East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) (Berkeley, CA)

Founded 1988 by law students at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. Largest provider of free legal services in the East Bay and a nationally-recognized poverty law clinic.
Organization website

Primary geographic focus: California
Organization type(s): Provider
Acronym or short name: EBCLC

Since its founding in 1988 by law students at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, EBCLC has become the largest provider of free legal services in the East Bay and a nationally-recognized poverty law clinic.

The East Bay Community Law Center was founded in 1988 – as the Berkeley Community Law Center – by law students from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. The student founders were motivated by the intersection of significant trends in legal services and legal education.

With the hard work of staff, students, Boalt faculty and board members, and the incredible support of many individuals and institutions, EBCLC has grown to become the largest provider of free legal services in the East Bay and Boalt Hall’s largest clinical offering.

With a full-time staff of 20, EBCLC now serves several thousand low-income clients and community groups each year with legal matters directly affecting their income, shelter and health care. Many other East Bay residents receive education, information or referrals to help meet their critical needs.

EBCLC also plays a central role in preparing and inspiring the next generation of lawyers committed to social justice. Approximately 80 students enroll in EBCLC’s nationally-recognized clinical program each year, receiving high-quality training and mentoring under the supervision of our staff attorneys. Dozens more students participate in one or more of our community outreach, education and service programs.


News Story

State chief justice says unpaid traffic fines should get day in court

Maura Dolan, Lee Romney
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
May 21, 2015
Many California counties require paying traffic fines in full before a court hearing. California's chief justice calls for an emergency rule to prevent courts from requiring drivers to pay traffic tickets before they can go to court to contest them.

News Story

California Adopts Traffic Court Reform, But Fails to Address Major Obstacle for Low-Income Drivers

Sam Levin
East Bay Express (Oakland, CA)
June 9, 2015
Story about how new rules instituted in California's traffic courts and how a major part was overlooked.

News Story

California Traffic Tickets Amnesty Program Leaves Many Behind

Sam Levin
East Bay Express (Oakland, CA)
November 11, 2015
The state's initiative to help low-income drivers overcome excessive traffic court debts is failing the most vulnerable residents — and advocates say the East Bay courts' policies are particularly unjust.

News Story

Traffic Courts Are Driving Inequality in California

Rebecca McCray
April 11, 2016
A disproportionate share of fees, fines, and license suspensions fall on blacks and Latinos.

News Story

A disproportionate share of blacks and Latinos lose their driver’s licenses because of unpaid tickets, study finds

Maura Dolan
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
April 11, 2016
The report, by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, examined U.S. Census Bureau data, records from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and information from 15 police and sheriff's departments in the state.

News Story

Court Costs Entrap Nonwhite, Poor Juvenile Offenders

Erik Eckholm
New York Times (NYT)
August 31, 2016
Fines, fees and restitution mandates are levied on juvenile offenders to varying degrees in every state, a new national survey of these practices has found.

News Story

California judge who mocked blind man emblematic of failed traffic court system

Sam Levin
October 20, 2016
Judge Taylor Culver is accused of ‘willful misconduct’ by the state’s commission on judicial performance, providing a rare window into how police agencies and courts use traffic courts to target low-income people.

News Story

When traffic court fees snowball, East Bay clinic helps people dig out of debt

Malaika Fraley
East Bay Times (CA)
June 1, 2017
When you live hand to mouth in the high-priced Bay Area, the cost of an unexpected traffic ticket can seem like a life ruiner and, for some people, it can be.

News Story

Oakland’s plan to battle homelessness: Stop it before it starts

Martin Kuz
Christian Science Monitor
December 3, 2018
As rising rents push low-income tenants out of Oakland, the city is responding with a program that’s fighting homelessness and gentrification before they take root. The program's approach may be a model for California and the country.

This page last modified: Sat, April 25, 2015 -- 12:50 pm ET