Each member of Leap shares the following characteristics:
- We are 501c.3 organizations that provide direct civil legal services to low income clients and communities as a significant part of our organizations’ missions*;
- We employ at least three full-time staff attorneys, one of whom supervises legal services;
- We follow the ABA standards on quality of representation;
- We practice primarily in New York City;
- Our organizations focus more broadly than on single-issues.
* Although our members frequently partner with law school clinics, educational associations, bar associations and programs that primarily provide pro bono legal services, our organizations are not comprised of these entities.
Leap’s membership includes established community-based legal services providers and citywide public interest advocacy groups that receive funding from a variety of public and private sources. Our members include:
BOOM!Health is an innovative Bronx-based nonprofit organization committed to achieving health, wellness, and safety for all. We provide client-centered services within a “one-stop,” co-located model of healthcare, creating a seamless continuum of social, nutritional, and legal services for more than 12,000 of the city’s most marginalized and stigmatized individuals living with and at highest risk for chronic illness, substance abuse, homelessness, and hunger. With over 24 years of experience, BOOM!Health’s legal services continues to provide: advice, preparation of legal documents, advocacy and representation in government benefits matters for public assistance and HASA benefits, Medicaid, SNAP benefits administered by the HRA, ADAP, or disability benefits (SSI/SSD) administered by the Social Security Administration; representation in Housing Court proceedings, including eviction proceedings, actions to obtain repairs, and administrative hearings regarding housing subsidies or rent regulation; representation in Family Court proceedings – custody and visitation, guardianship, adoption, neglect and abuse, and support proceedings.
Address: 540 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458
Phone: (718) 295-5605
The Bronx Defenders provides innovative, holistic, and client-centered criminal defense, family defense, civil legal services, social work support and advocacy to indigent people of the Bronx. Working collaboratively with our clients, we seek to end cycles of poverty, addiction, violence, and court involvement. Our Civil Action Practice provides comprehensive legal services to our clients and their families in order to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from arrest or court involvement and to facilitate the successful reentry of our clients into the community. Our civil attorneys and advocates provide advocacy and representation in virtually every venue in New York City where no right to counsel exists to address and preserve clients’ hard-earned jobs, maintain stable housing and public benefits, defend against the forfeiture of property, correct criminal record errors, preserve rights challenging police misconduct, and educate Judges and prosecutors about the debilitating consequences of an arrest so that they can make informed and just decisions. We also look beyond individual cases to challenge entrenched problems that drive individuals into the justice system through community education, leadership development, impact litigation, and legislative reform.
Service area: Bronx
Phone: (718) 838-7869
Brooklyn Defender Services is one of the largest public defense providers in New York City. We represent more than 45,000 clients per year in a variety of legal proceedings, primarily indigent criminal, family, immigration and civil defense. We believe all people—regardless of economic means—deserve respect, individualized care, and the fullest extent of legal protections whether accused of a crime or facing civil legal obstacles to justice an opportunity.
Service area: Brooklyn
Address: 180 Livingston Street, Suite 300, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 254-0700
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (Brooklyn A) provides high-quality legal services (full legal representation, brief advice/services, and legal education) to low-moderate income individuals and not-for-profit community-based organizations (CBOs) in Brooklyn and throughout New York City. For over forty-seven years we have devoted our legal services to advocacy that protects housing, strengthens families, provides access to education and health care, and safeguards subsistence income for our city’s most vulnerable residents. Our core programs consist of: Consumer and Economic Advocacy Program, Community and Economic Development (CED) Program, Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), and Preserving Affordable Housing Program. In 2014, Brooklyn A represented over 1,500 individuals, over 75 tenant associations, and 60 not-for-profit organizations.
Service area: Income eligible individuals and not-for-profit community based organizations (CBOs) serving low- income communities residing and based primarily in North and East Brooklyn. We also serve individuals throughout Brooklyn and Queens and CBOs from all five boroughs.
Address: 260 Broadway, Suite 2, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Williamsburg Office); 1455 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237 (Bushwick Office — by appointment only); and Cypress Hills/East New York Office (Jan. 2016)
Phone: 718-487-2300 or 1-800-696-6778
CAMBA Legal Services, founded in 1993, provides immigration, housing, foreclosure prevention, consumer, public benefits, domestic violence and HIV-related legal services in a community-based model to low-income individuals and families in Brooklyn. The program also provides housing services in Staten Island and consumer law services citywide. CAMBA serves 4,000 clients each year including full representation to more than 1,500 clients.
Service Area: Citywide with most clients residing in Brooklyn and Staten Island
Address: 885 Flatbush Avenue, Room 202, Brooklyn, NY 11226 & 120 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island, NY 10301
Phone: (718) 287-0010 / (718) 282-6473
Catholic Migration Services (CMS) was founded in 1971 as a legal services organization serving the immigrant community in Brooklyn and Queens. CMS provides legal assistance and community education to low-income individuals in the areas of immigration, housing and employment law. Our housing program also supports tenant organizing and advocacy in Queens and Bushwick, Brooklyn. Our services are free, and are available without regard to religion, national origin or immigration status. We believe in a holistic approach to serving our clients and in providing cultural and linguistically appropriate legal representation. CMS has a diverse team of lawyers and paralegals, many of whom speak two or more languages.
Service Area: Queens and Brooklyn residents.
Addresses: Brooklyn: 191 Joralemon Street, 4th floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201 (downtown), 1080 Willoughby Brooklyn, New York 11221 (Bushwick); Queens: 47-01 Queens Boulevard, 2nd Floor, Sunnyside, New York 11104.
Phone: Brooklyn (718) 236-3000, Queens (347) 472-3500
Founded in 1972, The Door – A Center of Alternatives, Inc. serves youth ages 12 – 21 from all five boroughs of New York City and the surrounding area with a full range of integrated youth development services. Each year The Door provides more than 10,000 young people with a wide range of services including reproductive health care, mental health counseling, HSE and ESOL classes, tutoring, college preparation services, job training and placement, supportive housing, sports and recreational activities, arts, and nutritious meals – all for free, confidentially, and under one roof. The Door’s Legal Services Center provides representation and advice to youth on matters including public assistance, housing, foster care, family law, and immigration.
Service Area: Any young person ages 12-21.
Address: 121 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 941-9090 ext. 3280
Goddard Riverside Law Project (GRLP) was founded in 1981, provides free legal services and tenant organizing assistance to low-income tenants living on the west side of Manhattan, including eviction defense and group advocacy to improve housing conditions. GRLP also provides assistance to clients with public benefits and consumer debt related issues. GRLP serves nearly 4,000 clients each year by providing full representation, brief services, organizing support, or educational training.
Service Area: SRO tenants living on the west side of Manhattan, north of 14th Street and apartment tenants living between 100th and 110th Streets, between Riverside Drive and Central Park West
Address: 51 West 109th Street, New York, NY 10025
Phone: (212) 799-9638
Housing Conservation Coordinators (HCC) was founded in 1972, offers comprehensive legal services for low and moderate income residents living on Manhattan’s West Side in housing, benefits, domestic violence, zoning enforcement, consumer debt, immigration and community economic development matters. In addition to direct legal services, HCC provides tenant organizing and advocacy services to improve building services; weatherization assistance to increase energy efficiency; and community organizing to maximize new affordable housing opportunities. Each year, HCC serves more than 3,000 clients.
Service Area: Manhattan’s West Side from 34th Street to 72nd Street
Address: 777 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 541-5996
JASA’s LSEQ provides free legal services for adults, age 60+, who live in the borough of Queens. Our legal advocacy professionals are experienced in matters affecting senior clients and are trained to assist with issues pertaining to civil law including:
• Eviction prevention and housing rights;
• Foreclosure prevention and real property fraud; and
• Social Security, SSI, Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, and other assistance programs.
JASA’s LSEQ also offers free estate planning to low-income seniors in cooperation with an estate planning law firm and works with area social service agencies, senior centers, and professionals on issues affecting older adults.
Service Area: Queens
Address: 97-77 Queens Boulevard Rego Park, NY 11374
Phone: (212) 273-5272
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, founded in 1894 as a kindergarten for immigrant children, annually serves 20,000 individuals and families in need on Manhattan’s East Side through a wide array of effective and integrated services—social, educational, legal, housing, health, mental health, nutritional and fitness. The Legal Advocacy Department provides comprehensive legal services benefitting more than 4,000 individuals each year, in the areas of housing, government benefits, health care, and advance directives. It also provides community education, outreach and training to over 3,000 individuals each year, including low income community members, social service advocates, and pro bono attorneys.
Service Area: Individuals and families who live, work, or go to school on the East Side of Manhattan above 59th Street or Roosevelt Island, or who are participants in another Neighborhood House program.
Address: 331 E. 70th Street, New York, NY 10021
Phone: (212) 744-5022
Make the Road New York (MRNY) builds the power of Latinx and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services. The Department of Legal and Support Services at MRNY works to strengthen Make the Road’s organizing work by (1) helping to envision and implement strategies (including strategic litigation) that help win our organizing campaigns; (2) providing technical legal support for policy work; and (3) providing legal and support services to high-need immigrant communities and help meet the immediate needs of MRNY’s active members. Attorneys and paralegals/advocates specialize in labor and employment law, immigration, housing law, public benefits, healthcare and health insurance access, public education, and LGBTQ civil rights issues. All MRNY staff members are bilingual in Spanish and English.
Service Area: All Five Boroughs.
Address: Brooklyn: 301 Grove Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237, (718) 418-7690 (Bushwick); Queens: 92-10 Roosevelt Avenue, Elmhurst, NY 11372, (718) 565-8500
Staten Island: 479 Port Richmond Ave, Staten Island, NY 10302, (718) 727-1222
Founded in 1963, MFY Legal Services (MFY) provides free legal assistance to residents of New York City on a wide range of civil legal issues, prioritizing services to vulnerable and under-served populations, while simultaneously working to end the root causes of inequities through impact litigation, law reform and policy advocacy. Working with neighborhood social service providers and community advocates, we reach out to those most in need to help resolve the problems faced by large numbers of low-income New Yorkers: housing, foreclosure, government benefits, consumer, employment, civil rights, disability rights, special education and family matters. MFY is a leader in providing comprehensive civil legal services to people with mental illness and has developed unique practices defend the rights of tenants of SROs and three-quarter houses. MFY handles more than 10,000 cases each year, provides training to thousands of New Yorkers, and actively seeks policy changes to improve the lives of our clients.
Service Area: All Five Boroughs
Address: 299 Broadway, New York, NY 10007
Founded over 25 years ago, The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS) mission is to provide comprehensive, collaborative and client-centered services that reflect the concerns and needs of our clients and community. By maintaining our primary office in the heart of Northern Manhattan, NDS has a community presence that provides a unique advantage of developing long term relationships with community organizations and members. NDS’ collaborative approach to representation ensures that a client is represented by a team of advocates in civil, criminal and family forums to address all of their complex legal needs. The uniqueness of our practice where attorneys, advocates, social workers, investigators and administrators collaborate on client representation ensures maximum client benefits.
Address: 317 Lenox Avenue, 10th Fl., New York, NY 10027
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), founded in 1976, is a nonprofit that advances equality and civil rights, with a focus on health justice, disability justice and environmental justice, through the power of community lawyering and partnerships with the private bar. NYLPI combines a Pro Bono Clearinghouse with an in-house practice that blends innovative lawyering, community organizing and advocacy. The Health Justice Program works to ensure access to quality health care for people in medically underserved neighborhoods as well as those who face barriers due to limited English proficiency, or racial and ethnic discrimination. The Disability Justice Program works to assert the rights of New Yorkers with disabilities. The Environmental Justice Program provides community organization and legal assistance to low-income neighborhoods and communities of color that bear an unfair burden of environmental threats.
Service Area: All our programs serve thousands of clients annually in all five boroughs.
Address: 151 W. 30th Street, New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 244-4664
Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp. Legal Services (NMIC) was founded in 1979. We provide comprehensive free legal services to residents of Manhattan and the Bronx regarding housing, public benefits, environmental justice, disability, consumer debt and domestic violence matters. NMIC provides group advocacy to tenant associations to improve local housing conditions; supports impact litigation benefiting low-income City residents in the areas of housing, public benefits, disability, and environmental justice (particularly childhood lead poisoning prevention); and gives specialized services on domestic violence, post-eviction, elder law, mental health, immigration, and consumer debt matters.
Service Area: Upper Manhattan generally, and specialized case service to all residents of Manhattan and the Bronx.
Address: Main Office – 45 Wadsworth Avenue, New York, NY 10033; Housing Court Office – 111 Centre Street, Rm. 325, Civil Courthouse, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 822-8300 (main)/ 212-566-0900 (housing court)
Urban Justice Center (UJC), founded in 1984, provides legal assistance in housing, domestic violence, mental health, LGBT, sex workers, street vendors, human rights, community development, health, workers compensation, consumer debt matters, public assistance, civil rights, family, employment, and veterans benefits in addition to other advocacy. In the last year the UJC closed almost 7,000 cases (impacting over 20,000 people), worked on 56 impact projects, co-counseled with 35 pro bono law firms, conducted 155 trainings (reaching nearly 11,000 people), and answered over 2,300 hot and warm line calls. The UJC also saved New York City more than $5.5 million. Finally, the UJC supports and works closely with over 200 community groups, seeking to grasp and address the issues that prevent their individual members from achieving self-sufficiency and working to empower them to take control of their lives.
Service Area: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens
Address: 123 Williams Street, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (646) 602-5600
Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS)was founded in 1984 by leaders of the New York City Bar in response to the crisis caused by Reagan-era budget cuts to legal services. VOLS has been recruiting and training lawyers from leading firms to volunteer for low-income New Yorkers for more than thirty years. Last year, our small staff worked together with 1,000 volunteer lawyers from 50 firms to provide legal assistance benefitting 3,000 low-income New Yorkers on critical issues including immigration, elder law, family law, housing, government benefits, and community economic development.
Service Area: All five boroughs of New York City
Address: 40 Worth Street, Suite 820, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 466-4400