Michael Eicksteadt is a local hero to the 1,600 people who annually receive pro bono legal consultations or low cost and sliding scale fees for legal services. Each year, only 20% of those clients pay for their legal services at the non-profit agency “Desert Legal Aid,” which Michael founded. As the agency’s CEO, Michael works almost single-handedly to provide access to the legal system for those in need.
Seniors, people on low incomes, and underserved community members are his primary clients. Without his services, the majority of the public, who can’t afford a $450 an hour legal fee, would be without access to the legal system. Michael’s caring for the needs of others was nurtured by two loving grandparents whose compassionate values influenced Michael’s honoring of elders and their wisdom, as well as his concern for those who are financially less fortunate. Those values became a part of the way Michael sees the world.
Desert Legal Aid provides a myriad of services like Social Security representation and a flat fee for bankruptcies and wills. Referrals to other low cost attorneys and appropriate community service agencies are also part of their practice.
Michael was born and raised in San Diego, CA. After receiving degrees in both Business and Law, he worked at a successful Beverly Hills law firm for 14 years. During that time, Michael began to see friends and acquaintances who suffered with AIDS. He was moved by what they endured and left a thriving business to come to the Desert.
After arriving in Palm Springs, Michael offered legal assistance (for 6 years) at the Mizell and Cathedral City Senior Centers, the Desert Aids Project, and The Center (formerly the Golden Rainbow Center). Michael says that he now feels very good when he completes his work each day.
We feel wonderful about honoring this man of noble character, great humanity, and extensive ability. The Going Organic Guide’s “Making a Positive Difference Award” goes to you, Michael. You have our utmost appreciation and gratitude for all your public service. Patricia Bragg also honors you and wants to support your good health with a gift of one of her Healthy Living Books.
Nomination Guidelines for Going Organic Guide’s “Making a Positive Difference” Award: Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution in the area of organic living, sustainability, conservation, health & fitness, spirituality, ethical consumerism, or community education? If so, you can nominate him/ her for our “Making a Positive Difference” Award by submitting the name, contact information, and a brief description of his/her accomplishments to: Estelle2@cox.net.