For over 60 years Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) has been fighting for the civil rights of our clients. LSNC is the strong voice that continues to speak out on behalf of our clients living in our communities, even as the state and local “safety nets” for the poor continue to crumble.
Most of the legal aid offices that make up Legal Services of Northern California began as an offshoot of a volunteer program or a special grant project. The oldest program began in Sacramento County in 1956. For a number of years the Sacramento, Auburn, Woodland, Solano, Chico, Redding, Eureka and Ukiah offices were independent organizations created solely to benefit the low-income residents in their particular communities. Today, all these disparate legal aid programs are now integrated as a whole into one organization. Our services are provided to consumers in 23 northern California counties, with our largest office and administrative offices located in Sacramento.
LSNC provides crucial civil legal services to tens of thousands of needy and vulnerable individuals, while also engaging in complex, sophisticated advocacy—through litigation, legislation, administrative advocacy, and community development work—which has a significant positive impact for our entire client community in the areas of affordable housing, public benefits, health, education, and civil rights. In 2018 alone, LSNC assisted more than 13,000 individuals in need of civil legal services.
To cite just one example, in 2018 LSNC challenged a city ordinance that sought to limit the speech and conduct of people experiencing homelessness. A federal court ruled in favor of LSNC's clients, finding the ordinance unconstitutional and enjoined its enforcement.