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Press Room Archive

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Projects, Units, Initiatives

Exploitation Intervention Project

The Exploitation Intervention Project, founded in 2011, is the first effort by a public defender office to address the systemic criminalization of victims of trafficking and gender-based violence. EIP has advocated for thousands of clients,...
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News

Kings DA Vacates Walking While Trans Warrants and Charges

The Legal Aid Society applauded the action and called on District Attorneys in the other boroughs to follow suit, as reported by the New York Daily News.
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News

LAS Surpasses 2,000 Convictions Vacated for Victims of Trafficking

Legal Aid's Exploitation Intervention Project has cleared convictions with the help of the transformative relief provided by New York State's START Act.
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Op-Ed: What the Survivors of Human Trafficking Deserve

Attorneys from The Legal Aid Society and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg are calling on prosecutors across the State to fulfill the vision of the START Act and vacate convictions of trafficking survivors.
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Listen: A Fresh Start for Trafficking Survivors

The Legal Aid Society's Leigh Latimer joined The Capitol Pressroom to discuss the transformative impact of New York's START Act.
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Survivors of Human Trafficking Call on Governor to Sign START Act

The life-changing bill would help survivors of labor and sex trafficking clear criminal convictions that resulted from their victimization, reports POLITICO New York.
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Other Ways to Give

Every day, in every borough, The Legal Aid Society works in courtrooms and communities to deliver justice to New Yorkers. Each year, our direct representation of thousands of individuals informs our impact litigation efforts and...
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Listen: Clearing the Slate for Trafficking Survivors

The Legal Aid Society's Leigh Latimer and Abigail Swenstein joined WCNY's Capitol Pressroom to discuss the SMART Act, life-changing legislation that would help survivors of labor and sex trafficking.
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News

Watch: START Act Would Assist Victims of Trafficking

The bill would allow survivors to vacate convictions related to their trafficking, reports News 10 Albany.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Breaking Your Lease

A step by step guide to getting out of your lease or rental agreement.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Small Claims Court

The information below is to assist individuals in New York City Small Claims Court. If you are being sued and are in need of legal assistance or have questions about your case, please contact The...
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Legal Resources

What to Expect If You’re Arrested

Arrests occur in many different situations, so it is difficult to predict the exact circumstances that someone who is arrested will encounter. Our guide provides general information about arrest processing in New York City, and...
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Working Without Authorization

If you are a noncitizen and do not have work authorization, employers are not legally allowed hire you. Employers must ask you for identification and work authorization at the time of hiring. They can also...
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News

LAS Hails Bipartisan Support for Repeal of Walking While Trans Law

NY State Assembly shows broad support for repeal of loitering law used by police to arrest transgender women of color, reports Gay City News.
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Our Sponsors

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2022 Year in Review

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Listen: New York Unlawfully Blocking Creation of Foster Families

The Legal Aid Society's Kate Wood appeared on The Capitol Pressroom to discuss a new lawsuit that seeks to remove barriers faced by relatives willing and able to become foster parents. 
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COVID-19 Infection Tracking in NYC Jails

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LAS in the News 02.05.21

We have an intrinsic connection to the daily lives of New Yorkers. Here are a few of the places we made a difference, provided context or added valuable perspective this week.
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Advocates Decry Trump’s Supreme Court Appeal to Lift Order Blocking “Public Charge” Rule

"The Trump administration is grasping at straws in their desperate attempt to expedite implementation of their racist wealth test for immigrants even before the government's appeals have been heard by the circuit courts,” reads a statement to Law 360.
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LAS Secures Certifications for Victims of Labor Trafficking

Legal Aid's Laura Berger was one of the first attorneys to utilize a new OSHA policy that protects workers regardless of immigration status.
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LAS Celebrates Victory in Repeal of New York’s Walking While Trans Ban

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill repealing the controversial statute that overwhelmingly targeted transgender women, reports CNN.
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Victim of Human Trafficking Seeks Assistance Applying for Pardon

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City Hall: Most Homeless New Yorkers Must Wait Until Summer for Working WiFi

The Legal Aid Society condemned the Mayor for refusing to immediately install broadband-based internet for children who have been struggling to access remote learning, reports the New York Daily News.
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LAS Submits 40 Applications Seeking Emergency Executive Clemency From Governor

The Legal Aid Society has asked for expedited review of these applications and has asked that the Governor effectuate the immediate release of these individuals, according to the New York Daily News.
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LAS Slams Landlord’s Shocking Attempted Eviction of COVID-19 Patient

The landlord padlocked the apartment mere weeks after the tenant was hospitalized due to the coronavirus, as reported by Gothamist.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know If Someone You Know is Arrested

Learning that a loved one has been arrested is a painful and stressful experience. Uncertainty and lack of information about the process only makes things more difficult. The arrest process is complex, every case is...
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All Pro Bono Opportunities

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Projects, Units, Initiatives

Housing Justice Unit-Group Advocacy

The Housing Justice Unit-Group Advocacy works with eligible tenant groups, housing advocates, HDFC coop boards, and groups of shareholders, to promote and preserve affordable housing, improve housing conditions and prevent harassment and displacement throughout NYC’s...
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News

Court Rejects City’s Attempt to Derail Litigation Seeking to Equip Shelters With WiFi

The federal court ruling is a win for students and families across the city who have long struggled with insufficient access to remote learning, reports Law and Crime.
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News

LTE: Giving a Greater Voice to the Child Enhances Fact-Finding and Decision-Making

In today's New York Law Journal, Gary Solomon from The Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Rights Practice makes the case for empowering young clients during divorce litigation.
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What We Do

Supporting Survivors of Violence & Navigating Divorce

We provide crucial legal services to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking throughout the city.
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News

LAS Secures Working WiFi for Homeless Students at 200+ City Shelters

The settlement, secured with Milbank LLP, requires the City to install wireless internet so more than 11,000 school-aged children can participate in remote education, as reported by the New York Daily News.
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News

LAS: New Data Shows Bail Reform is Working

Despite the Mayor's ongoing attempts to tie bail reform to rising crime the numbers continue to prove otherwise.
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LAS in the News 09.16.22

We have an intrinsic connection to the daily lives of New Yorkers. Here are a few of the places we made a difference, provided context or added valuable perspective this week.
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LAS Client Seeking Asylum Was Only 17, ICE Detained Him with Adults Anyway

A new feature in The Daily Beast chronicles our young client's harrowing journey.
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NYCHA Still Struggling to Provide Tenants Working Utilities This Winter Season

The Legal Aid Society condemned NYCHA’s failure to provide basic services to its tenants, a deficiency demonstrated by information provided in answer to a Freedom of Information Law request, according to the New York Post.
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State Data: Bail Reform in New York is Working

New data from the State confirms the effectiveness of the 2019 bail reforms and debunks claims that they lead to an increase in crime.
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LAS Working to Free Clients with Help From COVID-19 Whistleblower

Riker's Island social worker detailed incompetence and indifference in a revelatory​ affidavit, reports the Huffington Post.
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Family Court “Transient Bench” Taking Heavy Toll on Kids

The temporary assignment of judges unfamiliar with family law compromises the administration of justice, reports the Queens Daily Eagle.
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News

Ground Breaking National Injunction Blocks Trump’s “Public Charge” Immigration Rule

Today’s order issuing a preliminary injunction—the first to be granted nationwide on this issue—blocks the regulation and related application forms from taking effect until a final decision is reached in the litigation.
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Historical Events

Undertaking Appeals

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News

Watch: Why New York City’s Jail Population Is Spiking

Indefinite jail sentences for non-criminal technical parole violations swell prison populations, reports The Appeal.
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Protected: 8th Annual Questioning Forensics Conference Speakers

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News

LAS Wins Appellate Decision Blocking “Public Charge” Immigration Rule

A federal appeals court blocked the controversial rule in Connecticut, New York and Vermont, according to CNN.
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News

LAS Praises Governor Hochul for Signing START Act

The life-changing legislation will help survivors of labor and sex trafficking clear or vacate all criminal convictions that resulted from their victimization, reports El Diario.
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Caroline King

Interim Chief Development Officer

Administration

News

NYS Will Finally Begin Taking Applications for Rent Relief in June

The Legal Aid Society is cautiously optimistic but standing by to assist tenants attempting to access $2.4 billion in relief, as reported by THE CITY.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Repair and Service Rights

In New York City, the law gives all residential tenants the right to a safe, decent, and sanitary living space. This right, commonly referred to as the warranty of habitability, is implied in every written...
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Stories

Serving New York’s Most Vulnerable in the Juvenile Rights Practice

HyeJi Kim is building a better future for young New Yorkers. As a Staff Attorney in our Juvenile Rights Practice, she is an advocate for children in Brooklyn Family Court.
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Stories

Fighting Detention & Deportation in the Immigration Law Unit

Forensic Social Worker Wanjuri Hawkins and her colleagues in our Immigration Law Unit are taking a stand for those in need.
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News

Defenders to Cuomo: Stop Blocking Vaccinations for Incarcerated Clients

If the Governor does not authorize distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to those in state prisons and local jails a legal challenge from defender organizations is imminent, as reported by POLITICO New York.
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Historical Events

King and Bronx County Criminal Court Offices Open

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Offices

Kings County Criminal Defense Office **Currently Closed to the Public**

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Offices

Kings County Criminal Court Office

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Offices

Kings County Supreme Court Office

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Offices

Kings County Juvenile Rights Office **Currently Closed to the Public**

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Impact Litigation Docket

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Working at The Legal Aid Society

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LAS Renews Calls to End Social Distancing Enforcement After Shocking Arrest Video

The new video shows NYPD officers violently arresting a young mother in front of her child, according to the Brooklyn Paper.
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News

Watch: LAS Attorney Eugene Toussaint is Working Three Jobs

Eugene’s story underscores the serious funding issues faced by public defenders and legal services providers in New York City.
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News

Phil Desgranges Set to Lead Criminal Defense Law Reform at LAS

Desgranges will lead a team working to develop and advance innovative impact litigation and policy reform initiatives.
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Privacy Policy

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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Custody and Visitation

A person who has legal custody of a child has the right to make important decisions for that child including, but not limited to, educational, medical and religious decisions. In New York, courts have the...
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Culture & Benefits

A career at The Legal Aid Society is rewarding on many levels. We offer our staff and attorneys the following benefits.
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News

Q&A: Ashley Lecaro, Social Worker, Immigration Law Unit

As a passionate advocate for human rights and social justice, Ashley plays a crucial role in assisting our clients as they navigate complex barriers.
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What We Do

Pursuing Justice for Juveniles

We defend children and youth in juvenile delinquency, PINS, and criminal cases, including appellate and post-disposition advocacy.
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Research Assistance

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Meet Our Interns

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Stories

Upholding Workers’ Rights Through the Employment Law Unit

Richard Blum is connecting vulnerable individuals to unemployment assistance and creating enforceable health standards to protect workers.
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Stories

Fighting for Survivors’ Rights in The Exploitation Intervention Project

With President Trump striking fear into the hearts of immigrant communities across our city, Staff Attorney Sabrina Talukder of The Exploitation Intervention Project is taking a stand for refugees and survivors of human trafficking.
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Pro Bono Assistance for Social Security Disability Hearings

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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Record Clearance in New York

Having a criminal record can prevent you from accessing jobs, licensing, housing and educational opportunities long after you have completed your sentence. Getting your record sealed, vacated or expunged can help to lift some of...
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Projects, Units, Initiatives

Health Law Unit

The Health Law Unit’s mission is to ensure low-income New Yorkers can live their healthiest lives. We provide direct legal services and advocate for informed policy change. We assist our clients in securing access to...
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Foreclosure “Rescue” Scams

Foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams are on the rise. They target and exploit home owners with false promises to reduce or even eliminate mortgage payments, repaid their credit or trick homeowners into signing over...
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Projects, Units, Initiatives

LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit

The LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit seeks to create, support, and sustain affirming and safer spaces, practices and policies for LGBTQ+ clients within the organization and throughout New York City and New York State. Unit...
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Events

The Fight For Trans+ Lives in Our Prisons and Jails

The Legal Aid Society’s LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit will host a virtual event on November 16th to raise awareness of the inhumane and life-threatening treatment of the trans+ community in the criminal law system.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Right to Shelter As a Single Adult or Adult Family New Arrival

If you are a single adult New Arrival or part of an adult family of New Arrivals, you have a right to shelter in New York City if you have no other safe place to...
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News

New York State Enacts Comprehensive Criminal Discovery Reform

As part of a transformative criminal justice reform package included in the New York State budget, Governor Cuomo signed into law a complete overhaul of New York’s Discovery law, often referred to as the “Blindfold Law.”
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Addressing Bad Shelter Conditions

You have the right to a clean and sanitary shelter unit, which means the unit should be in good repair and not have a problem with mice, rats, or bugs.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance is an assistance program for temporarily unemployed workers run by the New York State Department of Labor. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen or hold a Green Card to qualify...
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Our Leadership

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News

LAS, Attorney General and District Attorney Sue to Halt ICE Arrests in Courthouses

Two separate lawsuits filed against Immigration and Customs Enforcement challenge the legality of the agency’s practice of making civil immigration arrests without a judicial warrant or court order in and around New York State courthouses.
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News

LAS Mourns Michael Nieves, 13th New Yorker to Pass in DOC Custody This Year

Reports that uniformed correction officers stood idly and watched Mr. Nieves end his life are infuriating and heartbreaking, but not surprising.
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News

Twyla Carter Named to Law Power 100 List

The Legal Aid Society's Attorney-in-Chief and Chief Executive Officer has been honored in the latest power ranking from City & State.
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What We Do

Lifting the Voices of Children & Adolescents

We represent children and youth in family court, provide appellate and educational advocacy, assist with divorce and domestic violence cases, and pursue system-wide reform.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Employment Discrimination Based on Arrest and Conviction Records

In New York City, most employers are not allowed to deny you a job, suspend you, or fire you because of a pending arrest or criminal conviction unless there’s a direct connection between the work...
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Divorce

What you should know if you are going through or thinking about a divorce.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Police or ICE Encounters

Encountering the police or ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) as an undocumented immigrant can be a frightening experience. You can take some steps to prepare yourself for potential encounters to protect the safety of yourself...
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Trusts & Estates

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Accessibility

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Decrypting a Defense: Schedule & Speakers

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Stories

Finding Shelter for New Yorkers in the Homeless Rights Project

As a staff attorney in our Homeless Rights Project, Kathryn represents clients as they seek shelter and advocates for better housing solutions. Kathryn is making a difference for those experiencing homelessness.
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Our Sponsors

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News

LAS in the News 07.16.21

We have an intrinsic connection to the daily lives of New Yorkers. Here are a few of the places we made a difference, provided context or added valuable perspective this week.
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Stories

Connecting Clients to Essential Resources in the Housing Help Program

As a Paralegal Case Handler, Jodi Almengor spends a great deal of time working directly with our clients in at-risk neighborhoods to avoid the harmful consequences of displacement from their homes.
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Justice Network CLE Briefings

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Events

Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs: Phone Bank

The Legal Aid Society urges immigrant New Yorkers and others throughout the country in need of vital public assistance to continue using programs that they qualify for.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Traveling Abroad as a Non-Citizen

Over the years, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) agents have placed thousands of non-citizens in removal/deportation proceedings, often following a trip abroad. Below are some questions and answers that may help you decide whether...
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Stories

Giving Children a Voice in the Juvenile Rights Practice

Demetra Frazier has been an unrelenting advocate for New York City’s youth since 1995.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Your Rights as a Protester

Information New Yorkers need to be safe and informed while protesting.
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News

LAS Calls on Governor Hochul to Sign Essential Legislation

The new Governor can demonstrate her commitment to equal justice for all New Yorkers by signing multiple bills already passed by the state legislature.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Lump Sum Payments and Medicaid Eligibility

Information about receiving a lump sum payment from Medicaid and how it may affect your eligibility or coverage.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Discrimination & Harassment in the AAPI Massage & Nail Business

Over the past two years, there has been a surge in harassment against the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Community. More than 9,000 hate incidents were reported between March 2020 and June 2021 across all...
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News

LAS: DOC Must Immediately Remedy Heat and Hot Water Outages

Two facilities on Rikers Island have been without functioning heat or hot water since Tuesday and cooler temperatures are expected in the coming days.
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Pages

Article 78 Police Records

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Stories

Advocating for Homeowners in the Foreclosure Prevention Project

Khadine De Paiva is working to protect the homes of New Yorkers. As a staff attorney in our Foreclosure Prevention Project, she advocates for homeowners and helps them stay in their houses, all while building a stronger community.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Encounters with the Police

Police encounters can be frightening and they have the potential to escalate. The most important aspect of the encounter is your safety so stay in control and remember to exercise your rights. You have the...
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News

City Scientists Call for Independence from NYPD

The Legal Aid Society supports scientists working at the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in their desire for the City Council to enforce fair and ethical DNA collection, according to the New York Daily News.
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News

LAS in the News 1.10.20

We have an intrinsic connection to the daily lives of New Yorkers. Here are a few of the places we made a difference, provided context or added valuable perspective this week.
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News

LAS Joins Task Force for Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, Non-Binary, Intersex People in Custody

Attorneys Dori Lewis and Mik Kinkead join government and community organization representatives, all of whom are leading experts, including experts by lived experience.
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News

Evictions Down 20 Percent Due to Housing Reform, Right to Counsel

“These laws and programs are noticeably working and more New Yorkers are remaining in their homes,” The Legal Aid Society's Judith Goldiner tells the AM New York.
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News

Op-Ed: Albany Must Keep Bail Reform in Place

Legal Aid's Arielle Reid has penned a new op-ed in the New York Daily News refuting Governor Hochl's calls to further erode 2019's bail reforms in her State of the State address. 
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Stories

Restoring Clients’ Humanity in the Parole Revocation Defense Unit

Marissa Kubicki, a forensic social worker, knows the harm incarceration can bring from her time working on Rikers Island.
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Our Leadership

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Jobs

Our objective is to recruit and retain the best law students, attorneys, paralegals, social workers, investigators and administrative staff who share one vision – that no New Yorker will be denied access to justice because...
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Connie’s Closet

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News

With New DNA Evidence, LAS Fights to Exonerate Client Who Spent 26 Years Incarcerated

The Legal Aid Society has been working to clear Michael Robinson of a 1993 murder conviction, reports NBC New York.
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News

Listen: The Case for Legalizing Sex Work

The Legal Aid Society's Abigail Swenstein appeared on the Finding Humanity podcast to discuss decriminalizing sex work.
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News

LAS Vows to Defend NYC’s Critical Right to Shelter Protections

The Adams' Administration is seeking to circumvent a ruling which has aided New Yorkers in need of shelter and services for over 40 years.
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News

LAS Backs “Clean Slate” Legislation

The proposed bill would create a two-step process to automatically seal and expunge past convictions, according to the New York Daily News.
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Explore Our Benefits

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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Getting Disability Benefits from the Social Security Administration for Adults

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that pays benefits to adults with disabilities who have limited income and resources, and who have little or no work history. Adults with a work history might...
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What We Do

Fighting for Racial Equity

We fight for racial justice in the courts and in our communities through outreach, education, and legal representation.
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News

LAS in the News 08.04.23

We have an intrinsic connection to the daily lives of New Yorkers. Here are a few of the places we made a difference, provided context or added valuable perspective this week.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Background Checks

Many employers and government licensing agencies can obtain your criminal record. Learn how to access your own records and dispute errors below.
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What We Do

Defending the Accused & Incarcerated

We defend clients in trial, appellate, and post-conviction matters. We seek to reform systems of incarceration.
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What We Do

Upholding Workers’ Rights

We provide representation, legal assistance, and education to low-wage and unemployed workers who have experienced violations of the employment laws or who are seeking unemployment insurance benefits.
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#ProtectNYFamilies

Protecting Families & Children

The Legal Aid Society is asking lawmakers to pass three essential bills to reform the family regulation system to better protect families and children from harm.
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Legal Resources

What You Need to Know About Tenant Harassment in NYC

“Harassment” is any act or failure to act by a landlord or a landlord’s agents that causes or is intended to cause any person legally entitled to live in a room or apartment to give...
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Immigration Assistance

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2021 Year In Review

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News

LAS in the News 12.24.21

We have an intrinsic connection to the daily lives of New Yorkers. Here are a few of the places we made a difference, provided context or added valuable perspective this week.
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News

LAS Honors Staff at 145th Annual Meeting

Staff members were recognized for their service and dedication to the organization and its clients.
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News

LAS Honors Staff at 147th Annual Meeting

The honorable Joseph A. Zayas, Chief Administrative Judge, New York State Unified Court System, served as the event's keynote speaker.
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