Legal Aid Society


New Branches, New Missions

As New York City grew, so too did The Legal Aid Society and the scope of its work. Beginning in 1899, we established five branch-offices, in part to provide easier access to the many who could not afford the journey to the main office near City Hall.

Each new office—the Seaman’s Branch, the West Side Branch, the East Side Branch, the Harlem Branch, and the Brooklyn Branch—addressed the unique problems of particular groups of people. We also pressed for legislation to prevent abuses of the poor. An amendment to The Legal Aid Society’s mission statement specifically avowed reform.

West Side Branch
West Side Branch 1890s