Escondido, CA

Escondido-based non-profit law firm targets low, middle-income residents

Escondido-based Sage Legal Servic­es (“SLS”) is bringing the affordable legal services movement to San Diego County. Following the lead of non­profit law firms, such as the Utah-based Open Legal Services, SLS offers legal services on a sliding-scale basis. Us­ing California’s Department of Hous­ing and Community Development’s income guidelines, SLS focuses on providing legal services to those who fall within San Diego County’s low to middle income earners.

Sage Legal Services provides servic­es in the areas of family law and tenant rights. Christina Alkire, SLS’s found­ing attorney, chose these particular ar­eas because generally there is no right to an attorney in family law cases, such as divorces or child custody actions, or in tenant cases, such as a tenant facing eviction.

According to Alkire, many low to middle income earners do not have the disposable income to afford the ad­ditional costs traditionally associated with legal representation. This means that they must choose to: (1) find the money to hire an attorney; (2) navigate the legal system without the benefit of an attorney; (3) decline to act; or (4) act without understanding to what they are entitled. SLS seeks to help these people by proving affordable representation so they do not have to make that choice.

SLS primarily relies on client fees to sustain its operations; it does not rely on state or federal grant money. This is possible because SLS maintains a low overhead by offering online ser­vices and meeting clients in a rented boardroom, in a public location, such as a library, or in a client’s home, safety permitting. This allows Sage Legal Services to avoid the costs associated with renting a brick and mortar loca­tion.

Furthermore, SLS offers online legal services. Through a secure online por­tal, clients are able to login with their own login and password and access their legal documents. The client can upload and amend documents, message their attorney, and work on their case at their convenience and outside business hours.

For more information about Sage Le­gal Services, services offered, and pric­ing, visit

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