California’s oldest and largest legal services support center, created in 1967 to focus on housing, health care and a strong safety net for low-income Californians. HQ in LA, with offices in Sacramento and Oakland.
Organization Website

Twitter: @Western_Center
Facebook: Facebook
Primary geographic focus: California Statewide, Northern California, Southern California
Organization Type: Provider, Research/Policy/Organizing
LAAC Membership Type: Members
Lists: IOLTA-Funded, IOLTA Support Centers
Tags: Benefits, Civil Rights, Consumer Protection, Disability: Mental Health, Health Care, Housing: Homelessness, Language Access, Law School Clinics, Poverty, Prisoners Rights
Acronym or short name: WCLP

Western Center on Law & Poverty leads the fight in the courts, counties and capital to secure housing, health care and a strong safety net for low-income Californians.

Western Center focuses on increasing the supply of affordable housing, preserving the existing supply of low-income housing, and preventing homelessness; implementing health care reform, extending coverage to the uninsured and indigent, expanding mental health services, and stopping illegal debt collection practices; advocating for Californians served by CalWORKs, CalFresh, SSI and General Relief, and other critical programs; due process rights and language access issues and ensuring that legal services programs will be fairly paid for their work.

Western Center, California’s oldest and largest legal services support center, was created in 1967 by a passionate group of attorneys and legal scholars from USC, UCLA and Loyola law schools.

Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP)


News Story

Palo Alto: Council to hear Buena Vista appeal

Jason Green
Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP), Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, San Jose Mercury News
April 10, 2015
Residents of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park appeal decision to close the park and to approve the relocation assistance package offered.


News Story

Solano County settlement would offer alternatives to traffic fines

San Francisco Chronicle
August 8, 2017
Advocates for California motorists who face mounting fees for traffic tickets took another step to ease the burden, a settlement that seeks to offer options to paying fines that many people can’t afford.

News Story

In California, Landlords Threaten Immigrant Tenants with Deportations

Kriston Capps
Atlantic, The
April 5, 2017
Housing lawyers are reporting a troubling trend: Landlords exploiting the growing fear of immigration authorities to evict tenants, raise rents, and clear residents from gentrifying neighborhoods.

News Story

‘License Suspension Should Never be Punishment for Poverty:’ ACLU, Advocates Sue DMV

NBC Bay Area
October 26, 2016
Legal advocates, including four LAAC members, sue the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

News Story

Drivers License Bill Passes State Assembly Panel

Santa Monica Lookout
June 21, 2016
SB 881 stops the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for low-income people with minor traffic offenses who fail to appear in court or to pay initial fines that snowball into huge financial burdens.

News Story

Legal Coalition Demands Traffic Court Policy Changes

Sydney Johnson
East Bay Express (Oakland)
March 24, 2016

News Story

Alameda County sued over food stamp delays

Matthew Artz
Contra Costa Times
October 1, 2015
Plaintiffs want Alameda County to ensure that they stop continuing to process applications late.

News Story

California’s Obamacare exchange criticized for not fixing enrollment, tax errors

Chad Terhune
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
August 21, 2015
The Health Consumer Alliance of San Diego, representing several legal aid organizations, sent a letter to Covered California complaining about problems with the implementation of the health laws.

News Story

County Program for Poorest of Poor Discriminates Against Mentally and Developmentally Disabled

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA)
November 18, 2015
Failure to accommodate the disabled poor draws lawsuit against L.A. County Department of Public Social Services.

News Story

A frenzied start for state’s traffic ticket amnesty program

Lee Romney
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
November 14, 2015
After the first month of implementation of California's new traffic amnesty program, civil legal aid advocates are wary of a system fraught with inconsistencies.

News Story

Palo Alto: Council to hear Buena Vista appeal

Jason Green
Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP), Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, San Jose Mercury News
April 10, 2015
Residents of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park appeal decision to close the park and to approve the relocation assistance package offered.


Don’t let child poverty undermine school readiness: guest commentary

Los Angeles Daily News (LA Daily)
June 16, 2015
The Legislature and Governor should repeal the MFG rule in the 2015-2016 budget as a first step in combating childhood poverty.

News Story

L.A. Housing Authority $3.3-million trash pickup settlement approved

Ruben Vives
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
March 7, 2015
A $3.3 million settlement was approved following the Western Center on Law and Poverty's 2012 lawsuit against the Los Angeles Housing Authority's illegal charge for trash collection.

News Story

New bill to restore suspended drivers licenses

Annie Taylor
Canyon News
SB 405 would give amnesty to people who have had their licenses suspended due to outstanding traffic fines and court penalties.


Developing and Documenting Defenses in Public Benefit Fraud Cases

Dec 5, 2018
This training will review key case law and strategies to identify, access, and develop evidence in fraud cases in CalFresh, CalWORKs and other public benefit programs.
MCLE: 1 hour

Unlawful Detainers A-Z: Covid Requirements – Tenant and Landlord Responsibilities

Oct 28, 2021


An Inside View of the State Budget

Nov 15, 2021
MCLE: 0 hours

Dusting off the federal Administrative Procedure Act: Understanding the breadth & limits of agency power

Mar 3, 2017
How far can a federal agency go in promulgating or changing new regulations, rules or guidances? What can we do if new or changed regulations or directives harm our clients?
MCLE: 1.5 hours

2016 Disability Civil Rights Law Series: Select Medi-Cal Eligibility, Enrollment and Managed Care Issues for People with Disabilities in California

Nov 17, 2016
Presenters will discuss some of the pitfalls that continue to confront Medi-Cal applicants and beneficiaries, even as the program has undergone significant changes over the past several years.
MCLE: 1 hour

2016 Disability Civil Rights Law Series: Reasonable Accommodations for Criminal Activity Related to an Individual’s Disability

Sep 26, 2016
This webinar will explore an applicant or tenant's right to a reasonable accommodation for criminal activity prior to adverse action by the housing provider.


2016 Disability Civil Rights Law Series: Public Benefits

Aug 17, 2016
This is the fourth training in our 2016 Disability Civil Rights Webinar Series.


2016 Disability Civil Rights Law Series: Providing Legal Services to Clients with Disabilities (With Focus on Mental Health)

Mar 18, 2016
This is the second in a series of Disability Rights Law webinars that will offer an overview of relevant legal authority, as well as advocacy tips and practical resources.
MCLE: 1 hour (Elimination of Bias)

LAAC: California Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program

Sep 22, 2015
This webinar will discuss California's Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program, including advocacy efforts directed at facilitating its implementation.
MCLE: 1 hour

Lifting the Cap on the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) Rule

May 22, 2013
Explains the Maximum Family Grant rule to both advocates and attorneys.
MCLE: 1 hour

Navigating US District Court Filings and Admissions

Nov 30, 2012
Covers Electronic Court Filings (ECF) filings and attorney admissions and other useful tips for attorneys and paralegals/legal secretaries.
MCLE: 1 hour

This page last modified: Fri, April 27, 2018 -- 12:46 pm ET