

Legal Aid Foundation

Donate now!
(805) 963-6754 x103
Executive Director: Jennifer Smith


Our mission is to provide high-quality civil legal services to low-income and other vulnerable residents in order to ensure equal access to justice. We change lives through direct representation, legal advice and information, and community education.

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.

I am proud to support the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County. As an attorney, I know our system works best when everyone has legal representation. Through my work, I see how seniors may become victims of unscrupulous business practices or be taken advantage of by family members. Equal access to justice means that everyone – regardless of age, income, or physical ability – deserves to receive high-quality legal advice and representation. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and to make a difference in my community.
Julianna Malis
Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law, Board Secretary

Competing With Big Firms

As a small nonprofit, the Legal Aid Foundation often finds itself on the other side of the same private law firms its clients cannot afford. One of the organization’s greatest challenges is recruiting top-notch attorneys in a high-cost region to do nonprofit legal aid work. The foundation has historically leaned on its annual Chowder Fest fundraiser, which is postponed due to the pandemic, and is seeking private donations to complement other grants it receives. Donations won’t just cover personnel costs but also enable it to remain competitive in terms of salaries and benefits. The organization is trying to raise $70,000 to keep up with the big law firms.

Key Supporters

The Hon. Susan Rose,
in memory of Allan Ghitterman
Becky Steiger, Attorney,
Board President
Rachel Wilson,
Wilson & Pettine LLP,
Board Vice President
Susan Thompson,
Community West Bank,
Board Treasurer
Julianna M. Malis,
Santa Barbara Estate
Planning & Elder Law,
Board Secretary
Jena Shoaf Acos
Alan & Carol Blakeboro
William L. F. Felstiner
Saji Dias Gunawardane
Alexander Saunders
Garry Tetalman
Bill & Susan Wagner
Foley Bezek Behle & Curtis
Hollister & Brace
Montecito Bank & Trust
Santa Barbara County Bar Association
Santa Barbara Foundation
The State Bar of California,
Office of Access & Inclusion
U.S. Department of Justice,
Office of Violence Against Women
Yardi Systems Inc.