About

Our Mission

People’s Legal Services (PLS) is a non-profit law firm whose goal is to provide cost-effective and accessible representation to underserved families and individuals.

To put it plainly, most people can no longer afford legal representation. The excessive cost of legal services has created a “justice gap” where families and individuals either risk their financial security to hire an attorney, or face the daunting task of handling their case and the judicial system alone.

Our mission at PLS is to serve individuals with caring, quality legal services at reasonable prices. If you are our client, we want you to feel like you got the help you needed from people you can trust and who genuinely care about helping you with your interaction with the law. We want to close the justice gap by utilizing innovative approaches and methods to keep costs down without cutting quality. We utilize low hourly rates based on a sliding scale tied to your family size and income. These rates are anywhere from 30% to 50% of current market rates for attorneys in San Diego. We publish this sliding scale on our website here. No bait and switch!

We also offer “unbundled” legal services and fixed fees, so that in appropriate cases you can limit the extent of our representation and limit the amount you pay our organization. Further, we employ high-level technological systems to improve communication and maximize efficiency.

Contact us today to speak with an attorney and complete a free 30-minute case evaluation. Hablamos Español.

How We Set Fees – Our Sliding Scale

What does it mean to charge on a sliding scale? It means we charge based on what you can afford to pay. Rather than billing at an arbitrary market rate, we base our fees on your family size and income. We charge between $75.00 and $175.00 per hour.

Feel free to use our income calculator to estimate the hourly rate you qualify for, and contact us to speak with an attorney and complete a free 30-minute case evaluation. Hablamos Español.

Unbundled Legal Services

Unbundled Legal Services, otherwise known as Limited Scope Representation, is a type of legal representation where the attorney breaks down the tasks associated with a client’s legal matter and provides representation relating to a clearly predefined portion of a client’s legal needs.

For example:

  1. You can consult with an attorney to prepare or review your paperwork, but attend the hearing yourself.
  2. You can represent yourself through the whole case, and periodically consult with an attorney who can coach you on the law, procedures and strategy.
  3. You can prepare your own filing and hire an attorney just to make the court appearance for you.

Limited Scope Representation is appropriate when you are comfortable handling some aspects of your case yourself and only want to pay an attorney when you need that professional assistance. It is important to thoroughly discuss all aspects of your case (even those which you think are simple) with your attorney before deciding which parts you want to do yourself and which ones the attorney will assist you with.

With Unbundled Legal Services, communication between the attorney and client is essential. Some areas of law are extremely technical and do not lend themselves to limited scope representation because such an arrangement may place you at a disadvantage. Even in a case where Limited Scope Representation is appropriate, new issues may arise after your case is started. If they do, it is important to advise your attorney and discuss them, so that you know the potential legal consequences.

We may be able to help save you money and provide Unbundled Legal Services in your case. Contact us today to speak with an attorney and complete a free 30-minute case evaluation. Hablamos Español.