Immigration resources: Legal help

Hire a lawyer or get free legal help

Before you start

Immigration law is very complex. You can hire a licensed lawyer or accredited representative to help with an immigration case.

Beware of immigration scams. Consultants and "notarios" are not lawyers. Learn more 

It is illegal for immigration consultants to: 

  • Pretend to be a lawyer or give you immigration advice
  • Represent you in court
  • Tell you which forms to fill out
  • Keep your original documents
  • Charge money to refer you to a lawyer

A bonded immigration consultant can only:

  • Give you forms and help you fill them out
  • Translate questions and answers for forms
  • Help you collect documents

Bonded means the immigration consultant has posted a $100,000 bond with the California Secretary of State. Is your consultant bonded? Learn more about immigration consultants.

Use these sites to find out if a lawyer is licensed in the state of California or if an immigration representative is accredited:

State Bar attorney search

Department of Justice roster of accredited representatives

Find an immigration lawyer

The organizations listed below can help you find an immigration lawyer. You can also look for others online or ask organizations you trust in your area for help. The California courts do not provide referrals to specific lawyers or recommend or endorse any of the organizations listed. 

Information about Lawyer Referral Services
California State Bar

Immigration Lawyer Search
American Immigration Lawyers Association

Lawyer Referral & Information Service
Bar Association of San Francisco

Los Angeles County Bar Association

San Diego Lawyer Referral Service
San Diego County Bar Association

Immigration Attorney Referral Service
San Fernando Valley Bar Association

Free and low-cost legal help

Help for low-income immigrants | ImmigrationLawHelp

Pro Bono (No-cost) Legal Service Provider Lists | U.S. Department of Justice

Help for children who immigrated without their parents | Unaccompanied Children Resource Center

If you are detained at an airport or border | Airport Lawyer

Help to become a U.S. citizen | CitizenshipWorks

Mexican Consulates in California

Free Legal Clinics

Ready California 

International Institute of the Bay Area

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