Free community legal services
for those who need it most. 

If you're facing legal challenges by individuals or organizations, we’re here to help. We've stood by countless people just like you, defending their rights in court.

We believe that every person, regardless of financial ability, should have fair representation in court. The outcome of any case should not be determined by the ability to afford an attorney.

It should not be hard, stressful or costly for:

  • Victims of abuse to be free of their abusers 
  • Parents to protect their rights in custody battles
  • Individuals to hold banks, landlords or employers accountable to their respective laws

We have attorneys and paralegals in each of our four offices, and the cumulative experience of our attorneys is well over 200 years. All of our staff are dedicated to getting the best results for your situation. Our roster of attorneys includes specialists in Protection from Abuse (PFA), Housing and Economic legal services.

Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid offers legal advice and representation to help people who are: 

  • Looking for work and need barriers cleared;
  • Trying to rebuild their credit after falling into debt; 
  • Attempting to restore their mortgage; 
  • Victimized by abuse or discrimination; and 
  • Protecting their children.

Here's some of our work from just the 2019/2020 fiscal year alone:

  • We handled 3,662 legal matters
  • 75% of these were to assist those seeking protection from abuse or to protect the rights of parents in family or juvenile court
  • We advised or represented over 560 renters facing evictions, unlivable conditions or other challenges
  • In economic matters, we helped:
    • 86 people remove criminal records that were serving as barriers to employment
    • 146 people seeking disability assistance
    • 110 people with insurmountable debt
    • 78 people with IRS debts or disputes
  • Our Fair Housing Law Center received almost 600 complaints, resulting in 96 discrimination complaints either filed with HUD or in court, or resolved out of court

As you can see, we have extensive experience helping people just like you, likely in your exact situation. You aren’t alone and don’t have to face these challenging circumstances by yourself. We can have your back.

Our Partners



People 2

Clay Nestler

Clay Nestler is the Deputy Director at Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid (SPLA). Clay graduated with a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976, and with a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1979, after which he joined SPLA and served many years as a Managing Attorney. He is a past President of the Washington County Bar Association and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network’s Excellence Award and of the 40 Years of Service Award of the Washington County Bar Association.

People 1

Brian Gorman

Brian Gorman has been the Director of Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid (SPLA) since 2015. Prior to that, Brian served was an SPLA staff attorney for two years and a public defender for a total of 12 years, along with a private practice primarily in family and criminal law. He has served on Washington County’s Treatment Court team and on the boards of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Community Justice Project, Washington County Bar Foundation, Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission, and Harmony Life Center. Brian is a 1996 graduate of Washington and Jefferson College and a 1999 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

People 3

Adam J. Belletti

Adam J. Belletti, Esquire is the President of our Board of Directors and a partner at Pollock Morris Belletti & Simms, LLC in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, where Adam has practiced since 2009.  Adam is a 2005 graduate Villanova University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  He maintains a diverse practice handling issues in the fields of civil litigation, real estate, oil and gas, estates and wills, municipal law, family law and criminal law.


Depending on the issue, we can give you advice, represent you in court or help you fill out complicated legal paperwork. And if you qualify, our services will be free to you.

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We rely on the charitable contributions of donors to fund the work we do. Every dollar goes toward working for those who don’t have the resources to protect themselves. Click below to give today.

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