Search LawHelpNY for legal information and free legal aid where you live. Scroll down for tips on how to search this website. If you need help finding something, click on the green chat button in the right hand column to connect to LiveHelp.
Many of the legal aid programs listed on LawHelpNY only serve you if you earn less than a certain amount of money. This limit is usually a percentage of the "poverty level" set by the government. LawHelpNY cannot guarantee that an organization can help you even if you meet the income requirements.
Many legal aid offices use the chart below to decide who can receive help. Look for your family size, then review the boxes to the right to see where your income falls on the chart. Some organizations have more flexible guidelines and can serve people with incomes over these levels.
Yearly Income as a Percentage of the 2016 Federal Poverty Level
LawHelpNY provides legal information on civil law issues, such as Family, Housing, Public Benefits, Consumer, Workers Rights, Immigration and many other issues. It does not have information about criminal law, arrests, sentencing, etc.
There are four sections on the site where you can search for the information you need:
Get Info About Your Legal Problem: Includes Know Your Legal Rights information, self-help materials, and interactive interviews that help you prepare papers for court and fair hearings. You can print out these resources.
Find Legal Aid in NYS: Lists all the free legal aid offices and programs in your area by topic area.
Going to Court: Information on the different courts in New York State, their contact info, how to prepare for a court appearance, and other materials on your rights when in court.
Finding Other Help: Includes services other than legal services such as community organizations, state agencies and other organizations that can help you in your area.
Please note LawHelp NY does not provide legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer.
How does the site work?
There are a number of different ways to find both Know Your Rights legal information and legal aid offices in nearby locations. Once you make a selection on the home page, a page will display asking for your location (county or zip code), as well as the area of law and the kind of problem you have (if you haven't selected tht already). Once you set these, the next page will display some of th information requested. Look for further instructions on this page to help you sort through all the resources and/or organizations listed.
Can I get help if my income is more than the guidelines?
Some organizations may make exceptions for special populations such as seniors, people who are HIV positive, or people experiencing domestic violence. Be sure to look at these requirements carefully before contacting an organization.Some organizations also take into account expenses such as childcare, medical bills and debts.
If you are not eligible for free services because your income is too high, or you were injured on the job or by someone's negligence, please contact the New York City Bar's Legal Referral Service. Outside New York City, contact the New York State Bar Association's statewide directory of lawyer referral service programs.
What are the different types or levels of services a legal aid program may be able to provide?
- Full Representation by a lawyer or a legal advocate in court or at an agency hearing
- Brief Advice in person or over the telephone
- Pro Se Legal Clinic where you are shown how to "help yourself" with a particular legal problem
- Self-Help Materials such as educational fact sheets and brochures
- Other workshops and other services
Every legal program listed on LawHelp/NY includes information on the types of services they provide.