GBLA

greater bakersfield legal assistance

MISSION

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

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About Us

Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance (also known as GBLA) is a 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 services to low-income and elderly persons residing in Kern County California.

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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


why volunteer for GBLA?

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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.

why volunteer for GBLA?

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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

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Volunteer Attorney Testimonials

An honest look into how GBLA works

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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.

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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.

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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 Près

Cy près (pronounced “see pray”) means “as near as.” Cy près solves the problem of what to do with residual funds that cannot be distributed to class members. Residual funds may be awarded by the court to a nonprofit charitable organization as a beneficiary.


Courts may use cy près to distribute class-action-settlement funds through a meaningful, pro-rata distribution to a nonprofit charitable organization whose work indirectly benefits the class members and advances the public interest.


Code of Civil Procedure § 384

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Are you a litigator for large impact cases?

By designating GBLA as a recipient of cy près, you can 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.” Your support is crucial to GBLA’s mission! GBLA is a non-profit, legal aid agency that provides free, civil, legal services to indigent Kern County residents. By designating your cy près award to GBLA, you can support GBLA’s mission and facilitate access to justice for Kern County’s indigent residents. Join us in making a difference today!

Domestic Violence Reduction Project Attorney (Hybrid) - page 1 of 4


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 is committed to delivering exceptional legal services across a range of practice areas. With a reputation for excellence and innovation, our firm provides comprehensive solutions tailored to client needs. As we continue to grow, we seek a talented attorney to join our team and work collaboratively in the Domestic Violence Reduction Project under the supervision of the Director of Litigation, Division A.

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Domestic Violence Reduction Project Attorney (Hybrid) - page 2 of 4


The attorney provides legal assistance to protect children, prenatal to five, from further exposure to domestic violence, child abuse and/or neglect. This project 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. Therefore, the attorney provides trauma-informed legal services ranging from advice and counsel to extended services in the Superior Court of California, County of Kern. This position offers a hybrid work location.

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Domestic Violence Reduction Project Attorney (Hybrid) - page 3 of 4


The candidate must be an active member of the State Bar of California or eligible to become a Registered Legal Aid Attorney. The State Bar of California’s requirements to become a Registered Legal Aid Attorney, among others, are:


  • Licensure and good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction; and
  • Employment with an eligible Legal Aid Organization in California as defined by Cal. Rules of Court rule 9.45.


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Domestic Violence Reduction Project Attorney (Hybrid) - page 4 of 4


The ideal candidate for this position possesses extensive knowledge and experience with domestic violence protection law such as California’s Domestic Violence Protection Act (Family Code § 6300 et seq.). The candidate must possess exceptional analytical, organizational, and writing skills, and 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 by providing guidance and direction to colleagues as needed. Bilingual proficiency in Spanish is strongly preferred. This position offers the opportunity for remote work within California. The salary range for this full-time exempt role is $90,000 - $104,000 annually, with a final offer dependent on experience, job-related skills, and qualifications.

To Apply: email a cover letter, writing sample, resume, and three professional references to: hr@gbla.org or mail to Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc., 615 California Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93304.

Seniors Law Center Attorney (Hybrid) - page 1 of 4


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 senior’s law center. Under the direct supervision of the Director of Litigation (Division B), GBLA’s senior’s law center provides direct civil legal assistance to Kern County’s socially and economically needy residents who are 60 years of age or older. Services include resolving issues related to health, housing, consumer law, and elder abuse. The ideal candidate will possess extensive knowledge and experience in the above-listed service areas. This position offers the opportunity for remote work (except for in-person appearances as required for court-related appearances) within the state of California, providing flexibility and accessibility for qualified candidates.


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Seniors Law Center Attorney (Hybrid) - page 2 of 4


The candidate must be an active member of the State Bar of California or eligible to become a Registered Legal Aid Attorney. The State Bar of California’s requirements to become a Registered Legal Aid Attorney, among others, are:


  • Licensure and good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction; and
  • Employment with an eligible Legal Aid Organization in California as defined by Cal. Rules of Court rule 9.45.


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Seniors Law Center Attorney (Hybrid) - page 3 of 4


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.

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Seniors Law Center Attorney (Hybrid) - page 4 of 4


This position offers the opportunity for remote work within California. The salary range for this full-time exempt role is $90,000 - $104,000 annually, with a final offer dependent on experience, job-related skills, and qualifications.


To Apply: email a cover letter, writing sample, resume, and three professional references to: hr@gbla.org or mail to Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc., 615 California Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93304.

Social Security Attorney (Hybrid) - page 1 of 4


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 social security team. Under the direct supervision of the Director of Litigation (Division A), the attorney will represent clients in all stages of the application process for obtaining and appealing social security benefits. This is a full-time position designed to expand the capacity of our social security team.

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Social Security Attorney (Hybrid) - page 2 of 4


The ideal candidate will possess extensive knowledge and experience in SSI, SSDI, and early retirement applications, filing requests for reconsideration following an initial denial, filing appeals on claim denials, representation at ALJ hearings if reconsideration has been denied, drafting pre-hearing and post-hearing motions, challenging vocational experts, the consultative examination process, Program Operations Manual System research, and appellate experience beyond the ALJ stage. This position offers the opportunity for remote work (except for in-person appearances as required for hearings) within the state of California, providing flexibility and accessibility for qualified candidates.

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Social Security Attorney (Hybrid) - page 3 of 4


The candidate must be an active member of the State Bar of California or eligible to become a Registered Legal Aid Attorney. The State Bar of California’s requirements to become a Registered Legal Aid Attorney, among others, are:


  • Licensure and good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction; and
  • Employment with an eligible Legal Aid Organization in California as defined by Cal. Rules of Court rule 9.45.
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Social Security Attorney (Hybrid) - page 4 of 4


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. 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.


To Apply: email a cover letter, writing sample, resume, and three professional references to: hr@gbla.org or mail to Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc., 615 California Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93304.

Housing Attorney (Hybrid) - page 1 of 4


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 Sargent Shriver Housing Project and Equal Access Fund Homeless Prevention Project. Under the direct supervision of the Director of Litigation – Division B, the attorney helps Kern County residents defend unlawful detainer (eviction) actions. Eviction defense offers critical support for individuals facing the threat of losing their homes.

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Housing Attorney (Hybrid) - page 2 of 4


With legal representation, tenants gain protection, advocacy, and access to resources to navigate complex, fast, eviction proceedings. The attorney ensures tenants’ rights are upheld, provides guidance on legal options, and attempts settlement prevent homelessness or a “soft-landing.” By offering stability, peace of mind, and a chance to stay housed, the attorney protects individuals and families from housing instability. This is a full-time position designed to expand the capacity of GBLA’s housing team. This position offers a hybrid work location.

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Housing Attorney (Hybrid) - page 3 of 4


The candidate must be an active member of the State Bar of California or eligible to become a Registered Legal Aid Attorney. The State Bar of California’s requirements to become a Registered Legal Aid Attorney, among others, are:


  • Licensure and good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction; and
  • Employment with an eligible Legal Aid Organization in California as defined by Cal. Rules of Court rule 9.45.
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Housing Attorney (Hybrid) - page 4 of 4


The ideal candidate for this position possesses extensive knowledge and experience in federal and state housing law such as the CARES Act, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, and Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1159 through 1179a, etc. The candidate must possess exceptional analytical, organizational, and writing skills, and 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 by providing guidance and direction to colleagues as needed. Bilingual proficiency in Spanish is strongly preferred. This position offers the opportunity for remote work within California. 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.


To Apply: email a cover letter, writing sample, resume, and three professional references to: hr@gbla.org or mail to Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc., 615 California Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93304.

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

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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

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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

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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

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retirement

403(b) plan

no waiting period

employee-only contributions

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vacation time

0 to <2 years: 12 days (accrues 7.5 hours per pay period)

2 to <4 years: 18 days (accrues 11.25 hours per pay period)

4 to <8 years: 24 days (accrues 15 hours per pay period)

8+ years: 30 days (accrues 18.75 hours per pay period)

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HOLIDAYS

GBLA observes all judicial holidays observed by the Superior Court of California, County of Kern

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disability

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

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WELLNESS

GBLA pays a portion of a discounted group membership to a local gym

Employees have access to Kaiser’s mental health app “Headspace”

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

GBLA pays all annual fees required by the State Bar of California for GBLA attorneys

GBLA pays for travel, admission, and lodging related to NITA training

GBLA pays all annual fees for National Notary Association membership

GBLA pays all renewal fees required for GBLA notaries

GBLA pays all Kern County Bar Association membership costs

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public service loan forgiveness

GBLA is a qualified employer for PSLF according to the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

GBLA

greater bakersfield legal assistance

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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.