With the belief that no one should be denied access to justice because of poverty, The Legal Aid Society has been dedicated since 1876 to providing quality legal assistance and representation to low-income New Yorkers in three core practices: Civil, Criminal and Juvenile Rights.
The Legal Aid Society, the nation's oldest and largest not-for-profit legal services organization, is more than a law firm for the poor. It is an indispensable component of the legal, social, and economic fabric of New York City--passionately advocating for low-income individuals and families across a variety of civil, criminal, and juvenile rights matters, while also fighting for legal reform. The Legal Aid Society has performed this role in City, State, and federal courts since 1876. It does so by capitalizing on the diverse expertise, experience, and capabilities of 850 of the brightest legal minds. These 850 Legal Aid lawyers work with 600 social workers, investigators, paralegals and support and administrative staff. Through a network of borough, neighborhood, and courthouse offices in 25 locations, the Society provides comprehensive legal services in all five boroughs for clients who cannot afford private counsel. The Society operates three major practices — Civil, Criminal and Juvenile Rights — and receives volunteer help from law firms, corporate law departments and expert consultants that is coordinated by the Society’s Pro Bono program. Annually, the Society handles more than 300,000 cases and legal matters for clients with civil, criminal, and juvenile rights problems. The Legal Aid Society takes on more cases for more clients than any other legal services organization in the United States. And it brings a depth and breadth of perspective that is unmatched in the legal profession. The Legal Aid Society's unique value is an ability to go beyond any one case to create more equitable outcomes for individuals and broader, more powerful systemic change for society as a whole. In addition to the annual caseload of 300,000 individual cases, the Society’s law reform work benefits some 2 million low income families and individuals in New York City and the landmark rulings in many of these cases have a State-wide and national impact.
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