The Foundation of the State Bar has awarded more than $250,000 in grants for the coming year to 37 community-based legal services and education programs.
Among the programs funded were those promoting community legal education in the area of pension rights for older women, youth education, consumer protection and health law.
Also funded were legal services for battered women, seniors, immigrants and children. Several innovative juvenile delinquency prevention programs, such as teen court and peer court, received funding targeted for at-risk youth.
"Preference is given for projects which provide legal education to the members of the general public or which provide direct services to those segments of the public who might otherwise be locked out of our legal system due to financial, cultural or language barriers or simply due to lack of knowledge of how our courts and legal profession work," said Pauline Gee, chair of the grants committee.
The bar's foundation was created in 1989 to promote justice and law-related educational and charitable programs. It is affiliated with, but independent from, the State Bar.
Last year, it awarded about $150,000 in grants.