Statewide Legal Services

Empire Justice

Empire Justice Center is a not for profit law program that provides legal assistance and advocacy to low-income families regarding civil issues, childcare, public benefits, and more. The organization currently has offices in Albany, Rochester, and White Plains, NY.Their website provides great detail and legislative updates on twelve common social issues that they provide advocacy and legal assistance with: child care, child support, Civil League services, Civil Rights, Consumer and Community Development, Disability benefits, Domestic Violence, Education, Health, Housing, Immigrant Rights and Public benefits.

In addition to providing these services, the organization also provides accredited training for advocates representing clients on each issue, as well as an online resource center stating case law and precedents with which o assist advocates as they work with clients.The website is user friendly and informative for both caregivers and agencies.

MFY legal services

MFY Legal Services (Mobilization for Youth) is a Manhattan based organization that provides advocacy and representation for low-income clients.Their Pro Bono Family law project aims to serve kinship caregivers seeking guardianship, custody and adoption.Telephone intake hours for this program are Monday and Wednesday 10:00am-4:00pm.Although the offices for this program are physically located in Manhattan, there is a helpful link redirecting visitors to another website ( to find representation and legal advice in any other part of the country.

New York State Unified Court System

This website provides a thorough picture of the different courts in New York State, from Supreme Court to village court. Visitors can learn how to file documents for different circumstances (including the forms and what, if any, fee may apply), which courts perform a certain activity, and even the names of the judges presiding over each court. Specifics are available on pending and past cases, including decisions made and in progress tracking. A search tool to find an attorney is available, and step-by-step facts regarding State Laws are provided should the litigants decide to represent themselves. As a whole, it is an all encompassing website regarding the New York State Court System and the processes that take place within it.

Center for Family Representation

The primary goal of this organization is to ensure family cohesiveness.Assistance through advocacy and free legal representation is available to families that have a combination of poverty and crisis that threatens removal of children.Located in New York City, the agency provides Community Advocacy Teams (CAT) to assist families via a combination of advocate, lawyer, and social worker.The website also provides various toolkits for professionals and clients that guide interactions as well as “rules of thumb” for situations involving Child Protective Services, visitation and permanency hearings.

This new, user friendly, “Super Website” helps low-income New Yorkers find out information about:

  • Free legal service programs
  • Information about legal rights education
  • Links to social services and government agencies
  • Information about the court system

Resources available in a wide range of languages!

Rural Law Center

The Rural Law Center of New York, Inc. is a not-for-profit legal assistance organization which was incorporated in 1996 with the generous support of the IOLA (Interest on Lawyer Accounts) Fund and the New York Bar Foundation. The Rural Law Center of New York, Inc. is committed to focusing attention through our legal system and government institutions on the needs of low-income, rural New Yorkers.

Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT) 

Contact Information:
350 Broadway, Suite 400
New York, NY 10013
(646) 613-9633
Hotline: (212) 343-1122
Fax: (646) 613-9632

LIFT’s mission is to enhance access to justice for children and families by providing legal information, community education, and compassionate guidance, while promoting system-wide reform of the courts and public agencies.  To accomplish this mission, LIFT operates:

  • An Education & Information Site in Brooklyn Criminal Court;
  • Education & Information Sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens Family Courts;
  • A Legal Education Program- offering a wide-range of community education workshops throughout New York City’s neighborhoods;
  • A Legal Information Hotline; and
  • The Judge for a Day Program.

LIFT also creates and distributes resource guides which provide information about a wide-range of matters addressed in Family and Criminal Court. The guides are available in Chinese, English, Haitian/Creole, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.

Program Flyer (English)
Program Flyer (Spanish)
LIFT Support group