GBLA

greater bakersfield legal assistance

MISSION

to promote social change and justice by providing high quality legal services to the low-income community

Follow:

Simple Facebook Icon
Simple Instagram Icon
Play Button Icon

About Us

Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc. “GBLA” is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose mission is “to promote social change and justice by providing high-quality legal services to the low-income community.”


GBLA is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law for charitable purposes. GBLA provides free, civil legal, and advocacy services to low-income and elderly residents of Kern County, California, including residents of long term care and skilled nursing facilities.

GBLA projects

Rural Legal Assistance Program

This program increases access to GBLA’s full range of legal services related to health, housing, income maintenance, consumer issues and/or domestic abuse to low-income individuals living in the traditionally underserved (and isolated) communities of Kern County.

Health Consumer Center

This program assists low-income individuals access health and dental services. In collaboration with California’s Health Consumer Alliance, this program supports local and statewide systemic change by improving health care access to indigent persons.

right arrow icon

GBLA projects

Guardianship Caregiver Project

This project assists caregivers obtain guardianship over children, prenatal to five, (and their older siblings) to prevent further exposure to domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect.


GBLA assists persons at nearly every stage of a guardianship petition, such as drafting, service of process, mediation, hearings, trial, and post-letter matters.

Domestic Violence Reduction Project

This project provides legal assistance to protect children, prenatal to five, from further exposure to domestic violence, child abuse and/or neglect.

GBLA assists clients by preparing and filing legal protective orders (commonly known as a Restraining Order), obtaining child custody and visitation orders (where applicable), representing clients in court, and making referrals to other services when necessary.


right arrow icon

GBLA projects

Sargent Shriver Housing Project

This project prevents homelessness by defending low-income tenants in the unlawful detainer (eviction) process when the landlord is represented by an attorney and the eviction’s venue is within Metro Bakersfield. Defense may include representation at various stages of litigation such as hearings, discovery, trial, and settlement.

Equal Access Fund Homeless Prevention Project

This project prevents homelessness by defending low-income tenants in the unlawful detainer (eviction) process throughout Kern County regardless of whether the landlord is represented by an attorney. Defense may include representation at various stages of litigation such as hearings, discovery, trial, and settlement. This project also assists tenants who have received certain pre-eviction termination notices.

right arrow icon

GBLA projects

Housing / Disability Income Advocacy Program and Social Security Disability Advocacy Program

GBLA helps low-income, Kern County residents (that are experiencing homelessness) obtain SS and SSI disability benefits. Disability benefits provide critical and consistent income for people with disabilities. GBLA assists with initial applications, reconsideration requests, and appeals.

Seniors Law Center

This program provides direct civil legal assistance to Kern County’s socially and economically needy residents who are 60 years of age or older. Services may include resolving issues related to health, housing, consumer law, and elder abuse.

right arrow icon

GBLA projects

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

This program receives, investigates, and resolves complaints made by or on behalf of residents of licensed long-term care facilities. It is run predominantly by state-certified volunteer ombudsman representatives, who are supported by a program director and paid program staff. The program aims to ensure that the over 4,000 residents living in licensed long-term care facilities throughout Kern County are treated with dignity and respect and live in an environment free from abuse and neglect.



You can visit their website here:

www.kernlongtermcare.com



Fair Housing Law Project

This project provides fair housing education, outreach, investigation, and enforcement services for Kern County residents who have been victims of illegal housing discrimination, regardless of income. When fair housing investigations yield evidence of illegal discrimination, this project may represent victims in administrative agency complaints and litigation.

Volunteer Attorney

Program

This program’s goal is to advance GBLA’s mission with private attorney involvement. GBLA may achieve this goal by (1) recruiting California-licensed attorneys in good standing to volunteer for any GBLA project and (2) utilizing the State Bar of California’s Practical Training of Law Students Program.

right arrow icon

Volunteer

Opportunities

Are you passionate about justice and equality? Do you believe in everyone’s right to fair representation in the legal system? Are you an attorney authorized to practice law in California or a law student that is eligible for the State Bar of Californias PTLS Program? If so, we invite you to be a part of something greater than yourself by volunteering for GBLA. Our mission is to promote social change by providing high-quality legal services to the low-income community. However, we cannot achieve our mission alone: we need dedicated volunteer law students and attorneys to succeed.

right arrow icon
Helping hand, Rescue, Black and white image.

why volunteer for GBLA?

Make an Impact: By volunteering for GBLA, you will make a substantial and positive difference in the lives of people facing serious legal challenges. Your efforts could mean the world to someone in crisis.


Expand your Skills: Whether you’re a law student or an attorney, volunteering for GBLA offers valuable opportunities to sharpen skills and gain practical experience.


right arrow icon

Fulfillment and Satisfaction: There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped someone navigate through a difficult legal situation. Volunteering with GBLA is not just about giving your time: it’s about enriching your life through meaningful service.


Join a Community of Changemakers: When you volunteer for GBLA, you become a part of a passionate community dedicated to making a difference. You’ll work alongside like-minded individuals who share your commitment to justice and equality.


Helping hands

why volunteer for GBLA?

right arrow icon

Are you ready to make an impact?

Volunteering at Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance is more than just an opportunity: it’s a calling to be part of something Greater than yourself.


To learn more about volunteering opportunities and how you can get involved, contact GBLA’s main line at 661. 325. 5943 or email me at vnarvaez@gbla.org.


I hope you join us in this noble cause.


Sincerely,

Valentin Narvaez, Esq.

Executive Director

right arrow icon

Volunteer Attorney Testimonials

An honest look into how GBLA works

Quote Mark Icon

At the outset, I did not know how I would feel about providing services, but I assumed that there would be some sense of satisfaction that comes from helping others; which I found to be correct. However, my hands-on work at GBLA has provided me with a significantly expanded sense of what I am accomplishing.

Jim Modig, Esq.

Quote Mark Icon

The people I have met through [volunteering] have humbled me beyond anything I might have imagined. They are so grateful for the help they receive. It has made me realize that we are here to serve not only when we are paid for the job, but to serve because we were given all these opportunities in our lives in the first place.

Krystyna Jamieson, Esq.

Quote Mark Icon


Volunteering at GBLA [is] one of the most gratifying experiences, both personally and professionally. It is an opportunity to serve members of our community who are on the verge of homelessness or losing [income] that they desperately rely on.





Pam Singh, Esq.

Cy Pres

Cy pres means “as near as possible.” Cy pres awards are designated when residual funds remain in class action lawsuits, probate cases, or other matters. Cy pres solves the problem of what to do with residual funds that cannot be distributed to class members or beneficiaries. Residual funds may be awarded by the court to a nonprofit charitable organization as a beneficiary. See Code of Civil Procedure § 384. By naming GBLA as a recipient of cy pres, you will help support and advocate for Kern County’s most vulnerable populations and promote GBLA’s mission “to promote social change and justice by providing high-quality legal services to the low-income community.”

right arrow icon

Why designate cy pres to GBLA?

GBLA is a non-profit, legal aid agency that provides free, civil, legal services to indigent Kern County residents. GBLA’s mission is “to promote social change and justice by providing high-quality legal services to the low income community.” By designating your cy pres award to GBLA, you can support GBLA’s mission and facilitate access to justice for Kern County’s indigent residents.

open positions

family law / immigration attorney

GBLA

Family Law / Immigration Attorney (Hybrid) - page 1 of 4


GBLA is committed to delivering exceptional legal services across a range of practice areas. With a reputation for excellence and innovation, our firm is dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions tailored to client needs. As we continue to grow, we seek a talented attorney to join our team and work collaboratively across two units under the direct supervision of the Director of Litigation, Division A.


Family Law Unit: The attorney will focus on domestic violence (DV) and guardianship cases and various legal issues related to family dynamics and provide trauma-informed legal services ranging from advice and referrals to full representation in court proceedings, depending on the circumstances.

right arrow icon

Family Law / Immigration Attorney (Hybrid) - page 2 of 4


Immigration Unit: The attorney helps Kern County residents apply for immigration benefits, specifically under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Special Immigrant Juveniles (subject to LSC restrictions). GBLA’s immigration unit works closely with GBLA’s domestic violence prevention and guardianship units to provide invaluable support for individuals navigating the complexities of immigration processes. With legal representation, individuals access crucial resources and guidance to address their immigration concerns effectively. By offering stability, protection, and a pathway to legal status, immigration law services play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being and security of immigrants and their families. This is a full-time position designed to expand the capacity of GBLA’s immigration unit.

right arrow icon

Family Law / Immigration Attorney (Hybrid) - page 3 of 4


The candidate must be an active member of the State Bar of California or eligible for The State Bar of California’s Multijurisdictional Practice Program (MJP). The MJP Program’s requirements, among others, are:


  • admission in a U.S. state, jurisdiction, possession, territory or dependency as an active licensee in good standing;
  • production of an original certificate of good standing from all U.S. jurisdiction(s) of admission;
  • Residence in California;
  • Meet State Bar requirements for an acceptable moral character; and
  • Compliance with all annual requirements.


right arrow icon

Family Law / Immigration Attorney (Hybrid) - page 4 of 4


The ideal candidate for this position will possess extensive knowledge and experience in immigration law. The candidate must demonstrate exceptional analytical, organizational, and writing skills, as well as strong oral and written communication abilities. A firm commitment to public interest advocacy and a proactive approach to collaborative work are essential qualities. Additionally, the ideal candidate will exhibit leadership capabilities, providing guidance and direction to colleagues as needed. Bilingual proficiency in Spanish is strongly preferred. This position offers the opportunity for a hybrid work environment within the State of California, providing flexibility and accessibility for qualified candidates. The anticipated salary range for this full-time exempt role is $90,000 - $104,000 per year, with a final offer dependent on experience, job-related skills, and qualifications.

right arrow icon
Flatlay modern office tables

Fair Housing Law Project Attorney (Hybrid) - page 1 of 3


Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc. (GBLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is “to promote social change and justice by providing high-quality legal services to the low-income community.” GBLA’s service area is Kern County, California.


GBLA seeks an attorney to join GBLA’s fair housing law project (Attorney). Under the direct supervision of the Director of Litigation, the Attorney helps and protects Kern County residents who have experienced illegal housing discrimination. The Attorney is responsible for providing investigative, educational outreach, and litigation support within the framework of GBLA’s Fair Housing Law Project. This is a full-time position designed to expand the capacity of GBLA’s fair housing team.


right arrow icon
Flatlay modern office tables

Fair Housing Law Project Attorney (Hybrid) - page 2 of 3


The candidate must be an active member of the State Bar of California or eligible for The State Bar of California’s Multijurisdictional Practice Program (MJP). The MJP Program’s requirements, among others, are:


  • admission in a U.S. state, jurisdiction, possession, territory or dependency as an active licensee in good standing;
  • production of an original certificate of good standing from all U.S. jurisdiction(s) of admission;
  • Residence in California;
  • Meet State Bar requirements for an acceptable moral character; and
  • Compliance with all annual requirements.
right arrow icon
Flatlay modern office tables

Fair Housing Law Project Attorney (Hybrid) - page 3 of 3


The ideal candidate for this position will possess extensive knowledge and experience in immigration law. The candidate must demonstrate exceptional analytical, organizational, and writing skills, as well as strong oral and written communication abilities. A firm commitment to public interest advocacy and a proactive approach to collaborative work are essential qualities. Additionally, the ideal candidate will exhibit leadership capabilities, providing guidance and direction to colleagues as needed. Bilingual proficiency in Spanish is strongly preferred. This position offers the opportunity for a hybrid work environment within the State of California, providing flexibility and accessibility for qualified candidates.


The anticipated salary range for this full-time exempt role is $90,000 - $104,000 per year, with a final offer dependent on experience, job-related skills, and qualifications.

medical

vision

dental

life

retirement

vacation

holidays

disability

wellness

professional development

PSLF

employee

benefits

medical insurance

Employer-paid premium for all full-time employees

HMO plan with Kaiser Permanente

Optional spouse/domestic partner/dependent coverage (employee paid)

Coverage becomes effective on the 1st day of the month after 30 days of employment

Section 125 Plan allows pre-tax payment for optional coverage

right arrow icon

dental insurance

Employer-paid premium for all full-time employees, spouse, and dependents

Delta Dental 1500 Plan

Coverage becomes effective on the 1st day of the month after 30 days of employment

right arrow icon

vision insurance

Employer-paid premium for all full-time employees, spouse, and dependents

VSP Plan

Coverage becomes effective on the 1st day of the month after 30 days of employment

right arrow icon

life insurance

Employer-paid premium for all full-time employees

Employee coverage (3x annual salary, max $500k)

Spouse coverage ($10,000)

Dependent coverage ($5,000)

Coverage becomes effective on the 1st day of the month after 30 days of employment

right arrow icon

403(b)

retirement plan

no waiting period

employee-only contributions

right arrow icon

vacation time

0 to 2 years: 12 days

2+ to 4 years: 18 days

4+ to 8 years: 24 days

8+ years: 30 days

right arrow icon

disability

GBLA maintains a Long and Short Term Disability plan for all full-time employees

GBLA

greater bakersfield legal assistance

Follow:

Simple Facebook Icon
Simple Instagram Icon
Play Button Icon

Contact

615 California Ave.

Bakersfield, CA 93304


Phone: 661. 325. 5943

Fax: 661. 325. 4482

Office Hours

Open Monday through Friday

Open 8:30am to 12:00pm & 1:00pm to 5:00pm


Closed 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Closed on Kern County’s judicial holidays

Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation located in Bakersfield, California and is not organized for the private gain of any person. This website is not intended to provide nor does it provide any legal advice. Transmission and receipt of the information in this site is not intended to solicit or create, and does not create, any attorney-client relationship between GBLA and any person or entity. GBLA provides legal services only in the state of California for claims arising in our service area of Kern County, California. Portions of this website may include what may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Please note that any discussion on this website of prior results does not guarantee similar outcomes.