Who We Are

Our Mission:

Christian Legal Aid Office (CLAO) is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing legal services to the poor and serving the local church.  God's Word calls upon His people to "defend the rights of the poor and needy" (Proverbs 31:9) yet local churches are generally not well equipped to provide direct legal assistance to their members. CLAO works to bridge the gap between the churches call to ensure that justice is administered equally and fairly (Deuteronomy 25:13-16) and the poor's need for legal advocacy.

Our Services:

CLAO provides free and low-cost legal assistance to those unable to afford an attorney through the use of volunteer attorneys and non-attorney volunteers, including law students and staff.  After contacting CLAO by phone or email or when attending a legal clinic, a potential client is given an intake appointment with a staff member or volunteer.  At this interview, information is gathered to determine the legal and financial needs of the potential client and whether CLAO is able to offer assistance.  Following the intake interview, CLAO provides "next steps" which can include pro bono representation, pro se coaching (assisting client in self-representation), legal advice, or referral to Christian attorneys or other agencies.

Our Staff:

Executive Director,  Julie Resner.  Julie works as a liaison between the Board of Directors and CLAO staff and volunteers.  Her responsibilities include advancing CLAO's mission through partnerships with local churches, Christian attorneys, and others; inviting support; and directing the day-to-day actions of CLAO.

Staff Attorney, Michael Peffer.  Michael serves as a part-time staff attorney for CLAO.  He also serves as Senior Counsel for Pacific Justice Institute.  Michael provides free legal assistance including pro bono representation to those with financial need.

Administrative Assistant, Bobbie Guice.  Bobbie manages the office, coordinates law clinic events, conducts initial intake calls, and generally helps everyone have a better day.

Our Partners:

Trinity Law School.  Trinity Law School currently offers a home to CLAO by providing office space for staff and contributes to CLAO's salary commitments.  CLAO offers an internship opportunity to Trinity Law School students whereby they may earn credit while gaining practical experience in a legal environment.

Local Churches.  CLAO has been blessed with the ongoing financial contributions of local churches such as Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, Calvary Chapel East Anaheim, and Calvary Chapel WestGrove.

Christian Legal Society.  Christian Legal Society is a national organization of Christian legal professionals providing many services including legal aid.mailto:julie.resner@gmail.com

Defend the rights of the poor and needy.  Proverbs 31:9