WHO WE ARE
NYLAG fights for fair and equal access to justice for those who need it most.
Since 1990, our dedicated staff has worked tirelessly to amplify the voices of individuals and communities experiencing poverty, and to provide the highest quality free legal services to those who need an attorney. Over the years, as the needs of our communities have changed, we have responded. We address emerging and urgent needs with comprehensive, free civil legal services, direct representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy, financial counseling, medical-legal partnerships, and community education and partnerships.
NYLAG creates both individual and systemic change.
NYLAG believes that poverty is a systemic issue shaped by laws, institutional policies, cultural representations, racism, and widespread beliefs—not the result of individual behaviors or ‘bad’ choices. We protect and advance the rights of individuals and families with low incomes who face legal challenges that threaten their economic stability and safety. We know that without a lawyer, justice may be out of reach. In all that we do, we strive to make fair and equal access to justice possible for those who need it most. We also work to identify systemic issues that have an impact beyond an individual client: we push for changes in laws and regulations; for government reform; and for more equitable court practices.
NYLAG advances justice through community partnerships.
We build innovative partnerships to effectively and strategically resolve our clients’ legal problems and reach underserved communities, such as people of color, veterans, LGBTQ people, immigrants, and people with disabilities. That’s why we collaborate with hospitals, schools, libraries, and neighborhood organizations across New York. We also make visits to the homebound, and our Mobile Legal Help Center is on the road to bring lawyers into local communities.
NYLAG also expands justice beyond New York.
While our services primarily help those living or residing in New York, our class action lawsuits have national impact, such as our representation of student loan borrowers and Medicaid recipients. And, our immigration work touches the lives of children and adults from many different countries of origin.
NYLAG’s fight for justice changes lives, including:
- Survivors of intimate partner violence seeking safety for themselves and their children
- Individuals and families facing eviction
- Seniors and individuals with disabilities in need of critical health benefits
- Veterans facing denial of benefits
- Families in need of subsistence benefits, such as food stamps
- Immigrants fleeing torture and persecution who need protection in the U.S.
- Children with disabilities denied an appropriate education
- Workers whose wages were stolen