3. Agencies Providing Legal Help to People of Limited Income

Agencies Providing Legal Help to People of Limited Income

From criminal cases to income tax law, legal issues are part of our everyday life. Finding the information you need can be confusing and difficult. Luckily there are organization in New York City to help you out at no or low cost.

New York City Bar Association

Legal Hotline
“The City Bar Justice Center Hotline is a free legal advice hotline for low-income nyc residents. A phone call to the hotline connects you with a staff of knowledgeable counselors, who are attorneys and paralegals. Counselors will provide simple free legal advice on a range of civil issues such as family law, consumer debt, bankruptcy, employment and landlord-tenant law.”

Monday Night Law Clinic
“This free legal clinic runs from October through August. It is scheduled on specific nights throughout each month. At the legal clinic, attorneys will meet with clients for one-half hour appointments to discuss a variety of legal topics”

Legal Referral Services
“Contact the New York City Bar Legal Referral Service today to find the right lawyer to advise and represent you. We evaluate each lawyer we recommend. To be placed on our recommended list, lawyers are thoroughly screened regarding legal knowledge, experience and ethics. When you call us our legal staff will answer the phone and help you find an appropriate way to handle your legal problem. There is no charge for talking to a member of our staff.”

The Legal Services NYC

“LEGAL SERVICES NYC is dedicated to helping to improve the lives and welfare of New York City’s low-income residents. For more than 40 years our program of legal services offices located in low-income communities and transportation hubs throughout New York City has provided free, high quality, legal help to people who have nowhere else to turn. Today, with multiple offices and outreach centers located in transportation hubs throughout New York City, Legal Services NYC is the largest organization exclusively dedicated to providing civil legal services to low-income persons in the United States.”
Website: http://www.legalservicesnyc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46&Itemid=75

The Legal Aid Society

“The Legal Aid Society is a private, not-for-profit legal services organization, the oldest and largest in the nation, dedicated since 1876 to providing quality legal representation to low-income New Yorkers. It is dedicated to one simple but powerful belief: that no New Yorker should be denied access to justice because of poverty.”
Website: http://www.legal-aid.org/en/home.aspx

South Brooklyn Legal Services

“South Brooklyn Legal Services provides free legal help in civil cases to low-income Brooklyn residents. We serve people living in all zip codes in Brooklyn.”
Website: http://www.sbls.org/index.php?s=GetHelp

MFL Legal Services, Inc.

“MFY envisions a society in which no one is denied justice because he or she cannot afford an attorney. To make this vision a reality, MFY provides free legal assistance to residents of New York City on a wide range of civil legal issues, prioritizing services to vulnerable and under-served populations, while simultaneously working to end the root causes of inequities through impact litigation, law reform and policy advocacy.”
Website: http://www.mfy.org/projects/

New York Legal Assistance Group

“NYLAG provides free civil legal services to New Yorkers who cannot afford a private attorney.”
Website: http://nylag.org

Her Justice

“Her Justice provides free legal help in family law, divorce and immigration to low-income women living in New York City. Most of our clients are survivors of domestic violence, though this is not a requirement.”
Website: http://www.herjustice.org/content/view/2/2/

Community Parters
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams in Partnership with Legal Services NYC (Brooklyn Branch) & The Brooklyn Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc.

2nd Wednesday of every month between 2PM and 5PM
Foreclosure Intervention/Prevention by Brooklyn Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, Inc.

2nd & 4th Thursday of every month between 2PM and 5PM
Housing & Elder Law, and Pension matters by Legal Services NYC (Brooklyn Branch)

Location: Brooklyn Borough Hall
Address: 209 Joralemon Street, Room G-80, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Phone: 718-802-3777 (By Appointment Only. The last appointment for the day is at 4:15pm.)
*Brooklyn residents only.

Volunteers of Legal Services: VOLS
Elderly Project Legal Clinics

VOLS provides free legal advice for senior citizens who are 60 years and older and reside in Manhattan.

VOLS Calendar (“Click Here For Our Current Clinic Calendar”)

WEST SIDE (listed from downtown to uptown)

119 9th Ave (betw E 17th & E 18th Sts)
First Thursdays at 1:30 p.m.
Contact: Dorothy Johnson-Laird, MSW at 212-924-6710 (fax 212-924-6872)

239 W 49th St. (betw B’way & 8th Ave)
Fourth Mondays at 10:00 a.m. (St. Malachy’s Church)
Contact: Sister Margaret Rose at 212-581-2910 ext 118 (fax 212-664-8628

593 Columbus Avenue (at W 88th St)
Third Mondays at 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Doris Colon/Chris Wheeler at 212 873-6600 x 331 (fax 212-595-6498)

50 West 131st Street (east of Lenox Ave)
Second Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Claudette Jenkins or Cynthia Scarborough at 212-690-6460 (fax 212-368-3834)

99 Ft. Washington Ave (south of W 163rd St)
Second Mondays at 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Norma Rodriguez at 212-927-5600, ext. 10 (fax 212-927-5612)

3754 10th Ave (at W 201st St)
Fourth Fridays at 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Carol Weeks at 212-569-7790 (fax 212-304-2173)

EAST SIDE (listed from downtown to uptown)

100 Gold Street (south of Bklyn Bridge)
First Mondays at 9:30 a.m.
Contact:  Fay Chew Matsuda, LMSW at 212-788-5580 or Isabel Ching, LMSW at 212-788-5566 (fax 212-788-5549)

334 Madison Street (south of Henry St)
Fourth Thursdays  at 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Director Milvi Vehik or Jennesse Ramos, LMSW at 212-349-2770 (fax 212-732-9721)

189 Allen Street (south of Houston St)
Second Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Program Director Michele Rodriguez, M.S.W. at 212-473-8217 (fax 212-533-4759)

1484 1st Ave (betw E 77th & E 78th Sts)
Second Fridays at 2:00 p.m.
Contact: Velda Murad, LMSW at 212-879-7400 (fax 212-879-9864)

415 E 93rd Street (east of 1st Ave)
Third Fridays at 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Amy Loewenberg, LCSW, ACSW at 212-360-7620 ext 112 (fax 212-360-7629)

312 E 109th St (betw 1st & 2nd Aves)
First Fridays at 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Velda Murad at 212-879-7400 (fax 212-879-9864) or Denise Lucero at 212-423-9665 ext 418

Immigration Law Assistance in Manhattan

  • New York State Office for New Americans Hotline: 212-419-3737 (he Hotline provides information and referrals to all New York State programs serving refugees and immigrants, other immigrant-related public and private programs, and relevant mainstream service programs available throughout New York State.)
  • Catholic Charities, Department of Immigration Services: 212-419-3700
  • Legal Aid Society Immigration Law Unit: 212-577-3300
  • New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG): 212-613-5000
  • Legal Services Immigration Law Unit: 646-442-3100
  • City College Immigration Center: 212-650-6620 (By Appointment Only)
    160 Convent Avenue, North Academic Center, Room 1-206, New York, NY 10031
    Hours: Monday – Friday from 9AM-4PM (Closed lunch from 1PM-2PM)

Mediation Services

New York PEACE Institute (Manhattan & Brooklyn)

“The New York Peace Institute is committed to promoting peace in our communities. Whether a dispute involves two people, dozens of people, or several groups, we can help.”
Website: http://nypeace.org/mediation-services/

Community Mediation Services (Queens)

“Mediation is a process in which disputing parties invite a trained facilitator to assist them in their search for solutions.  The mediation process works to rebuild the bonds of trust that are often lost in the dynamics of conflict. The mediator is not a judge, hears no evidence, and makes no decisions. Rather, the mediator is an impartial facilitator who guides the participants through conversations designed to help them discuss their differences, brainstorm new ideas, and create effective solutions reflective of their individual and collective needs. No one participant is singled out for blame and no party is given more power than the other. As a result, each person feels equally invested in ensuring the success of the solutions that they themselves have worked to create.”
Website: http://mediatenyc.org/programs/mediation-services/

IMCR: Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution (Bronx)

“IMCR, the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Inc., is a community resource providing arbitration and mediation services to Bronx County and beyond. We are a non-profit organization. Our services are free. We are the oldest and most established Community Dispute Resolution Center in New York City. Our staff and pool of volunteer mediators and professional arbitrators have extensive experience in all areas of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). We supply a non threatening environment for the resolution of interpersonal disputes as an alternative to litigation.”
Website: http://www.imcr.org/faq.html#Whatismediation

New York Center for Interpersonal Development (Staten Island)

“Our mediators are professionally trained facilitators, including both program staff members and community volunteers, with significant mediation experience. They are ready to listen and take the time to help all the parties involved to reach mutually acceptable agreements. Mediators do not act as judges or decision makers. Rather, they empower people to resolve disputes for themselves.”
Website: http://nycid.org/mediation-conflict-management/

NYLAG The Medication Project

The Mediation Project at NYLAG provides free mediation to low-income New Yorkers who wish to resolve disputes without resorting to protracted and expensive litigation.
Website: http://nylag.org/units/the-mediation-project


Useful Links

National Immigration Legal Services Directory

VERA Institute of Justice: Pro Bono Referral Resource Guide December 2014