Tribes, tribal organizations and entities: CILS may provide free legal services if the tribe, tribal organization or entity is considered a “low income”. The tribe, tribal organization or society must prove and certify that it does not have unlimited resources to hire a private lawyer and that 51% of its members are at or below the poverty line. The legal question of the tribe, tribal organization or entity must include a question of Indian federal law. Legal aid income eligibility: To find out if you qualify for legal aid, read the legal aid requirements set out by the Société des services juridiques. They set maximum income levels for those eligible for legal aid, based on current federal poverty guidelines. In addition, the Legal Services Act stipulates that other specific factors must be taken into account in addition to income. See “Income Level for Eligible Persons” published in the Federal Register (Volume 82, Number 10442)). Supervision: NALA students provide legal services under the supervision of lawyers from the California Indian Legal Services. 3. Indian Law Clinics Indian law clinics are located in select law schools and provide law students with experience in Native American law and provide legal services to low-income Native American tribes and clients. Some clinics work with tribal governments, courts, organizations, and lawyers. Other clinics will work with Indigenous clients on Indigenous issues, representing them in state, federal, tribal and government hearings. Check with your local clinic for practice guidelines.
CILS implemented a program-wide policy requiring all CILS employees to work from home and closed all offices to the public. We will continue to accept and return calls from new and existing customers. The lawyers` staff ensures the protection of their clients` legal interests and keeps them informed of all relevant information for their case. Individuals: CILS can provide free legal services if the person is considered a “low income” (at or below the federal poverty line) and has a legal problem or a problem with Indian federal law. *For individuals in our Escondido office, there is no low-income requirement for support for Native American victims of domestic violence and harassment. 2. Legal aid Each State should have a legal aid service for groups and individuals who meet certain criteria. The support offered can range from free to affordable/discounted. Colorado Legal Services, for example, does not charge fees as long as the client meets certain federal revenue guidelines. California Indian Legal Services (CILS) is the first Indian-controlled law firm established to provide specialized legal representation to Native Americans and Indian tribes.
CILS offers free or low-cost representation in business that aligns with the priorities set by our Board of Directors. Founded by California Indians and public interest advocates, CILS has been a leading advocate for the rights of Native Americans and Native American tribes for more than forty years. CILS has four offices in California. CILS is supported by grants, namely the Legal Services Corporation and the California State Bar, private foundations, and individual and corporate donors, as well as contracts from various Indian tribes recognized by the State of California. 1. Lawyers and Law Firms Some law firms specialize in Indian affairs. While law firms may charge a premium for certain services, they may also offer discounted or even free support for certain services. The availability of discounted or free services generally depends on (1) the type of service, (2) the client`s situation, or (3) the availability of lawyers engaged in pro bono work. (Pro bono is a Latin term meaning that this happens without compensation for the common good. Lawyers are encouraged to offer free legal advice by volunteering their time. Lawyers who do pro bono work can be found in pro bono service directories.) CILS provides free legal services to impoverished Indians, Indian tribes and Native American organizations according to the following priorities: (1) Preservation and enhancement of the Indian land base; (2) self-determination; (3) ensuring the restoration of services; (4) ensuring bureaucratic accountability for government policies, acts or omissions; and (5) the protection of Indian heritage and culture.
Pro bono opportunities: Please contact the program directly for more information. California Indian Legal Services has been dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services to Native Americans since 1967. Our areas of activity include: Legal assistance, forms and information for Native American legal issues This year, NALA will assist the California Indian Legal Services (CILS) in implementing the organization`s new Military Landfill Upgrade Project (MDUP). The project aims to help local veterans with less than honourable military release histories improve their discharge classification to restore access to medical care, pensions, home loans and educational opportunities. Under the supervision of CILS lawyers, students will be paired with a local veteran and help them navigate all aspects of the upgrade process. Other research-based projects covering topics ranging from the Indian Child Protection Act (ICWA) to tribal environmental issues will be available for students who wish to develop skills in legal research and memo writing. NILL provides support to Indian legal research, but cannot provide legal advice.