The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York provides free civil legal aid to low-income upstate New Yorkers. We have 106 staff in five offices in the region, serving 16 counties and the St. Regis Indian Reservation.
What is Civil Legal Aid?
Civil legal aid is a combination of services and resources that helps people to effectively navigate the justice system in civil cases, regardless of how much money you have. While most people facing criminal charges have a constitutional right to an attorney, there is no right to counsel in civil cases. Civil legal aid fills that gap:
- It provides access to legal help for people to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families.
- It makes it easier to access information so people can know their rights.
- It helps streamline the court system and cuts down on court costs.
- It can provide a range of services—including legal assistance and representation; self-help centers and other court-based services, free legal clinics and pro-bono assistance, and access to web-based information and forms
Who we are
We are a law firm for poor and low-income people. We provide free assistance and representation in civil, not criminal, cases. There is no cost for any of the services we provide. We believe that everyone has the right to equal justice regardless of the ability to pay. Read about our history here.
The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York provides effective, free civil legal services and education to and advocacy for people with low income or other barriers to accessing the legal system. We secure basic needs,protect and preserve legal rights, provide equal access to justice and seek fairness and dignity for our clients.
How is civil legal aid funded?
Civil legal aid is funded by a variety of sources. Public funding comes from a congressional appropriation to the Legal Services Corporation, as well as grants from federal agencies, state and local governments. Private support comes from charitable donations and foundation grants as well as from the volunteer services of private lawyers, law students, and others. Still, studies show that funding for civil legal aid meets only 20% of the need.
The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York is funded by grants from the NYS Unified Court System Judiciary Civil Legal Services, Legal Services Corporation, the Interest on Lawyer Account Fund of the State of New York, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, and the IRS Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC). AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, Empire State Development Corporation , NYS Attorney General Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP), NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, NYS Legislature, NYS Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance (OTDA), NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS), Honorable Patricia A. Fahy, Honorable Elizabeth Little, Honorable John T. McDonald, and the Honorable Phil Steck. Albany County Department of Aging, Albany County Department of Social Services, Clinton County Office of Aging, City of Albany, City of Saratoga Springs, City of Schenectady Community Block Development Grant, City of Troy, Fulton County Office for Aging, Rensselaer County Department of Aging, St. Lawrence County Office for the Aging, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Office for the Aging, Warren County Office of Indigent Legal Services, Warren/Hamilton County Office for the Aging, and the Washington County Office for the Aging. Adirondack Foundation, Albany Law School, Bethesda House of Schenectady, Carl E. Touhey Foundation, Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties, Catholic Charities of Schoharie County, Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, Community Service Society of New York, Equal Justice Works, ETC/Clinton County, Family Counseling Center of Fulton County, Inc., Hunger Solutions New York, Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY), Mechanicville Area Community Services Center, Inc., New York State Bar Foundation, Nutrition Consortium, Schenectady Community Action Program, St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House for Victims of Family Violence, Inc., St. Paul’s Center, Unity House, Volunteer Legal Services Project (VLSP), and Wellspring, Inc.. Pro Bono Volunteer time, law firms, corporations, and individuals through the Annual Justice for All Campaign.
LASNNY is a fair housing/equal housing opportunity provider of legal services.
The Legal Aid Society does not discriminate against applicants for services based on race, color, creed, marital status, national original, religion, sex, sexual orientation or sexual identity, or disability. If you believe you have been wrongfully denied services, you may file a grievance. Any legal aid staff member can provide you with a copy of the complaint forms. They are also posted here:
LASNNY has signed the Diversity Principles and Goals for New York’s Legal Services Community. For more information, please go to the following links: