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

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.

Column (New York)

Mark Chiusano
March 24, 2017

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services NYC (LSNYC), Legal Aid Society (New York City)


Unfortunately, President Donald Trump is going in the opposite direction. His proposed budget entirely eliminates funding for the Legal Services Corporation, the publically funded national nonprofit which provides 20 percent of LSNYC’s budget. LSNYC says that would amount to 7,500 fewer cases, and potential staffing cuts of some 110 employees.

If Congress does end up cutting all or some of this funding, New York City and State will be challenged to pick up the slack. Legal Aid, which offers criminal defense services in addition to housing help, already operates without federal funding and may become even more vital.