What is BALI │Bay Area Legal Incubator? 

BALI is a community of solo attorneys dedicated to providing affordable legal services and promoting social justice.

BALI provides a two-year program to help attorneys accelerate the launch of solo practices serving low-and middle-income clients in a wide spectrum of practice areas. Local communities benefit from access to legal assistance. Attorneys benefit from a shared community and office space, free resources, mentoring and training in emerging best practices and technology.

BALI is not a law firm.  We are social-mission community (with a physical hub and online network) for individual California attorneys committed to serving people of modest economic means. Each individual attorney operates her or his own, distinct and independent practice. No legal representation relationship exists in any way between BALI and any of the clients or prospective clients of the attorneys within our community and/or any user of this website and BALI or any of its affiliates.


Our Community of Attorneys

Feel free to contact directly and review the profiles and websites of individual attorneys currently within the BALI community.

WookSun (Phil) Hong

Landlord tenant, IP, Immigration, Non-Profit and Social Enterprise, Trademark, Social Security, Business and Corporate, Contracts, Bankruptcy, Intellectual Property, Trusts and Estates, Civil Rights

  Svetlana Kristal

Estate Planning, Family Law, Trusts and Estates, Social Security

  Drew Lewis

Labor and Employment Law

Nicholas Lansdown

Employment, Estate Planning, Personal Injury, Business and Corporate, Contracts, Disabilities

   Cyndi Tyler Immigration   www.catylerlaw.com 
  Brandon Tran

Estate planning, Real Estate, Landlord tenant, Business formation, Trusts and Estates, Business and Corporate, Real Property, Commercial, Foreclosure

   Nephtali Gonzales Labor and Employment  
 Daniel Dellafosse

Cannabis law, Transactions, Estate planning




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Cynthia Chandler

Mentoring Attorney


(510) 473-5592

Cynthia Chandler is the Mentoring Attorney for BALI. In this role, she is responsible for establishing systems, training, and opportunities to accelerate the practices of the BALI network of attorneys, as well as managing the daily operations of BALI.

Cynthia has over 20 years’ experience as a social entrepreneur, launching and building innovative social justice organizations. As a prison law attorney, her practice has been equally innovative: when the law does not allow for the relief she seeks for her clients, she changes it. For example, after founding Women's Positive Legal Action Network in 1995 - the first organization advocating for women living with HIV and facing imprisonment - she helped craft and introduce California compassionate release legislation, creating the statutory mechanism and legal process for terminally ill people to be released from prison before they die. This model legislation was replicated nationally.

Cynthia currently maintains a legislative practice, regularly conceptualizing and contributing to key legislation aimed at shrinking and the prison system and its harms. Her recent advocacy includes partnering with Justice Now, a human rights organization she co-founded, to expose and shape successful legislation to ameliorate California’s coercive sterilization of hundreds of women in prison over the last decade.

Cynthia also coaches entrepreneurs on how to realize their vision for launching new, community-based social ventures that ally with communities to make real change. She currently is an Adjunct Professor at Golden Gate University School of Law, where she inspires the next generation of radical lawyers.

Cynthia has received numerous awards for her work empowering and representing people in California’s prisons. Among them, in 2015 Cynthia was awarded the prestigious Fay Stender Award from California Women Lawyers. In 2005, she was named by Women's Health Activist Network a Top 30 Activist for Women's Health. Cynthia received the 2001 Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award. And in 1997, she was designated the Attorney to Whom California Can Be Most Grateful by California Law Business.

Cynthia received her JD from Harvard Law School and an MPhil in Criminology from the University of Cambridge. Cynthia is the mother of two activist daughters. She learns from them daily.




BALI is a project of the Alameda County Bar Association and Volunteer Legal Services Corporation in collaboration with five San Francisco Bay Area law schools. The hub is conveniently located in Oakland at the Alameda County Law Library.



Supporters and Sponsors

BALI was launched with generous support from the State Bar of California Center on Access to Justice, the Bernard E.  & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation, Morrison & Foerster and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliff.


State Bar of California Access to Justice program logo Orrick

In May 2016, we launched our new location - The Bernard E. and Alba Witkin HUB - inside the Alameda County Law Library (a picture of our ribbon cutting celebration follows). We are forever grateful for the support from the Bernard E. & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation for funding the build-out of this new space that is the center of our community. 

BALI is generously supported by the following corporate donors that provide invaluable resources to our community in the form of research tools and practice guides; case management software; website solutions with built-in referral, content management system, data and payment functionality; unlimited continuing education. 

Currently, the $ value per BALI community attorney of in-kind donations exceeds $30,000 annually.  The $ value of in-kind donations contributing to the BALI hub infrastructure is $3,826 / month or $45,912 annually.

Alameda County Bar Association  Image result  


Contact Information

For general information about BALI, contact:

Cynthia Chandler, BALI Mentoring Attorney, cynthia@acbanet.org, (510) 473-5592

BALI │ Bay Area Legal Incubator, 125 12th St., Ste 100-BALI, Oakland, CA 94607