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About Us

Legal Assistance for Seniors provides free legal representation and advice, health insurance counseling, and community education to qualified Alameda County residents.




The Mission of LAS is to ensure the independence and dignity of seniors by protecting their legal rights through education, counseling, and advocacy.

Our vision is that all seniors will be able to live with safety, dignity, and the greatest possible independence regardless of their economic, social, or health circumstances.

Our location is 1970 Broadway in Uptown Oakland.  Our family friendly office is directly above the 19th street BART station and across the street from a major AC Transit transfer point at Broadway and 20th Streets.  With easy access via the free "B" Broadway Shuttle Bus, we are accessible from anywhere in the downtown area. Click here for a map.




Legal Assistance for Seniors was founded in 1976 by three women who re-entered the workforce with the goal of protecting seniors legal rights.

  • The agency began as a storefront office in downtown Oakland, with the mission of promoting the independence and dignity of Alameda County seniors by providing legal services to assure life’s most basic needs.
  • LAS obtained its first federal funding in 1978 and became incorporated as a private nonprofit organization in 1984.
  • In 1988, recognizing the need to provide seniors with assistance in understanding the complex rules governing Medicare and other health insurance programs, the agency began offering the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) as part of its services.
  • In 2000, the agency expanded its service base to include limited legal assistance to HICAP clients in Contra Costa County.


Today, LAS is the only legal services program in Alameda County devoted exclusively to assisting seniors. Since its founding, LAS has served clients at locations throughout the county in addition to its office in Oakland - meeting with groups at senior centers and housing developments for educational presentations and individual assistance, and making home visits to those who cannot travel.

We target our free services to the cities and neighborhoods with high concentrations of seniors living in poverty, as well as to areas where seniors in need may be isolated and invisible. LAS protects the dignity and independence of over 8,000 seniors each year, as well as their families and service providers.

Throughout our history, our mission and core services have remained the same: to respond promptly to protect senior’s rights whenever needs and conditions change, and at all times.

To learn more, please read our Annual Report.


Who We Are


Board Officers


Maria I. Lawless - President

Monica Dell'Osso - Vice-President

Devina E. Whitley - Treasurer

Karen Fisher - Secretary

Board of Directors - Complete List

Francel D'Andrea - Executive Director

Janet Van Deusen - HICAP Program Manager

Lenora Merlander - Chief Financial Officer

Kirsten Voyles - Managing Attorney

Gene Hacker - Operations & HR Manager


Community Resources


LAS participates in Alameda County 2-1-1 and Ptown Life (City of Pleasanton):

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Interested in volunteering?

LAS accepts Cy Pres!

LAS is a 501(c)(3) organization

Upcoming Events
3rd Annual Senior Health Fair at North Berkeley Senior Center Apr 23, 2014 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM — North Berkeley Sr. Ctr., 1901 Hearst, 94709
Citizenship for Seniors: Guide to Immigration & Naturalization Apr 23, 2014 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM — Broadmoor Plaza, 232 East 14th St., San Leandro, 94577
LAS 9th Annual Elder Abuse Conference May 20, 2014 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM
The ABCs of Long Term Care: An Overview of Coverage & Options. May 22, 2014 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM — Ashby Village, 2330 Durant Ave., Berkeley 94704
Memorial Day Holiday May 26, 2014 12:00 AM — LAS, 1970 Broadway, #300, Oakland 94612
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