LawHelpNY.orgNew York

Site Help

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 chat button in the bottom right corner of your screen to connect to LiveHelp.

Who qualifies for free legal help?

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 in each practice area. 

Look for your family size, then review the boxes to the right to see where your annual income falls on the chart. Some organizations have more flexible guidelines and can serve people with incomes over these levels, it depends on the organization and what your legal issue is. The best thing you can do is call the legal aid organization near you to find out if you qualify for their services.

2021 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines based on Family Size and Annual Income

Family Size






























For each additional member, add






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 three sections on the site where you can search for the information you need:

  • Get Legal Info:  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 a Lawyer: Lists all the free legal aid offices and programs near that might be able to offer you free legal help.
  • Going to Court: Information on the different courts in New York State, how to prepare for a court appearance, and information about your rights when in court. Set your loacation and choose your legal issue to find informatin about court.

Please note LawHelpNY 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. Once you set these, the next page will display some of th information requested. Look for further instructions on this page to help you find what you're looking for.

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. Some organizations also take into account expenses such as childcare, medical bills and debts. It is best to contact the office to find out if they can serve you. 

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 Lawyer Referral Service .

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