Philadelphia Legal Assistance

Enforcing and protecting the rights of individuals and families by providing accessible, creative and high quality legal assistance and working collaboratively for systemic change.

Philadelphia Bar Foundation Grant Impact

As a federally funded program, Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) is required to use non-federal funds to perform certain legal work and advocacy on behalf of low income clients. The Philadelphila Bar Foundation's support remains the single, dependable, unrestricted source of funding for PLA that allows the organization to serve its clients as fully and effectively as possible. 

Summary List of Programs and Services

PLA advocates provide direct legal services through individual client representation in the following practice areas: mortgage foreclosure defense, bankruptcy, child custody, child support, protection from abuse, unemployment compensation, TANF, food stamps, cash assistance and Medicaid. In addition, PLA operates the following projects:

The Custody and Support Assistance Clinic, Inc. (CASAC):

Provides advice and pro se assistance to low-income families with custody matters. The clinic is operated by University of Pennsylvania law students at PLA. To make an appointment, applicants should call 215-981-3838 on Mondays or Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Guild Food Stamp Clinic:

Provides assistance/representation to individuals seeking to obtain/ maintain food stamp benefits. The Guild Food Stamp Clinic is operated by law students from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. To find dates/times of operation, call 215-981-3800.

Pennsylvania Farmworker Project:

Provides representation to migrant farmworkers throughout Pennsylvania in employment and housing matters. Intake is done on an outreach basis at farm labor camps throughout the state or by telephone by calling (888) 541-1544 toll free.

Save Your Home Philly Hotline: Funded by the City of Philadelphia, the Hotline operates 24/7 as a single point of access to a wide variety of services to help Philadelphia residents avoid foreclosure. Provides legal advice, brief legal services, and referrals to housing counselors and lawyers. 215-334-HOME (4663)

Medical-Legal-Community Partnership (MLCP):

The MLCP is based on the nationally reputed medical-legal partnership model of integrated care delivery. This program integrates legal advocates into Health Center #3 and #4 which are operated by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Health Center patients are referred to on-site legal advocates to meet a broad range of legal needs, using a generalist approach to legal care. Legal advocates collaborate with healthcare providers and social services staff to meet the health-harming legal needs of patients. 

Employment Advocacy Project (EAP):

The EAP is a student operated clinic supervised by PLA to provide representation to individuals in unemployment compensation hearings.

Summary List of Priorities for Client Intake

Family Law: Custody and Domestic Violence. We are currently not doing intake for Support, and intake for divorce is limited to persons who have already been sued for divorce in Philadelphia County and applicants must apply online.

Public Benefits: Cash assistance, Food stamps (SNAP), Medical Assistance, and Unemployment Compensation.

Housing: Preserving homeownership, mortgage foreclosure, real estate tax foreclosure, predatory lending and Bankruptcy.