Delivering Justice in Every Borough

Annual Report 2021

Our Mission

Delivering Justice in Every Borough

The Legal Aid Society is built on one simple but powerful belief: that no New Yorker should be denied the right to equal justice. We seek to be a beacon of hope for New Yorkers who feel neglected—regardless of who they are, where they come from, or how they identify. From our start over 140 years ago, our growth has mirrored that of the city we serve. Today, we are proud to be the largest, most influential social justice law firm in New York City.

Our staff and attorneys deliver justice in every borough, working tirelessly to defend our clients and dismantle the hidden, systemic barriers that can prevent them from thriving. As passionate advocates for individuals and families, The Legal Aid Society is an indispensable component of the legal, social, and economic fabric of our City.

Crisis as Catalyst: A Year of Turmoil and Progress

COVID-19 brought into sharp focus the challenges faced by the people we represent and the communities The Legal Aid Society serves. For New Yorkers trapped in a dehumanizing cycle of racism, economic disadvantage, and social injustice, the ramifications of the pandemic were devastating and life-altering. This crisis has been a catalyst for transformative policies and legislation intended to break that cycle. Informed by our direct representation of thousands of clients, our life-changing advocacy in this period illustrates that confronting inequity and injustice is possible where there is leadership, determination, and compassion.

146K+

Individual legal matters handled by The Legal Aid Society.

208K+

Hours of pro bono work by 2,915 legal volunteers.

22K+

Helpline calls answered for a range of legal issues.

Our Leadership

Guided by Passionate Leadership

Leaders of The Legal Aid Society are some of the most respected in their fields, offering decades of experience and perspective gained from dedicating their careers to ensuring equal justice.

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The people who make up The Legal Aid Society proved again this year their stalwart commitment to the clients we serve. Our attorneys, paralegals, investigators, social workers, support, and administrative staff rose to meet the challenges of the communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Janet Sabel Attorney-in-Chief and Chief Executive Officer

Make a Meaningful Impact

Every day, The Legal Aid Society changes the lives of our clients with the help of our generous supporters. Stand with us.

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