LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday announced a new program that will provide free legal services to residents of Los Angeles who are suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

L.A. Represents — a coalition of law firms, bar associations and attorneys — will provide COVID-19-related legal services, including helping tenants, domestic violence victims and low-income individuals with employment, consumer debt and bankruptcy matters.

“People are finding themselves in some of the most pressing and painful moments of their lives,” Garcetti said. “These are complex situations and we don’t always all understand the law, those of us who are not lawyers.

“Having a lawyer and an advocate by your side can make all the difference between a positive outcome and a negative one.”

The city has also partnered with Bet Tzedek Legal Services to support small businesses devastated by the pandemic.

Attorneys will provide free assistance to business owners least likely to have access to effective legal representation as they navigate new workplace regulations, commercial leases, government relief programs and emergency health and safety orders.

“This is absolutely vital for small businesses to get back on their feet,” Garcetti said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, they are the mainstay of our main streets, they too often lack effective representation and they, right now, may need sound legal advice.”

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