Securing a favorable New York verdict can often seem like an uphill battle, especially for low-income residents. The legal complexities of the justice system can be overwhelming if you don’t get proper representation. Yet amidst all these, The Legal Aid Society stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards justice for all.
With a team of dedicated lawyers, The Legal Aid Society is dedicated to defending and protecting your rights and other New Yorkers needing legal support. They also remain committed to serving you regardless of your personality, places of origin, or how you identify. In this document, we will explore how The Legal Aid Society can improve your New York verdict.
Advocating for LGBTQ+ Rights
Lawyers at The Legal Aid Society are passionate about advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. They understand that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not only unjust but also illegal in New York City. As such, the society provides legal representation to LGBTQ+ individuals facing discrimination in housing, healthcare, employment, benefits and entitlements.
To demonstrate their commitment to this cause, the society created an LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit for their lawyers. The unit establishes and promotes inclusive, safe spaces, policies, and practices for LGBTQ+ clients within the organization. Additionally, unit staff provide education on gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the Legal Aid Society staff. The staff are also actively involved in legislative and policy reform efforts at the City and State level, as well as in coalition building.
The LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit also litigates various matters impacting the lives of countless LGBTQ+ New Yorkers and often achieves a positive New York verdict. These issues include securing the rights of transgender youth and individuals to receive Medicaid coverage. The unit also assists in the fight against the profiling of transgender women of color by the police and the continued criminalization of LGBTQ+ identities.
If you run a business, you can bear witness that the entrepreneurship journey isn’t a cakewalk. Luckily, the Legal Aid Society advocates for New Yorkers’ financial rights through their specialized teams of paralegals, attorneys, and support staff. They advocate for rights in four distinct legal fields, which span foreclosure prevention, tax law, customer law, and not-for-profit and small business assistance.
For customer law, the society has a Consumer Law Project (CLP), which provides legal representation and advice to small businesses and low-income residents. These legal services encompass a range of customer-related issues, such as identity theft, credit card debt, and rent arrears. They will also help you with issues around auto loans, student loans, nursing homes, and medical debt. The CLP also provides advocacy and legal assistance to survivors of various forms of intimate partner violence.
The Legal Aid Society also has established a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), which provides direct legal assistance to taxpayers with legal tax disputes with the IRS or the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. In such instances, their lawyer service includes tax litigation, refund claims, audits, and tax settlement.
Moreover, their Community Development Project (CDP) can provide vital transactional assistance services to help Housing Development Fund Companies (HDFCs), nonprofit organizations, and small business owners get a promising New York verdict. Additionally, they have a Foreclosure Prevention and Home Equity Preservation Project. This project comes in handy when you need to retain homeownership in Queens and the Bronx in the face of foreclosure. To be precise, the preservation project encompasses free legal services to homeowners residing in cooperatives, 1-4 family homes, and condominiums.
Empowering People With Disabilities
Mistreatment of people living with disabilities, albeit rare, is inhumane, and LAS seeks to bring the unfortunate situation to a halt. The Legal Aid Society helps New Yorkers with disabilities access and preserve their entitled benefits. Through a personal injury lawyer, they directly represent disabled individuals in court proceedings. They also establish public programs with fairness and due process. The society has created the Government Benefits and Disability Advocacy Project (DAP) to achieve these goals.
This project helps the most needy New Yorkers access and retain their entitled government benefits. These include public assistance, Medicaid, and disability benefits managed by the Social Security Administration. Government Benefits/DAP, in collaboration with Health Law units and Law Reform, addresses income inequalities among disabled people through class action litigation and advocacy.
The Legal Aid Society collaborates with elected officials and community-based service organizations to amplify clients’ voices and help them get a favorable New York verdict. They also have a grant from the reputable New York Bar Foundation to foster access to government benefits for needy New Yorkers. Through this grant, they have created various Know Your Rights presentations and materials distributed to their client communities and other organizations.
Defending the Accused
As New York’s leading public defender, the Legal Aid Society firmly believes that advocacy should extend beyond the courtroom and into the very communities where their clients reside and work. As such, they have a holistic approach that provides you with earnest and experienced legal representation. Every day, their public defenders engage with community members, clients, and advocacy groups to amplify the voices of those impacted by a broken criminal legal system.
The society’s criminal defense offices are spread out in various courthouses to provide lawyer service to thousands of New Yorkers facing criminal charges. They also have specialized units, including a Parole Revocation Defense Unit, a Special Litigation Unit, a Homicide Unit, and a Community Justice Unit. These programs aim to provide quality defense representation, regardless of a client’s economic status.
The Legal Aid Society also offers a few wrap-around services via projects like The Exploitation Intervention Project, Adolescent Defense, and The Decarceration Project. Their pioneering approach goes beyond traditional mapping out auto accident lawyer strategies. Their focus is on providing community-based advocacy for people impacted by the criminal legal system.
Upholding Workers’ Rights
The Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Unit (ELU) provides high-quality representation in championing individuals and groups subjected to labor law violations. Their special focus is on low-wage workers who are often victims of discrimination, wage theft, or other forms of exploitation. Other ELU cases include medical leave, labor trafficking, and unemployment insurance. ELU also works with the Immigration Law Unit to secure U or T visas for undocumented workers vulnerable to labor exploitation. In workplace accidents, the society’s accident attorney services seek compensation for any physical and emotional trauma experienced at the worksite.
Besides individual representation, The Legal Aid Society also runs The Worker Justice Project. This initiative of the Criminal Defense Practice aims to combat employment discrimination faced by laborers with arrest and conviction records. With the resources available, The Worker Justice Project improves the employment prospects of a positive New York verdict on workers’ rights cases.
Reforming Law and Policy
To ensure justice, equity, and fairness in the legal system, The Legal Aid Society not only represents clients but also engages in reforming harmful laws and policies. This change has been effected through affirmative litigation, persistent law reforms, and policy advocacy. The society aims to fight against discrimination and promote equal rights under the law for all New Yorkers.
The Legal Aid Society works with community-based organizations and partners with other stakeholders to push for progressive reforms in criminal justice policies. These include DUI attorneys, bail reform, and other low-level offenses. They advocate for education equity, fair housing, tenants’ rights, and juvenile justice.
The Legal Aid Society also has initiatives like The Decarceration Project that fight to reform the pre-trial detention system and combat the mass incarceration crisis. It involves urging for policy change to reduce New York’s excessive reliance on pre-trial incarceration. Through this project, they strive to obtain a New York verdict that promotes alternative justice solutions other than imprisonment.
Obtaining Justice for Juveniles
The Legal Aid Society remains the leading public defender of the New York City youth. Their defense lawyers guarantee zealous, continuous, and comprehensive representation for young people facing criminal charges. They also counsel youth and their families in New York City’s Criminal and Family Courts.
For clients impacted by the Juvenile Justice system, The Legal Aid Society provides legal aid in deterring police interrogations. They also help with arranging for avoiding court filings and safe surrenders through early legal intervention. These improve the odds of a successful New York verdict and minimize long-term consequences.
Through the Juvenile Rights Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit, The Legal Aid Society also addresses various systemic problems affecting youths in the juvenile legal system. It happens through policy and legislative advocacy and impactful litigation in federal and state courts. The unit strives to attain justice for New York City youth on numerous fronts. It also participates in coalition-building in various committees with State and city agents and other stakeholders.
Supporting Survivors of Violence
The Legal Aid Society stands with New Yorkers who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. They provide various services, including court representation in family and criminal courts, assistance with divorce, and immigration assistance. The society’s mission is to see you free from violence and abuse.
The Society is a primary provider of legal representation in the city for domestic violence survivors in uncontested and contested divorce cases. In contested divorces, they provide exemplary legal representation and sensitive support guidance throughout the court process. Thanks to their seasoned elder law lawyers, they also offer specialist family court representation for survivors seeking child custody, protective orders, and support. With the society’s extensive legal resources, they often stand a better chance for a promising New York verdict.
Besides domestic violence, The Legal Aid Society is also invested in getting justice for violent exploitation. Their Exploitation Intervention Project stands as the first initiative by any public defender to address the oppressive and systemic criminalization of victims of gender-based violence and trafficking. The initiative began in 2011 and has directly represented thousands of survivors. It has also offered comprehensive services to numerous Legal Aid clients faced with sex work-related charges.
Navigating Complex Divorce Cases
Navigating a divorce can be an overwhelming experience, especially when legal complexities are involved. In instances of domestic violence, The Legal Aid Society offers legal representation to survivors seeking divorce and child custody. They handle all aspects of the case, including filing for a restraining order if necessary.
The society’s restraining order lawyers specialize in cases where a partner is accused of domestic violence or other forms of abuse. These orders protect victims from further harm and provide emergency relief for those in immediate danger. The attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in complex divorce cases and obtaining a promising New York verdict for their clients.
Besides legal services expertise, The Legal Aid Society coordinates with community-based organizations to assist with safety planning and long- and short-term counseling for survivors of violence. These services enable survivors to achieve stability, economic self-sufficiency, and autonomy as they move on. In cases where assisted immigration is required, the society’s Domestic Violence Immigration Project, set up in 2003, can help survivors obtain legal status by invoking the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The Legal Aid Society preserves homes and prevents displacement and eviction by providing comprehensive legal services. Through their law reform efforts and direct representation, they remove systemic barriers that push people to homelessness and promote stable, healthy, and affordable housing for all New Yorkers. These efforts are significantly enabled by the Housing Justice Unit-Group Advocacy.
This unit works with various eligible tenant groups, HDFC coop boards, housing advocates, and shareholders. It promotes improved housing conditions and affordable housing and prevents displacement and harassment. The advocacy group works on tenant associations’ behalf and applies a holistic approach to defend families in housing court from eviction. Ultimately, the Housing Justice Unit ensures that New York remains a city where all residents and communities can live and prosper.
Moreover, The Legal Aid Society also created the Homeless Rights Project (HRP) to assist homeless and at-risk people. HRP enforces and protects the rights of homeless individuals and families living in New York City. It also provides a toll-free helpline and outreach at shelter intake sites for vulnerable individuals and groups requiring representation.
Through the Foreclosure Prevention Project, The Legal Aid Society also helps homeowners struggling to maintain homeownership. The society’s probate attorney provides legal assistance in probate matters to low-income New Yorkers. The assistance helps prevent homelessness caused by unresolved estate problems.
The Legal Aid Society provides various legal services to support and advocate for marginalized communities in New York City. From advocating for LGBTQ+ rights to defending the accused, their lawyers and attorneys strive to uphold justice and equality for all. The society’s devotion to social justice and reform extends beyond getting favorable New York verdicts in the courtroom through various community-based initiatives. They work tirelessly to empower individuals with disabilities, assist entrepreneurs, and prevent homelessness in New York City.