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Legal Aid Society of Orange County

 2101 N Tustin Avenue
 Santa Ana, CA 92705
[P] (714) 571-5200
[F] (714) 571-5270
[email protected]
Shelbie Knox
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Community Legal Services
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 95-1994337 --



Mission StatementMORE »

LASOC-CLS provides civil legal services to low income individuals and to promote equal access to the justice system through advocacy, in-depth representation, innovative self-help services, economic development and community education.

Mission Statement

LASOC-CLS provides civil legal services to low income individuals and to promote equal access to the justice system through advocacy, in-depth representation, innovative self-help services, economic development and community education.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $908,258.00
Projected Revenue $878,350.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • --

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

LASOC-CLS provides civil legal services to low income individuals and to promote equal access to the justice system through advocacy, in-depth representation, innovative self-help services, economic development and community education.

Background Statement

Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been bridging the justice gap for 60 years. LASOC was founded by a group of local attorneys (with volunteer assistance from a group that was then known as Lawyers Wives) in 1958 to respond to the needs of the County’s poor and elderly. LASOC serves low income individuals and seniors who reside in all the cities and unincorporated areas in Orange County. LASOC has an office in the City of Santa Ana and one in the City of Anaheim.

In 1984, LASOC successfully bid for a competitive grant which led to the expansion of its service area to include 18 cities in southeast Los Angeles County, where it is known as Community Legal Services (CLS). The service areas of CLS include 18 cities in southeast Los Angeles County. CLS has an office in the City of Compton and one in the City of Norwalk.

Impact Statement

Civil Legal aid is free legal assistance to low- and middle-income people who have civil legal problems. These problems are non-criminal; rather, civil legal aid helps people access basic necessities such as healthcare, housing, government benefits, employment, and educational services.

Needs Statement

Your gift to LASOC/CLS is an investment in your community. LASOC and CLS programs and services are aimed at stabilizing families and providing solutions that to help low-income individuals become independent. Your support enables LASOC/CLS to protect spouses and children from domestic violence; safeguard the elderly against fraud and abuse; help families, children and elderly obtain health insurance and other benefits; assist homeless individuals with legal issues to help them become self-sufficient; and provide individuals with help in filing taxes and obtaining tax benefits to which they are entitled.


CEO Statement

Every day, our client community faces civil legal issues and challenges that affect their livelihood. Each case has a compelling, individual story-- some of which you will hear tonight. Legal Aid answers our clients’ needs by providing free legal advocacy and legal information. Our staff attorneys and pro bono volunteers help people understand their rights and responsibilities, and equip them with community education resources and self-help tools. We constantly strive to provide the help that our clients desperately need.

Last year the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, gave legal assistance to over 16,000 people, including 8,000 single mothers and 3,700 seniors. Unfortunately, due to limited resources, over 26,000 eligible families were turned away. There is so much more work to be done!

Today, we thank you for your support, and your efforts to make an impact in our community.

Access to the justice system depends on your support. Together with your help, we can increase stability in the lives of children and families, create new and innovative models to address the needs of the community, expand access to our justice system and make an even greater long term impact in our community.

Join us, in one voice for justice. Thank you for your support.

Board Chair Statement

Civil legal aid helps ensure fairness for all in the justice system, regardless of how much money one has. Equal justice under law is a fundamental American value, engraved on the Supreme Court building and taught in classrooms across the country. Civil legal aid helps to fulfill this promise of justice for all, not just for the few who can afford it.
Civil legal aid is funded by a variety of sources. Public funding comes from federal, state, and local governments. Private support comes from charitable donations and foundation grants as well as from the volunteer services of private lawyers, law students, and others. Still, funding for civil legal aid meets only 20% of the need.
Wherever funds originate, civil legal aid is an investment with a good return for taxpayers, businesses and communities. For example, businesses and investors save money from the restoration of home values resulting from foreclosure prevention. Health care providers also save money when civil legal aid helps eligible families obtain insurance coverage or Medicaid to pay for their services.
Civil legal aid also helps reduce—not increase—costs to taxpayers. Taxpayers save money from legal aid’s success in reducing homelessness for children, veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, and others, and the incidence of domestic violence. Civil legal aid also helps streamline the court system by reducing the number of unnecessary lawsuits and cutting down on court costs and staff overtime.  

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Our clients depend on us to fight for their rights. And we depend on you to help us continue the fight. Your gift to LASOC is an investment in your community. LASOC's services are aimed at providing free civil legal services to ensure safety, stability, and economic security for the indigent, the elderly, veterans, and families throughout Orange County and southeast Los Angeles. Please consider making a donation to our organization or volunteering with us. We have year-round volunteer opportunities in various departments, and we accept individuals with various levels of expertise and experience to better aid our clientele. For more information, visit our website at

Geographic Area Served

Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
North Orange County
The Legal Aid Society of Orange County dba Community Legal Services provides free civil legal services to all of Orange County and southeast Los Angeles.

Organization Categories

  1. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Civil Rights
  2. Crime & Legal - Related - Legal Services
  3. -




CEO/Executive Director Kate Marr
CEO Term Start Jan 2017
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Kate Marr has over 17 years of experience litigating and advising clients at several legal services programs in southern California, including Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Public Law Center and Inland Counties Services. She also brings to us a wealth of management and labor relations experience.

Kate has handled a number of domestic violence, family law, and immigration cases. She serves on the executive board of the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council and is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Access to Justice Committee. She is also a past recipient of the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Award as well as Soroptomist International of Long Beach’s Women of Distinction Award in the area of human rights.

Kate received her JD from the University of Colorado School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Robert J. Cohen -- Jan 2017

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mary Lou Czerner Director of Finance & Operations --
Fatima Dadhaboy Directing Attorney --
Anthony Filer Directing Attorney --
Lili Graham Director of Litigation and Training --
Renato Izquieta Directing Attorney --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 80
Number of Part Time Staff 35
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 25
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: --
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: --
Male: --
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Lei Lei Wang Ekvall
Board Chair Company Affiliation Smiley Wang-Ekvall
Board Chair Term Feb 2014 - Jan
Board Co-Chair Linda Gunderson
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Law Office of Linda Gunderson
Board Co-Chair Term July 1984 -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Michael G. Balmages Law Offices of Michael G. Balmages Voting
Michael Behrens Hueson Hennigan LLP Voting
Brian Berggren -- Voting
Paula Bonnaire -- Voting
Jared Bunker -- Voting
Roman Darmer -- Voting
Doug Davidson Attorney Voting
Anna Davis UC Irvine School of Law Voting
Blaine H. Evanson Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP Voting
Alan Fenstermacher Rutan & Tucker LLP Voting
Mohammed Ghods -- Voting
Donyetta Hamm -- Voting
Valerie Hernandez Rainbow Services Voting
Lucinda Horne -- Voting
Sergio Jacquez -- Voting
Sue Lau -- Voting
Susan Lindenberg -- Voting
Pearl Mann -- Voting
Elizabeth McKenn O'Melveny & Myers Voting
Richard J. McNeil Snell & Wilmer Voting
Esther Morales -- Voting
Adrianna Moreno -- Voting
Charles Murray -- Voting
Debora Rodriguez -- --
Alan Slater -- --
Mei Tsang Umberg/Zipser LLP Voting
Jillyane Van -- Voting
Sujei Vasquez Orange County Bar Foundation Voting
Lei Lei Wang-Ekvall -- Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 6
Caucasian: 11
Hispanic/Latino: 6
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 14
Male: 12
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 60%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 20%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year Feb 01, 2018 to Jan 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $878,350.00
Projected Expenses $908,258.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

2014 Audit

2014 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $6,932,100 $7,373,199 $7,020,326
Total Expenses $6,737,687 $7,144,289 $7,236,767

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$21,186 $174,300 $28,021
Government Contributions $6,613,677 $6,811,899 $6,711,937
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $6,613,677 $6,811,899 $6,711,937
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support $0 $0 $0
Earned Revenue $0 $0 $0
Investment Income, Net of Losses $424 $469 $567
Membership Dues $0 $0 $0
Special Events $59,108 $38,507 $6,221
Revenue In-Kind $0 $0 $0
Other $178,597 $309,517 $267,359

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $5,450,416 $5,757,054 $6,004,353
Administration Expense $1,287,271 $1,387,235 $1,232,414
Fundraising Expense $0 $0 $0
Payments to Affiliates $0 $0 $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 1.03 0.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses 81% 81% 83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $7,534,519 $7,496,287 $6,267,882
Current Assets $1,691,918 $1,982,944 $1,370,620
Long-Term Liabilities $4,399,586 $4,582,639 $3,602,192
Current Liabilities $213,247 $186,375 $167,327
Total Net Assets $2,921,686 $2,727,273 $2,498,363

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 7.93 10.64 8.19

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 58% 61% 57%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.