Client Complaint Procedure

Legal Aid at Work works with many clients through its Community Legal Services Program (“CLSP”). The CLSP welcomes client comments and takes complaints (known as “grievances”) seriously. If you feel you have been treated unfairly as a client, you are entitled to protest the policies or actions that you believe have affected you unjustly.

You can make an oral complaint by calling (415) 864-8848. You may also send a written complaint to: Community Legal Services Program, Legal Aid at Work, 180 Montgomery Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA, 94104.

Complainants’ rights

If you file a complaint, you have the following rights:

  • To discuss the complaint with those who will be making the decision regarding the complaint.
  • Not to be denied service or otherwise retaliated against because you filed the complaint.
  • To have your identity kept confidential to the extent possible while allowing for an investigation.
  • To take other avenues or redress provided by law even though you have used this complaint procedure.
  • To be provided with copies of CLSP information that you request related to the complaint that is not confidential and/or legally protected from disclosure.  You may be required to pay a reproduction charge for this service.
  • To choose to have an advocate present for any meetings with the CLSP.  This other person, who might be a friend, other client, family member, or formal advocate, must be provided at your own expense.  Staff members of Legal Aid at Work may not act as your advocate in any way.

How to file a complaint

1. If you have a complaint regarding a CLSP attorney or staff member, you may contact the Community Legal Services Program Director to register your complaint either orally or by sending the complaint in writing.  (If your complaint is made orally, you may request at that time that the program director summarize your concerns in writing and provide a copy of that summary to you.) Complaint subjects may include, but are not limited to, communication issues, such as a staff member’s failure to return your calls or an attorney’s failure to definitively accept or complete a task for you.

2. The program director will facilitate a mutually acceptable resolution if possible. Resolution efforts may include acting as a liaison between you and person you complained about. The program director shall act as a neutral party when conducting these discussions.

3. If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction at this level within 30 days, or if your complaint concerns the Community Legal Services Program Director, you may request a review of your complaint with Legal Aid at Work’s Chief Program Officer.

4. Within 60 days of receiving the complaint, Legal Aid at Work’s Chief Program Officer will complete his/her investigation and notify you in writing that he/she will either:

  • Take appropriate action regarding the matter complained about, or
  • Close the matter with no action.

The State Bar of California (1-800-843-9053) will also take complaints concerning attorneys licensed in California.