Civil Practice

Last year, The Legal Aid Society's Civil Practice Program worked to improve the lives of low-income New Yorkers by helping vulnerable families and individuals to obtain and maintain the basic necessities of life - housing, health care, food and subsistence income or self-sufficiency as well as enhancing family and community stability and security by resolving a full range of legal problems, including domestic violence, family law, immigration, employment, and consumer law issues.

The Civil Practice operates out of a network of 16 neighborhood and courthouse-based offices in all five boroughs and 22 specialized units and projects.

  • Community Development Project : Supports clients pursuing grassroots community economic development throughout New York City.
  • The Consumer Law Project: Provides representation, legal assistance and education to clients who are vulnerable to the emerging practices of unscrupulous lenders and creditors.
  • Disability Advocacy Project: Assists adults and children in obtaining benefits under the Supplemental Security Income or Social Security programs.
  • The Education Law Project: Provides essential legal advocacy to families of children with disabilities in need of special education support and services.
  • Elder Law Project/Brooklyn Office for the Aging: Serves the senior community by preventing unlawful evictions, assisting with health care, and securing government benefits.
  • Employment Law Unit: Serves workers who have been denied unemployment insurance, whose back wages have been withheld, or who were unjustly fired.
  • Family/Domestic Violence Practice: Helps clients achieve stability, autonomy, and economic self-sufficiency in a safe environment.
  • The Foreclosure Prevention and Home Equity Preservation Project: Serves homeowners facing the loss of their homes as well as renters in buildings subject to foreclosure.
  • Government Benefits Practice: Assists clients in obtaining and maintaining the government benefits to which they are entitled.
  • Health Law Unit: Helps clients navigate the health care system, reduce medical debt, and access health insurance.
  • HIV/AIDS Representation Project : Responds to the specific needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS by providing comprehensive legal services.
  • Homeless Rights Project: Works continually to establish and maintain the right to shelter, assistance, and services for homeless families and individuals in New York City.
  • Housing Practice: Prevents evictions and homelessness, corrects housing violations, obtains rent subsidies, and fights illegal overcharges.
  • Housing Development Unit: Helps tenants and tenant organizations preserve and expand the stock of affordable housing throughout New York City.
  • The Housing Help Program: A courthouse-based project in three of the lowest income boroughs, this innovative program allows for the provision of early intervention and comprehensive services to New Yorkers in imminent risk of eviction.
  • Immigration Law Unit: Increases family stability and safety through comprehensive citywide immigration legal services.
  • Law Reform Unit: Represents clients to effect systemic changes through law reform and class action litigation and advocacy.
  • Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic : Advises clients on tax disputes and educating client communities about tax compliance and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Prisoners Rights Project: Protects the legal rights of prisoners through law reform and class action litigation and individual advice and representation.
  • Project FAIR: Serves low-income and homeless New Yorkers through its Legal Help Desk at the State's central fair hearing site in New York City.
  • The Reentry Project: Provides advice and legal representation to clients on Rikers Island who are scheduled to be released shortly and have civil legal problems involving housing, public benefits and family law.
  • The Single Stop Program: Provides intake to 10 sites throughout New York City. The sites are specifically chosen to reach out to families within their own neighborhoods and at locations where they already receive other social or child care services.