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Legal Services of Central New York, Inc.
Who Are We?
We are a non-profit law firm founded in 1966 to provide free, civil legal assistance to low-income families and individuals in thirteen counties of Central New York. We provide our clients legal assistance with 19 lawyers and 5 paralegals. We are governed by Boards of Directors made up of attorneys, clients, and community representatives. We serve clients residing in our core counties of Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, and Oswego. Some of our projects cover more counties.
In 2004, Legal Services of Central New York, the Legal Aid Society of Mid New York, and Legal Aid for Broome and Chenango Counties reorganized and formed the Justice Alliance of Central New York. A major funding source had restricted funding for certain types on clients (non-citizens, for example) and certain types of critical legal strategies (class actions, for example). Civil legal services was reorganized in our region in order to make sure that we can use the full array of legal tools that lawyers have to properly represent people with significant legal needs.
Who Are Our Clients?
Our clients are familiar faces to all of us. They are our neighbors, co-workers and friends. They are senior citizens, veterans, and disabled individuals who turn to us in their time of need. They are families and individuals denied legal protection because they cannot afford an attorney. In Central New York, about 265,000 people are financially eligible for legal services from the Justice Alliance. Many others are eligible for our services because of the kind of legal problem they have. Each year we work on cases which affect the lives of more than 17,000 people. Two-thirds of our clients are women, often struggling to raise a family on their own; more than half of our cases directly impact the lives of children.
What Do We Do?
The legal assistance we provide ensures our clients have those things many of us take for granted. We represent people in court, at administrative hearings, before government agencies and the legislature. We apply our resources and expertise to ensure our clients’ needs are addressed fairly and their voices heard. We address important local issues and concerns, guiding our clients through complicated laws, helping them know and enforce their rights. In short, we help stabilize the lives of people who have been marginalized, helping them achieve dignity.
What Are Our Results?
Our work is far-reaching. Legal services helps low-income families and individuals secure not only the necessities of life, but human dignity. By restoring individuals and families to productive, independent and healthier lives, the entire community benefits.
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