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Client Rights

Client Rights and Responsibilities

What you should expect from us:

  • To be served with dignity and respect
  • To talk with a legal advocate who is interested in helping you
  • To have your problem discussed confidentially with our employees or volunteers.  No one outside our organization will know what you discuss with us unless you authorize us to disclose information to other parties or agents
  • To receive advice about whether we will be able to help, and the type of help you may receive
  • To have someone respond to your problem within a reasonable time, taking into account the high number of people we assist
  • To be informed from time to time about the progress of your case, and to have your questions answered

What we expect from you:

  • To be fully truthful about the facts of your case
  • To let our office know of any changes in your case, including changes in your address, telephone number, and income
  • To keep appointments with our office, or let us know in advance when you are unable to make it
  • To be on time for all hearings
  • To let us know if you are no longer interested in pursuing your case/legal problem
  • To respond right away to all requests from us for additional information

Client Grievance Procedures

  • If you have been denied services from Bay Area Legal Services because of eligibility, resources or other reasons, you may request a review of the decision by calling our Appeals Department at 813.232.1343 ext. 2 (Hillsborough County) or 1.800.625.2257 ext. 2 (all other counties)
  • If you have a complaint and you have been assigned to an attorney, discuss your concerns with the attorney handling your case
If you cannot resolve your concerns with your attorney or you have not yet been assigned to an attorney, call our Appeals Department.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Oversight

To ensure meaningful access, effective client communication, and quality legal services to LEP clients, we provide our services to you in an appropriate language through free oral interpretation and, where required, free translation services

If you have been denied appropriate services from BALS, see: Client Grievance Procedures

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator

To ensure that BALS’ legal services are accessible, qualified individuals with disabilities can request a reasonable accommodation or auxiliary aids to participate in our services, at no charge, by contacting our ADA Coordinator within five business days prior to the appointment or event, at 813.232.1343 ext.119 (Hillsborough County), or 1.800.625.2257 ext. 119 (all other counties)

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Contact Person

You can obtain information about various EEO provisions by contacting our EEO contact person, Gale B. Pinkston, at 813.752.1335, ext. 110 (Hillsborough County) or 1.800.625.2257, ext. 119 (all other counties).  BALS prohibits discrimination in employment and the delivery of services based on race, color, national origin, familial status, disability, sex, religion, age and military status.  Any person who believes he has been discriminated against may contact our EEO contact person.