East Bay Community Law Center

Justice through education and advocacy

aka EBCLC   |   Berkeley, CA   |  http://www.ebclc.org

Mission

EBCLC’s MISSION To promote justice and build a community that is more healthy, secure, productive and hopeful by providing: - Legal services and policy advocacy that are responsive to the needs of low-income communities, and - Law training that prepares future attorneys to be skilled and principled advocates who are committed to addressing the causes and conditions of racial and economic injustice and poverty.

Ruling year info

1987

Principal Officer

Ms. Zoë Polk

Main address

1950 University Ave St 200

Berkeley, CA 94704 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Berkeley Community Law Center

EIN

94-3042565

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Graduate, Professional(Separate Entities) (B50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The East Bay Community Law Center seeks to address the underlying causes of poverty and economic and racial inequality in order to increase justice and improve opportunities in the areas of economic security, education, health and welfare, housing and immigration. Inequitable access to justice, including lack of access to legal resources that leads to poverty, racial inequality, and poor health/life outcomes for families. EBCLC aims to close the justice gap through accessible legal services and by uplifting the voices of the most impacted people to create systemic change.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Housing Program

EBCLC’s Housing Clinic represents thousands of renters of color facing eviction every year, combating the displacement of Black and Latinx residents of Alameda County and providing relief to the community members most impacted by the Bay Area housing crisis. After lobbying to pass one of the nation’s longest and strongest eviction moratoriums in 2020, we’re ramping up our housing protection services to make sure the renters who fought to keep their homes throughout this pandemic get to stay there.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Founded in 1988 to meet the need caused by slashed social services funding, our Health and Welfare (H & W) Services Clinic utilizes an innovative Medical-Legal Partnership model, integrating lawyers directly into healthcare teams at high-need medical centers. This unique strategy has kept us on the frontlines of public health provision during the pandemic, greatly expanding access to unemployment benefits and ensuring that immigrant and mixed-status families maintain access to healthcare and nutrition. Currently, our H & W Services clinic works closely with children from two pediatric clinics, patients of Alameda County’s safety net hospital, and with Alameda County residents who have an HIV/AIDS diagnosis. Eighty percent of the families H & W Services Clinic serves are from communities of color, including ~40% Black and ~30% Latinx.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

EBCLC’s Community Economic Justice Clinic (CEJ) focuses on supporting the development of businesses owned by people of color and amplifying community voice in decision-making to create a more equitable local economy; 100% of the clients CEJ works with are people of color. Many are small business owners and/or entrepreneurs who have started their own community- based businesses and/or co-ops. Our services include leveraging specific legal tools to support entrepreneurs of color build successful businesses and co-ops and to advance community power through equitable representation and wealth-building. Additionally, at the local policy level, EBCLC advances affordable housing solutions that support communities most impacted by displacement stay in housing. In 2020, CEJ provided legal advice to small business owners on navigating commercial leases during Shelter in Place and also provided counsel on local community benefits agreements for local organizations.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people

EBCLC’s Immigration Clinic’s "Kindergarten-to-College" school-based model breaks down barriers and makes it easy for parents and young people to access legal services in a place they feel safe. Our staff attorneys prioritize complex legal remedies, making EBCLC the only nonprofit provider in Alameda County providing immigration remedies for people with past criminal convictions at no cost to clients. We also provide ongoing legal aid services to undocumented residents, including students of color attending regional colleges in the Bay Area. Annually, we serve more than 1,200 clients through our Immigration Clinic; more than 50% of the clients we work with are undocumented; ~60% are Latinx. On average, we work with more than 225 undocumented clients each year who receive intensive removal defense services, as they are facing imminent deportation proceedings.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants

EBCLC’s Education, Defense, and Justice (EDJY) for Youth Clinic focuses on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Currently, key issues EDJY is working on include working with school districts (Oakland Unified and Berkeley) to get police off of school campuses; closing youth jails; building a national coalition to reform and eventually abolish youth electronic monitoring, which primarily impacts students of color; and addressing ongoing discriminatory discipline policies impacting classrooms and schools. EDJY’s work with OUSD has served as a national model for defund police campaigns. Primarily, the students we work with are ages 12-19, with nearly three-fourths youth of color (37% African American; 23% Latinx; 12% API).

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

EBCLC’s Consumer Justice Clinic (CJC) represents under-resourced plaintiffs to release them from untenable debt, such as student loan debt, credit card debt, and debt to pay day lenders. Our litigators and law students have won cases against various debt settlement stakeholders who specifically target immigrants and communities of color. As EBCLC’s Consumer Justice attorneys inform groundbreaking consumer protection policies every year, lawmakers in Sacramento frequently turn to CJC for insights into challenging consumer issues impacting our communities. In 2020, EBCLC successfully passed AB 2436 to protect low-income homeowners from losing their homes due to unsecured debt, including credit card and medical debt. About 75% of the clients that our Consumer practice serves are people of color who face significant debt; 25% are Latinx and 32% are Black residents. All of our Consumer clients live between 0- 50% AMI.

Population(s) Served
Low-income people

Founded in partnership with Congresswoman Barbara Lee to address the pervasive racial targeting of the War on Drugs, EBCLC’s Clean Slate Clinic advances transformative criminal justice reform policies directly informed by our system-impacted clients. Our direct legal services focus on providing wraparound legal support that removes barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated people. In addition, we have a robust policy advocacy practice: our policy advocacy works to eliminate harmful fines and fees that trap systems-impacted individuals and their families into cycles of debt. In 2020, EBCLC successfully passed the nation's first criminal fee abolition bill of its kind, the Families Over Fees Act. The majority of our Clean Slate clients are from communities of color; nearly 40% are Black and 23% are Latinx.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people

EBCLC’s innovative Social Work practice provides a holistic range of social services to our clients who face ongoing challenges related to health, housing, and their immigration status, among other issues. Our social services are embedded into case management plans for clients who also receive legal services. EBCLC’s social workers bring a unique set of skills, including providing crisis management and conflict resolution, and working with complicated family dynamics, all of which are crucial contributions to our legal work. Our Social Work Clinic supports clients who are receiving services in several of our other practices, including our Housing and Immigration clinics.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth
Immigrants and migrants

For the past 30+ years, EBCLC has offered one of the most comprehensive and established clinical legal education programs to law students here in the Bay Area. During this time, we have trained thousands of students in movement lawyering and have shaped how they approach and practice legal advocacy in their communities. EBCLC’s law students play a critical role in implementing our holistic legal services, including engaging in movement lawyering to support our clients in each of our eight practices.

Population(s) Served
Students

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The East Bay Community Law Center’s mission is to promote justice and build a community that is more secure, productive, healthy, and hopeful by providing: (1) legal services and policy advocacy that are responsive to the needs of low-income communities, and (2) law training that prepares future attorneys to be skilled and principled advocates who are committed to addressing the causes and conditions of racial and economic injustice and poverty.

The East Bay Community Law Center provides legal advocacy through our eight program areas. Our strategies for each program area are as follow:

Housing: EBCLC’s Housing Clinic represents thousands of renters of color facing eviction every year, combating the displacement of Black and Latinx residents of Alameda County and providing relief to the community members most impacted by the Bay Area housing crisis.

Immigration:EBCLC’s Immigration Clinic’s "Kindergarten-to-College" school-based model breaks down barriers and makes it easy for parents and young people to access legal services in a place they feel safe. We provide ongoing legal aid services to undocumented residents, including students of color attending regional colleges in the Bay Area.

Community Economic Justice: EBCLC’s Community Economic Justice Clinic (CEJ) focuses on supporting the development of businesses owned by people of color and amplifying community voice in decision-making to create a more equitable local economy. Our services include leveraging specific legal tools to support entrepreneurs of color build successful businesses. At the local policy level, EBCLC advances affordable housing solutions that support communities most impacted by displacement stay in housing.

Consumer Justice: EBCLC’s Consumer Justice Clinic (CJC) represents under-resourced plaintiffs to release them from untenable debt, such as student loan debt, credit card debt, and debt to pay day lenders. Our litigators and law students have won cases against various debt settlement stakeholders who specifically target immigrants and communities of color.

Clean Slate: EBCLC’s Clean Slate Clinic advances transformative criminal justice reform policies directly informed by our system-impacted clients. Our direct legal services focus on providing wraparound legal support that removes barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated people. Our policy advocacy works to eliminate harmful fines and fees that trap systems-impacted individuals and their families into cycles of debt.

Education Defense and Advocacy for Youth: EBCLC’s Education, Defense, and Justice (EDJY) for Youth Clinic focuses on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Currently, EDJY is working with school districts (Oakland Unified and Berkeley) to get police off of school campuses; closing youth jails; building a national coalition to reform and eventually abolish youth electronic monitoring, which primarily impacts students of color.

Health & Welfare: EBCLC’s Health and Welfare (H & W) Clinic utilizes an innovative Medical-Legal Partnership model, integrating lawyers directly into healthcare teams at high-need medical centers. This unique strategy has kept us on the frontlines of public health provision during the pandemic greatly expanding access to unemployment benefits and ensuring that immigrant and mixed-status families maintain access to healthcare and nutrition.

EBCLC closes the justice gap by providing high-quality legal services to low-income clients, as well as clinical education opportunities for law students. Since opening 34 years ago, EBCLC has grown to become the largest provider of free legal services in Alameda County, serving more than 5,000 – 7,000 clients and training over 150 students annually. In order to promote justice, EBCLC’s direct legal service delivery and clinical education methodology tackle the many interrelated causes that contribute to injustice. Our holistic representation extends beyond simply assisting a client with a legal issue. Instead, we ensure that all of our clients’ legal and social service needs – however complex and far-reaching – are addressed. Our community education and outreach work have the broadest reach in the neighborhoods we serve and is an integral part of our multimodal approach to community lawyering. With limited-scope assistance, EBCLC attorneys and staff guide clients through complex legal systems and help create individualized road maps tailored to the issues at hand. Informed by our direct services work with clients and community partners, we engage in policy advocacy at the local and state levels to ensure broad, long-lasting impact. From drafting bills and supporting legislation to advising government agencies on key policy changes, we gather knowledge from our direct legal advocacy and apply it to impact systemic change.

The East Bay Community Law Center is one of the largest legal aid services providers in California. Annually, we serve anywhere between 5,000-7,000 clients. We not only provide holistic services through our eight clinics, but also help educate more than 150 law students each year through our clinical education program.

Before the onset of coronavirus and economic recession, historical divestment from communities of color and the legacy of structural racism served as destabilizing forces in the lives of people EBCLC serves. COVID-19 has had devastating and disparate impacts on clients of color who are essential workers, renters, formerly incarcerated people, students, family matriarchs, and people experiencing homelessness. EBCLC has met these extraordinary times with holistic systems advocacy.

Two recent successes stand out:
EBCLC played a primary role in extending the East Bay’s moratorium on evictions through December 2020, making Alameda County’s eviction ban one of the strongest nationwide. The moratorium, which had been set to expire on September 30, 2020, came at a moment when thousands of unemployed residents lost their emergency federal unemployment benefits and COVID-19 cases hit their highest point in Alameda County. The stress of unstable housing results in disruptions to employment, social networks, education, and receipt of social service benefits. EBCLC’s policy advocacy to prevent eviction and displacement has been foundational to public health.

EBCLC’s primarily Black and Brown clients are more vulnerable to heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure, cancer, pregnancy mortality, intergenerational trauma, and now COVID-19. EBCLC has increased health and wellness community and school-based workshops to preemptively connect with clients who face the difficult combination of challenges across physical health, mental health, and housing to ensure that clients stay healthy and economically secure.

Because COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the health and economic conditions of BlPOC families, EBCLC’s focus in 2021 is on stabilizing Black communities in California by addressing systemic racism, the primary driver of health disparities. EBCLC will focus on addressing three specific areas:
1. Continue the fight to keep families housed and in jobs beyond the eviction moratorium. EBCLC will advocate to keep people housed through the duration of these crises.
2. Work in close partnership with schools to ensure that updated information and resources are getting to undocumented students and other youth caught at the intersection of the education, criminal justice, and immigration systems.
3. Provide individual consultations and policy advocacy for formerly incarcerated individuals. Given that people who are formerly incarcerated are more likely to face poor health outcomes as they re-enter society, EBCLC is committed to implementing targeted solutions to improve the social determinants of their health.

Financials

East Bay Community Law Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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East Bay Community Law Center

Board of directors
as of 5/13/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael Ng

Kobre & Kim LLP

Denise Abrams

Kazan McClain, et al.

James Meehan

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Michael Ng

Kobre & Kim

Maureen Sheehy

Chan Zuckerberg Biohub

Michelle Anderson

Stanford Law School

Katherine Benson

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

Peter Carson

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

Frank Cialone

Shartsis Friese

E. Venessa Henlon

GAP, Inc.

Michael Kwun

Kwun Bhansali Lazarus LLP

Monique Liburd

Google Inc.

Michael Loeb

Judicial Arbitration & Mediation Services (JAMS)

Daven Lowhurst

Law Offices of Daven Lowhurst

Craig Martin

Morrison & Foerster

Samuel Miller

Saira Mohamed

UC Berkeley Law School

Andrea Roth

UC Berkeley Law School

Tirien Steinbach

ACLU NorCal

Tiffany Thomas

Visa

Steven Tindall

Gibbs Law Group

Steven Zieff

Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe

Easha Anand

Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center

Jessica Buendia

California Strategic Growth Council (SGC)

Saxon Cropper-Sykes

Sidley Austin LLP

Luan Huynh

Office of California State Senator Holly J. Mitchell

Ellen Ivens-Duran

Student, UC Berkeley Law School

Sandra Johnson

Root and Rebound

Sneh Rao

City and County of San Francisco: Human Rights Commission

Michelle Rodriguez

National Employment Law Project (NELP)

Kennedy Rose

Student, UC Berkeley Law School

Stephanie Tilden

Student, UC Berkeley Law School

Christin Hill

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Amanda Karl

Gibbs Law Group LLP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/13/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data