Legal Aid Society (New York City)


Oldest and largest not-for-profit organization in the US providing free legal services for clients who cannot afford to pay for counsel since 1876. Has offices in 25 locations in all five counties of NYC.
Organization website

Primary geographic focus: New York
Organization type(s): Provider

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.

The Society handles 300,000 individual cases and matters annually and provides a comprehensive range of legal services in three areas: the Civil, Criminal and Juvenile Rights Practices. Unlike the Society’s Criminal and Juvenile Rights Practices, which are constitutionally mandated and supported by government, the Civil Practice relies heavily on private contributions.

The Legal Aid Society has a comprehensive city-wide legal services program for clients. The Society’s legal program operates three major practices – Civil, Criminal, and Juvenile Rights.



CONTENT MENTIONING/INVOLVING THIS SOURCE

News Story

Law Helps Those Who Escape Sex Trafficking Erase Their Criminal Record

New York Times (NYT)
March 23, 2015
This article tells how civil legal aid lawyers are helping former sex trafficking victims erase their criminal history.

News Story

Officials Brace for Rent Crisis

Mara Gay
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
June 12, 2015
Lawmakers and officials in New York City began creating contingency plans in case Albany lawmakers fail to renew rent regulations.

Feature

The Justice Gap: How Big Law Is Failing Legal Aid

Susan Beck
ALM
June 29, 2015
An in-depth examination of law firms' lack of financial contributions to civil legal aid.

News Story

Legislature’s Resolution Supports Civil Gideon

Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
June 29, 2015
A new resolution adopted by the New York legislature calls for fair and adequate legal representation for all New Yorkers in matters related to essentials of life.

News Story

New York City foster care: stories from children and parents the system failed

Daniel Medina
Guardian
July 1, 2015
A watchdog report reveals the Administration of Children’s Services has abused its power in family courts, wrongly taken children into custody and inadequately assisted those it claims to help.

News Story

Here’s how homeless kids and families are trying to survive in one of America’s richest cities

Tana Ganeva
Raw Story
July 11, 2015
Conditions for the homeless are getting worse in New York. Affordability in housing is the main barrier as shelters are overburdened.

News Story

Language in Rushed Rent Regulations May Hold Tenant-Friendly Surprise

Gotham Gazette (NYC)
July 15, 2015
Tenant advocates disappointed by the rent laws deal reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature at the end of session suddenly have a spark of hope, weeks after the backroom negotiations came to an end.

News Story

New York Rent Act Draws Conflicting Interpretations

Josh Barbanel
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
July 16, 2015
Lawyers disagree on whether law extending regulation also expands tenant protections.

News Story

Bronx tenants accuse landlord of illegal rent increases designed to force them out

Barbara Ross, Rikki Reyna
New York Daily News
August 10, 2015
Eighteen residents say in a lawsuit that the building’s owner has raised their rents illegally. The increases are designed to force them out of their gentrifying neighborhood.

Feature

Why is the NYPD’s ‘Warrant Squad’ Still Raiding Homeless Shelters?

John Surico
VICE News
October 1, 2015
Conversations with men and women who sleep at various shelters across town suggest so-called warrant squads, a holdover from the days of Rudolph Giuliani—a mayor known for combating homelessness aggressively in the 90s—is still alive and well in 2015.

Op-Ed

How to Fight Homelessness

Mark D. Levine, Mary Brosnahan
New York Times (NYT)
October 19, 2015
With over 58,000 people in our shelter system every night, and thousands more sleeping on the streets, concern about homelessness in New York City has reached a fever pitch.

Interview

Lawsuit Could Change Fate of New York City’s Homeless Youth

Victoria Bekiempis
Newsweek
November 8, 2015
Newsweek chatted with two of the lawyers working on the case that might change youth homelessness in New York City, the Legal Aid Society's Beth Hofmeister and Kimberly Forte.

Letter to Editor

For the Homeless, Help and a Steady Job

John Pollack, Judith Goldiner
New York Times (NYT)
January 1, 2016
Two letters to the editor about solutions to homelessness in New York City.

News Story

New York to Add 300 Shelter Beds for Homeless Young People

Nikita Stewart
New York Times (NYT)
January 8, 2016
Mayor Bill de Blasio, in his latest attempt to address New York City’s homelessness crisis, unveiled a plan on Friday to add 300 shelter beds for older teenagers.

Interview

No One Knows How Many Homeless People Live in New York

Brian Josephs
VICE News
February 12, 2016
Kimberly Forte, supervising attorney at the Legal Aid Society in New York City, speaks about the challenges of counting the number of people experiencing homelessness.

News Story

City Produces Millions of Documents for Federal Probe of Public Housing

Rebecca Davis-O’Brien, Josh Dawsey
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
March 18, 2016
City officials have turned over millions of documents to the federal prosecutors who are conducting a broad investigation into health and safety conditions at New York City Housing Authority buildings and at homeless shelters.

Column

Locked Up for Seeking Asylum

Elizabeth Rubin
New York Times (NYT)
April 2, 2016
International law holds that asylum seekers should be detained only in unusual circumstances. Yet our detention centers are filling up with people like Samey.

News Story

Officials Were Warned of Trouble With NYPD Lockout Orders, And Then Police Kicked Out Wrong Family

Sarah Ryley
New York Daily News, ProPublica
May 2, 2016
A letter from legal groups to the New York City’s Law Department warned city officials that “vulnerable tenants” are often ensnared in nuisance abatements.

News Story

5 Elderly Holdouts Fighting Closure of Assisted-Living Home

Matt Sedensky
Associated Press (AP)
May 7, 2016
Two years after the owner of Prospect Park Residence announced the building in the trendy Park Slope neighborhood would be sold and converted to condos, its fate remains in limbo.

Column

What the Poor Really Need Is Legal Aid

Susan Beck
Law.com
June 24, 2016
Now is the time for a Second Wave Revolution in Big Law pro bono.

Lives Upended by Disputed Cuts in Home-Health Care for Disabled Patients

Nina Bernstein
New York Times (NYT)
A detailed report by a coalition of more than 100 nonprofit groups shows that the crisis in Ms. Negron’s family has been repeated in hundreds of households covered by Senior Health Partners.

News Story

Long Nights With Little Sleep for Homeless Families Seeking Shelter

Nikita Stewart
New York Times (NYT)
August 28, 2016
On Wednesday, New York City hit a record 59,373 people in shelters overseen by the Department of Homeless Services.

News Story

New York City Relies on Motels to House Homeless

Josh Dawsey, Mark Morales
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
August 28, 2016
De Blasio administration says policy is necessary to deal with growing problem; some elected officials and advocates push back.

News Story

Under New Policy for Homeless Families, Children Can Miss Less School

Elizabeth A. Harris
New York Times (NYT)
September 1, 2016
The city’s Department of Homeless Services is changing its policies to try to reduce the extraordinary disruption that homelessness causes in all aspects of a child’s life.

News Story

For Tenants Facing Eviction, New York May Guarantee a Lawyer

Jessica Silver-Greenberg
New York Times (NYT)
September 26, 2016
On Monday, the City Council held a hearing on a bill that would make New York City the first jurisdiction in the country to guarantee lawyers for any low-income residents facing eviction.

News Story

What Can You Do When the Cops Take Your Money and Won’t Give It Back?

Jake Offenhartz
VICE News
September 29, 2016
Under New York City's opaque and arbitrary civil forfeiture system, seizing money from a woman not accused of a crime is a perfectly legal thing to do.

Audio , News Story

After 2-Year Fight, Seniors Get Pushed Out

Cindy Rodriguez
WNYC (NY)
October 10, 2016
Properties get flipped for large profits and people get pushed out. It’s the reality of hot real estate markets across the country. But when a coveted building is full of sick, fragile, senior citizens, the result can have devastating consequences – even death.

News Story

Beware of Tactics Landlords Use to Evict Rent-Stabilized Tenants

Amy Zimmer, Jeanmarie Evelly
DNAinfo (NYC and Chicago)
October 25, 2016
While the de Blasio administration has increased funding for free legal services for tenants, lawyers working with low-income New Yorkers say that isn't solving the problem, citing the arsenal of strategies landlords can use to evict rent-stabilized tenants.

News Story

New York City Ramps Up Immigrant Outreach

Josh Dawsey
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
October 31, 2016
Immigrant services are being expanded; programs are showing dividends.

News Story

New Tech Helps Tenants Make Their Case in Court

Corinne Ramey
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
December 12, 2016
Nonprofit provides sensors to document lack of heat in apartments; landlord group says other variables at play.

News Story

NY Housing Authority Seeks Private Investors for Brooklyn, Bronx Buildings

Laura Kusisto
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
January 18, 2017
Private developers expected to help upgrade 1,700 units needing about $350 million in repairs.

News Story

The grim reality of student loan debt — it can last until retirement

Jana Kasperkevic
Tribune Media Wire
January 27, 2017
Garnishing of older Americans’ Social Security benefits to repay their student loans is becoming pretty common.

News Story

The ugly truth about your takeout: NYC’s delivery workers are often exploited and underpaid

Caroline Praderio
Business Insider
February 13, 2017
Many workers are starting to stand up to unscrupulous bosses in court.

News Story

Poor Families to Get More Help With Rent From New York State

Nikita Stewart
New York Times (NYT)
February 27, 2017
In a settlement that could help thousands of families avoid eviction, New York State will substantially increase the monthly rent subsidies it provides to low-income families with children in New York City, a move that could help reduce the number of people in homeless shelters.

News Story

Surprise funding cuts from the Trump administration will hit poor New York City residents hard

Bryce Covert
ThinkProgress
March 13, 2017
Trump’s surprise cuts will only make things worse in a city that already has a housing crisis.

Column

A lawyer makes a difference for a day in Brooklyn housing court

Mark Chiusano
amNewYork
March 24, 2017
Particularly if the tenants don’t have a lawyer. Landlords are represented over 90 percent of the time, and often don’t show up in person. Slightly more than 25 percent of tenants lawyer up, meaning many come in person to argue their own cases.

Op-Ed

Mayor de Blasio is wrong to pick and choose which immigrants deserve counsel

Adriene Holder, Tina Luongo
New York Daily News
May 5, 2017
But due process doesn’t work this way.

News Story

Under Settlement, City Shelters Will Do More for the Disabled

Nikita Stewart
New York Times (NYT)
May 18, 2017
The center and the Legal Aid Society filed the lawsuit two years ago after several years of trying to help disabled people get the services and accommodations on a case-by-case basis.

Audio , News Story

When ICE Shows Up in Human Trafficking Court

Beth Fertig
WNYC (NY)
June 22, 2017
Ever since President Donald Trump took office, immigration advocates from Los Angeles to New York have claimed there are more sightings of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in courthouses looking to detain people.

Audio , News Story

Can New York Keep Immigration Agents Out of The Courthouses?

Beth Fertig
WNYC (NY)
June 29, 2017
Public defenders claim immigration officers have already made more arrests inside and outside state courts so far in 2017 than they did in the previous two years combined.

News Story

De Blasio, City Council reach deal limiting legal fund for immigrants facing deportation

Jillian Jorgensen, Erin Durkin
New York Daily News
August 1, 2017
The city’s $26 million will not go to pay for lawyers for immigrants convicted of 170 serious crimes — a restriction de Blasio had insisted on — but anonymous private donors have stepped in with $250,000 to aid those who can’t get the taxpayer money.

News Story

Queens mother, disabled daughter not evicted over landlord’s ‘meritless’ lawsuit

Andrew Keshner
New York Daily News
August 15, 2017
A Queens landlord's quest to evict a cigarette-puffing single mom and her disabled daughter has gone up in smoke.

News Story

New York is betting $155 million that it can cut evictions

Marielle Segarra
Marketplace
October 2, 2017
New York City recently passed a law, to be phased in over five years, funding free legal services for residents who are facing eviction and fall below a certain income threshold.

News Story

Mental Health Court: A ‘lifeline’ for defendants… but one that needs help

Frank Donnelly
Staten Island Advance
October 24, 2017
For those reasons, both prosecutors and defense lawyers tout the borough's Mental Health Court as an effective and necessary alternative for defendants with mental illnesses.

News Story

Post Office Fails to Deliver on Time, and DACA Applications Get Rejected

Liz Robbins
New York Times (NYT)
November 10, 2017
Dozens of young immigrants mailed renewal forms weeks before they were due. But their paperwork was delayed in the mail and then denied for being late.

Audio , News Story

New Hope for New Yorkers With Criminal Convictions

Beth Fertig
WNYC (NY)
November 27, 2017
New Yorkers who have not been convicted of a crime in the past 10 years can seek to have up to two prior convictions sealed, making it easier to apply for jobs.

News Story

Fearing DACA’s Return May Be Brief, Immigrants Rush to Renew

Liz Robbins, Miriam Jordan
New York Times (NYT)
January 16, 2018
With their fates split in the courts, in the halls of Congress, and, seemingly, the White House, DACA recipients across the country scrambled to do what was in their power.

News Story

City Tackles Roll-Out of Right to Counsel in Housing Court

Abigail Savitch-Lew
City Limits
January 17, 2018
n February 2017, after years of tenant advocacy, Mayor de Blasio made the announcement that New York City would become the first city in the nation to invest in universal access to counsel for low-income tenants in housing court.

Feature

How an Army of Women Lawyers Formed to Protect Immigrants in the Trump Era

Mattie Kahn
Elle Magazine
January 26, 2018
This weekend marks 12 months since the first Trump travel ban, an executive order that incited nationwide protests, spurred lawsuits, and drove hundreds of immigration attorneys to set up shop in airport terminals from New York to Los Angeles.

News Story

Putting a Price on Heat, Legal Aid Threatens to Sue Housing Authority

Jeffery C. Mays
New York Times (NYT)
February 11, 2018
New York City has seen the most days below freezing this winter since 1961. The frigid temperatures have taken a toll on Nycha’s aging boilers, leaving 323,098 residents without heat or hot water at some point during the heating season.

Investigative

Behind the minimum wage fight, a sweeping failure to enforce the law

Marianne LeVine
Politico
February 18, 2018
Raising hourly pay is a rallying cry for 2018, but states often fail to get workers the money that’s owed them.

News Story

When ICE Tries to Deport Americans, Who Defends Them?

Steve Coll
New Yorker
March 21, 2018
For decades, U.S. citizens have been deported repeatedly, in isolated cases and en masse, due to racism and bureaucratic indifference, as well as the complexity of federal immigration laws.

News Story

Legal Aid Demands Rebates for Nycha Tenants Left in the Cold

Jeffery C. Mays
New York Times (NYT)
April 12, 2018
The class-action lawsuit comes after the authority refused a demand from Legal Aid to abate from $2.5 million to $15 million in rent to tenants who were left without basic services during heating season.

News Story

DOJ tinkers with immigration courts to speed deportations

Caitlin Dickson
Yahoo! News
April 13, 2018
There are limited avenues for appeal and no constitutional right to a lawyer for anyone caught up in it.

News Story

A Rule Is Changed for Young Immigrants, and Green Card Hopes Fade

Liz Robbins
New York Times (NYT)
April 18, 2018
Under a new interpretation, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said that applicants in New York who were over 18, but not yet 21, when they began the application process no longer qualify.

Column

Citizen? Prove it.

Christie Thompson
Marshall Project
May 21, 2018
Manuel Herrera has been in immigration detention in Hudson County, New Jersey, for almost a year. In that time, his lawyer has been fighting to prove he is a U.S. citizen.

News Story

Lawsuit Claims Some Young Immigrants Treated Unfairly Under New Policy

Corinne Ramey
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
June 7, 2018
Lawyers say federal authorities have been denying a special status to immigrants in New York aged 18 through 20.

News Story

Criminal Convictions Behind Them, Few Have Had Their Records Sealed

Jan Ransom
New York Times (NYT)
July 4, 2018
As of the end of May, the latest numbers available, 346 people statewide had had their convictions sealed

News Story

What’s Happening With the Separated Children in New York?

Liz Robbins
New York Times (NYT)
July 16, 2018
Months after hundreds of immigrant youth were separated from their parents at the southwestern border and sent to New York, some are now being sent back south to rejoin them.

News Story

New York Officials Push Right to Counsel in Civil Cases

Rebecca Davis-O’Brien
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
April 5, 2015
New York officials are seeking to increase funding to provide poor people with free legal services in civil proceedings such as eviction and immigration matters

News Story

As Child Immigrants Await Fate, a Race for Counsel

Mara Gay
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
October 1, 2014
How the court system is influenced by the influx of unaccompanied children and how legal aid is responding to the crisis in the face of a lawyer shortage.

News Story

In NY, Volunteer Attorneys Lend Voice, Legal Help, To Border Kids

Raul A. Reyes
NBC News
March 23, 2015
An article describing how various civil legal aid organizations are helping unaccompanied border children.

News Story

Justice Gap Remains Wide, Hearing Witnesses Say

Tania Karas
New York Law Journal
September 23, 2014
Despite additional funding, the justice gap is nowhere close to being closed testified multiple people at a Lippman's Task Force public hearing.

News Story

Top Judge Makes Free Legal Work Mandatory for Joining State Bar

Anne Barnard
New York Times (NYT)
May 1, 2012
To help the many who cannot afford legal services, New York will become the first state to require lawyers to perform unpaid work before being licensed to practice.

News Story

Judge Details a Rule Requiring Pro Bono Work by Aspiring Lawyers

Mosi Secret
New York Times (NYT)
September 19, 2012
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News Story

Rule Change Could Ease Justice Gap for the Poor

James C. McKinley, Jr.
New York Times (NYT)
December 2, 2013
Corporate lawyers not licensed in New York can do pro bono work for the poor, the state’s chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, announced.



This page last modified: Wed, April 15, 2015 -- 8:56 am ET