California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. (CRLA)

Founded in 1966 as a nonprofit legal services program, CRLA has 21 offices and strives for economic justice and human rights on behalf of California's rural poor.
Organization website

Primary geographic focus: California, RURAL
Organization type(s): Provider
Acronym or short name: CRLA
Lists: LSC
Tags: Farm and Migrant Workers, Immigration Process, Language Access

CRLA was founded in 1966 as a nonprofit legal services program. Our mission is to strive for economic justice and human rights on behalf of California’s rural poor. Today, CRLA has 21 offices, many in rural communities from the Mexican border to Northern California.

Each year, we provide more than 40,000 low-income rural Californians with free legal assistance and a variety of community education and outreach programs. Half of our resources are committed to multi-client cases that grapple with the root causes of poverty.


Blog Post

When Legal Assistance Can Improve Health

Lonnie A. Powers
Huffington Post
June 1, 2016
Civil legal aid organizations have long demonstrated expertise in identifying and rectifying the environmental factors that adversely impact the health and safety of vulnerable and underserved communities.


Good Crop, Bad Crop

Gabriel Thompson
August 2, 2016
Too often, workers picking America’s produce face poor treatment and wage theft. The U.S. is barely using a law designed to stop it.

News Story

Farmworkers’ sexual harassment cases leading to notable payouts

Bernice Yeung
Reveal News
August 12, 2016
The Jackpot Harvesting case joins a number of farmworker sexual assault cases that have resulted in notable financial settlements or jury awards in the past year.

News Story

Environmentalists, state settle differences over hazardous waste site

Lewis Griswold
Fresno Bee (CA)
September 5, 2016
In what both sides are calling “historic,” state agencies and environmental justice groups settled an administrative civil rights complaint filed with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Audio , News Story

In Rural California, LGBT Seniors Often Are Forced Back Into The Closet

Ezra David Romero
Valley Public Radio (Fresno, CA)
November 1, 2016
The reality of aging is a hard pill to swallow for anyone, but for the LGBT population in rural places it can be an even rougher experience.

News Story

How Trump’s Budget Could Hurt Rural Voters Who Need Legal Help

Mike Vainisi
March 20, 2017
Cuts to the Legal Services Corporation will be felt in rural America.

News Story

Legal aid groups prepare for loss of federal funds

Dominic Fracassa
San Francisco Chronicle
March 21, 2017
Legal aid organizations across California are bracing for what could be a devastating financial blow following the release of the Trump administration’s draft budget last week.


Why California should boost legal aid funding

Bob Wieckowski, Salena Copeland
Mercury News (San Jose, CA)
March 22, 2017
Seniors, people with disabilities, domestic violence survivors and their children, elderly financial abuse victims, victims of consumer scams, working parents in debt and many more will be left alone to navigate a daunting legal system.

News Story

California pressed to stop collecting students’ citizenship data

Jill Tucker
San Francisco Chronicle
March 27, 2017
Civil rights groups asked California’s attorney general Monday to investigate dozens of school districts across the state that require parents to provide children’s sensitive information such as when they entered the country.

News Story

Even in ‘good’ states, LGBT advocates say there is work to be done

Susan Miller
USA Today
June 1, 2017
Advocacy organizations, policymakers and elected officials have been committed to establishing legal protections and recourse for LGBT people in the state, Cisneros said.

News Story

Settlement in Kern discrimination lawsuit calls for new school discipline policies

Jane Meredith Adams
July 24, 2017
Under the terms of the settlement, the Kern High School District admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to develop new discipline policies under the guidance of experts on unconscious racial bias.

News Story

Kern High School District settles with parents who felt their children were targeted for being minorities

Joy Resmovits
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
July 28, 2017
The school promised to create new discipline policies with help from experts on unconscious racial bias and to schedule continued training for teachers on less punitive techniques to minimize disruptions.


The Justice Gap

Lincoln Caplan
Harvard Magazine
October 20, 2017
America’s unfulfilled promise of “equal justice under law”.

Audio , News Story

Farm hands worked in Ventura County despite Thomas Fire smoke

Leslie Berestein Rojas
Southern California Public Radio (SCPR)
December 11, 2017
As the Thomas Fire raged in Ventura County and smoke thickened the air in the past week, some farm workers continued to toil in local fields without face protection, according to field worker advocates.

News Story

Climate Change Isn’t Just Making It Difficult For Farmworkers. It’s Putting Their Lives In Danger.

Yvette Cabrera
Huffington Post
September 12, 2018
Hotter temperatures can increase heat-related illnesses, reduce paychecks and even kill those who labor outdoors.

Long Form

No Money, No Lawyer, No Justice – The vast, hidden inequities of the civil legal system

Kathryn Joyce
New Republic
June 22, 2020


How to Protect Female Farmworkers

David Bacon, Jose R. Padilla
New York Times (NYT)
January 19, 2016
There are several steps we can take to slow the scourge of sexual harassment among female farmworkers.

News Story

The Problem Is Clear: The Water Is Filthy

Patricia Leigh Brown
New York Times (NYT)
November 13, 2012
California Rural Legal Assistance and other groups are helping predominantly Latino unincorporated communities in the Central Valley seek clean water.

This page last modified: Tue, May 3, 2016 -- 2:37 pm ET