Eugene Toussaint, an attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice, has taken on multiple jobs to make ends meet. In addition to his role as a public defender, he works as a home health aide to his Aunt and also does deliveries for Uber Eats.
Eugene’s story underscores the serious funding issue faced by public defenders and legal services providers in New York City. Staff often have to choose between careers they are deeply invested in and starting a family or planning for their financial futures.
“You’re doing it because you believe in something,” Toussaint says of his work as a public defender. “Which is that everyone deserves representation.” Watch the full video below.
The Legal Aid Society is calling on the City to ensure a high standard of legal representation for all low-income New Yorkers through increased funding in the upcoming fiscal year. In a recent letter to the Mayor, a majority of New York City Council members stood behind Legal Aid, calling for a $195M increase in funding for this important work.
Last Updated: 23 June 2023
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