To promote justice and build a community that is more healthy, secure, productive and hopeful by providing:
- legal services and policy advocacy that are responsive to the needs of low-income communities, and
- law training that prepares future attorneys to be skilled and principled advocates that are committed to finding innovative solutions to the cause and conditions of poverty.
The East Bay Community Law Center was founded in 1988 – as the Berkeley Community Law Center – by law students from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. The student founders were motivated by the intersection of significant trends in legal services and legal education.
The beginnings were modest. A bare-bones budget and donated supplies – including a single typewriter – supported a storefront office and a staff of three: Executive Director Bernida Reagan; Staff Attorney and Berkeley Law Foundation Fellow Brad Adams; and Office Manager Millie Johnson. The rest, as they say, is history.
With the hard work of staff, students, Boalt faculty and board members, and the incredible support of many individuals and institutions, EBCLC has grown to become the largest provider of free legal services in the East Bay and Berkeley Law’s largest clinical offering.