About Us

Message from Jose PadillaPhoto of Jose Padilla.

Welcome to our website. My name is José R. Padilla. I am the Executive Director of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA). CRLA was founded in 1966 as a nonprofit legal services program. Our mission is to strive for economic justice and human rights on behalf of California's rural poor. Today, CRLA has 21 offices, many in rural communities from the Mexican border to Northern California.

Each year, we provide more than 40,000 low-income rural Californians with free legal assistance and a variety of community education and outreach programs. Half of our resources are committed to multi-client cases that grapple with the root causes of poverty. The impact of CRLA's litigation has touched the lives of literally millions of low-income individuals, improving conditions for farm workers, new immigrants, single parents, school children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and entire communities. It has also been necessary to bring our advocacy to a national audience in order to maintain our ability to address the more political and controversial issues we find in rural communities.

It is with great pride that we celebrate over 40 years of advocacy seeking to ameliorate the more egregious conditions caused by rural poverty. We hope you find the information provided on this site informative and rewarding. We welcome your comments and suggestions on how our site can be improved. Together, as justice partners, let us move forward towards that light we call "equal justice for all".

Adelante y hacia la luz!


José R. Padilla


CRLA Fast FactsCRLA Fast Facts
General Info

Would you like to know about CRLA in a snap? Find it all on the two page Fast Facts flyer: Mission Statement, Who we serve, Our work, Accomplishements and much more information on how we fight for justice and change lives.

Download the PDF