“The Legal Aid Society is one of New York’s finest institutions. It keeps people in their homes, helps them to obtain benefits to which they are entitled, and secures for them necessary medical care. It keeps families together by resolving domestic disputes and helps children get a better start in life.”
- Blaine (Fin) V. Fogg, President of The Legal Aid Society
The Legal Aid Society, the oldest and largest public law firm of its kind in the nation, is dedicated to one simple but powerful belief: that no New Yorker should be denied access to justice because of poverty. Through three core practice areas — Civil, Juvenile Rights, and Criminal Defense — the Society handles approximately 300,000 cases and legal matters annually for individuals and families in all five boroughs of New York City.
Unlike the Society’s Criminal and Juvenile Rights Practices (both of which are constitutionally and legally mandated and funded by the government), our Civil Practice relies heavily on private contributions — from law firms, corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Society's Civil Practice, which consistently wins over 90% of its cases, provides essential services to help thousands of New Yorkers living at or below the poverty line to obtain the basic necessities of life.
It is this generous private support that allows us to be a powerful and positive force in the lives of thousands of low-income New Yorkers by providing direct legal help in some 30,000 individual civil legal matters each year. Moreover, it is also a vital resource in our continuing fight for systemic law reform — our landmark cases directly benefit more than 2 million low income families and individuals in New York City, as well as many others across the nation as a whole.
To learn how to make a contribution of your own, or to read about fundraising initiatives already underway, please click on the links below: