Civil Court Help Center staff dedicate themselves to legal assistance

For many court visitors, legal assistance is not guaranteed and the process is daunting. Many people come in with questions and without counsel. The court’s Help Center offers services to help bridge that gap as part of the state’s Access to Justice program.

Feature (New York)

Rachel Vick
Queens Daily Eagle
February 13, 2020

Tags: Courts, Pro Se/Self-Help

Organizations mentioned/involved: Queens Volunteer Lawyers Project (NY)


The Volunteer Lawyer Program relies on attorneys, who receive CLE credits for participating, to provide case advice. They don’t accompany clients in trials or hearing, but they are able to offer suggestions based on the strengths and weaknesses of a given case.

Help Center attorneys handle a steady stream of clients, and are available to answer questions about court proceedings and clarify issues.

William Yellen was one such visitor who stopped in with questions about how to best handle what he believed to be unjust actions by his landlord.

“This isn’t my first time [at the Help Center],” Yellen said. “I wanted to know what my rights were as a tenant and as a disabled person. They always give good, helpful advice.”