Mobilization for Justice, Inc.

aka MFJ   |   New York, NY   |


Mobilization for Justice envisions a society in which there is equal justice for all. Mobilization for Justice’s mission is to achieve social justice, prioritizing the needs of people who are low-income, disenfranchised or have disabilities. We do this by providing the highest quality direct civil legal assistance, conducting community education and building partnerships, engaging in policy advocacy, and bringing impact litigation.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Ms. Tiffany Liston

Main address

Main Office: 100 William Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10038 Bronx Office: 424 East 147th Street, 3rd Floor, Bronx, NY 10455

New York, NY 00000 USA

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NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Mobilization for Justice works to promote positive change and justice by providing free civil legal services to poor and working-poor New Yorkers focusing on four key practice areas: Housing; Economic Justice; Disability and Aging Rights; and Children's Rights. Within those practice areas, there are several legal projects, which respectively include: housing and foreclosure, including eviction defense, improving housing conditions, protecting tenants against harassment, and defending foreclosure actions; consumer, bankruptcy, tax and re-entry matters; a variety of legal issues faced by older people and people with mental health and physical disabilities; government benefits and immigration law; and legal issues that kinship caregivers and parents of children with disabilities face, such as special education needs.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


All children deserve safety, stability, and the opportunity to flourish in their home and in school. We represent low-income parents of students with disabilities in obtaining appropriate educational supports, and work to address the legal needs of kinship families taking care of children whose parents cannot. We also help secure immigration status for undocumented children whose biological parents are unable to care for them.

We represent families seeking appropriate school placements, services and supports from the New York City Department of Education (DOE) for their children with disabilities. We help families evaluate their child’s needs and assess whether and how their child’s educational rights have been violated. We pursue all legal avenues to obtain the support the child needs through administrative hearings and/or appeals to state and federal courts. We also serve low-income children with disabilities through medical legal partnerships with Bellevue, Harlem and Kings County Hospitals. Our attorneys meet with parents onsite at the hospitals and consult with medical staff to identify legal issues that contribute to poor health outcomes.

We represent low-income kinship caregivers – relatives and friends taking care of children outside the foster care system – seeking guardianship, adoption assistance or legal custody, and help them secure all government benefits to which they and/or their children are entitled.

We help low-income immigrant children secure Special Immigration Juvenile Status, providing a path to citizenship. We represent children in Family Court whose biological parents are unable to care for them, and then provide application assistance in Immigration Court, providing a path to citizenship.

We help low-income children and families secure the public benefits to which they are entitled, including those only available to children. All families we work with are able to access the full range of our free legal services.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Mobilization for Justice believes in the dignity of all human beings and that Disability Is Not Inability.

We help seniors and people with disabilities access appropriate transportation, such as Access-A-Ride, and challenge denials or termination of service.

We provide advocacy and trainings to adult home residents throughout New York City and pursue individual and affirmative litigation to improve adult homes and ensure that residents are given the opportunity to live in more integrated settings.

We help seniors age in place in their own homes by preventing evictions, securing benefits and resolving related legal problems.

We assist people with mental health disabilities by providing advice, counsel and representation on housing, public benefits, disability rights, consumer another matters, to ensure they do not end up homeless or institutionalized.

We provide advice, counsel and representation for nursing home residents in areas such as involuntary discharges, improper discharge planning, reasonable accommodation requests, and day pass disputes.

We conduct “know-your-rights” trainings for people with disabilities, family members, medical professionals, and social service providers.

Population(s) Served

Mobilization for Justice fights against predatory products and practices and strives to help clients obtain and maintain economic stability. We provide legal advice, assistance, and representation to low-income New Yorkers in the following areas:

We help New Yorkers struggling with debt file bankruptcy petitions and obtain a fresh financial start.

We help people facing problems with debt collection, identity theft, student loans, financial scams, bail bonds, and various forms of financial exploitation.

We help taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers facing problems with civil fines and points against their licenses.

We preserve homeownership and keep neighborhoods intact by helping homeowners in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island who are facing foreclosure or who are victims of deed theft, foreclosure rescue scams, abusive loan servicing, or abusive lending practices.

We help individuals with problems relating to Public Assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps), Medicaid/ Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income/ Social Security Disability benefits.

We assist individuals and families with humanitarian- and family-based immigration matters.

We help people with criminal records overcome denials of jobs or occupational licenses or clearance, as well as those who need help sealing a criminal record.

We help those who have tax problems with the IRS. We do not help people file their taxes.

We help low-income, predominantly immigrant workers without unions, with job-related problems.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants

Mobilization for Justice believes housing is a human right. We work to prevent homelessness by defending tenants in eviction proceedings and homeowners in foreclosure actions. We work to improve living conditions for tenants, while also fighting harassment and discrimination to keep people in their homes and communities intact.

We work to preserve affordable housing and protect tenants’ rights. We provide advice, counsel, and representation to tenants at risk of eviction in Housing Court, and serve low-income Bronx tenants pursuant to NYC’s Universal Access to Counsel program. We also help organize and support tenant organizations and advocate for policies and programs to provide greater protections for tenants.

We handle a wide range of matters to ensure safe and affordable housing, including obtaining repairs and ensuring rental charges are correct. We prosecute repair and rental overcharge cases in Housing and Supreme Court, handle administrative and judicial appeals and file affirmative litigation in federal courts to enforce tenants’ rights.

In all these areas of housing work, we serve poor and low-income New Yorkers throughout New York City, with special focus on: Manhattan seniors to prevent evictions, and secure benefits and support services to maintain seniors in their homes; SRO residents to defend the rights of SRO tenants facing eviction or confront illegal building conversions; Three-Quarter House residents to improve the conditions of three-quarter houses (also known as illegal boarding houses) and protect tenants’ rights through individual, group and class action litigation; and tenants with mental health disabilities by providing advice, counsel, and representation on housing and related public benefits issues to ensure that they do not end up homeless, hospitalized, or in institutions.

We work to preserve homeownership and keep neighborhoods intact by preventing unnecessary foreclosures. We provide this assistance to low-income homeowners in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island facing foreclosure, or who are victims of foreclosure rescue scams or abusive loan servicing or lending practices.

We conduct “know-your-rights” workshops for tenants, tenant groups and associations, community organizations and the offices of elected officials upon request.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Victims and oppressed people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Mobilization for Justice’s mission is to achieve social justice, prioritizing the needs of people who are low-income, disenfranchised or have disabilities. We do this by providing the highest quality direct civil legal assistance, conducting community education and building partnerships, engaging in policy advocacy, and bringing impact litigation.

Mobilization for Justice employs the following strategies to achieve its mission:

1. Provide the highest quality direct civil legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers for free.

2. Conduct community education and build partnerships to support communities.

3. Engage in legislative and public advocacy and bring impact litigation, including class action lawsuits.

Mobilization for Justice’s greatest resource is its professional staff of attorneys, paralegals, social workers, support staff, administrators, and volunteers who are highly experienced and trained in providing service to our clients in a culturally competent manner. We recruit and retain a highly-qualified and diverse staff. A significant number of staff speak languages in addition to English. We have in-house interpretation capacity in Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, and several Chinese dialects. We provide ongoing training and professional development to staff and volunteers, including training on cultural competency, diversity, sexual harassment and other issues. Mobilization for Justice has an active and involved Board of Directors, comprised of attorneys and others from the private sector, representatives of academia, and former client members.

Mobilization for Justice has a long, storied history with many accomplishments. Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services) began as the legal arm of Mobilization for Youth, a community-based anti-poverty program founded in 1962. MFY Legal Services was incorporated in 1968 as an independent legal services organization. Within a short time of being incorporated, its model became the prototype for hundreds of community-based legal services programs both locally and nationwide. By our 25th anniversary in 1993, we were recognized in the legal community as a national leader in poverty law, having served tens of thousands of low income New Yorkers. We won numerous test cases that have positively impacted the lives of low-income individuals and families. To better reflect the expanded scope of our work while honoring our roots, in 2017 we changed our name to Mobilization for Justice.

Most recently, Mobilization for Justice launched its first office in the Bronx, serving one of the poorest communities in the country and a borough where 37% of the total Bronx population are immigrants. In addition, since 2018, MFJ expanded its Children’s Rights work by merging with the Partnership for Children’s Right. We also expanded our Children’s Medical-Legal Partnership, a unique program which, since 2014, has been addressing the special education needs and other social determinants of health of low-income children with disabilities through collaborations with four New York City Health + Hospitals Corporation hospitals – Bellevue and Harlem Hospital Centers in Manhattan, Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, and Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.

Some of Mobilization for Justice’s successes during 2019 are that we:

• Expanded our immigration work in response to desperate need for lawyers to help immigrants without status.
• Preserved safe and affordable housing for thousands of poor residents in the Bronx under the new NYC Universal Access to Counsel Program.
• Expanded our work on behalf of older New Yorkers to assist nursing home residents being illegally discharged to homeless shelters.
• Expanded our work on behalf of children in need of education supports to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

Please read Mobilization for Justice’s 2019 annual report for additional details on our victories and successes during the year

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


Mobilization for Justice, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Mobilization for Justice, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/23/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Marc De Leeuw

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Marc De Leeuw

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Lisa M. Schweitzer

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Bruce L. Stein

Nancy Morawetz

New York University School of Law

Ramzi Aboutaam

Pfizer Inc.

James D. Arden

Sidley Austin LLP

Kathlyn Card Beckles

JPMorgan Chase

Rhoda Carter

David Chatterjee

Lisa E. Cleary

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Martin J. Crisp

Ropes & Gray LLP

Peter Doyle

Proskauer Rose LLP

Thomas E. Dunn

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

William Edwards

Goldin Associates LLC

Melissa R. Gold

BNY Mellon

Elaine P. Golin

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Robert I. Harwood

Glancy, Prongay & Murray LLP

Deirdre N. Hykal


Enid D. Jean-Claude

MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

Bruce E. Kayle

Fundamental Advisors, LP

David G. Keyko

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Alan Mansfield

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Maxim Mayer-Cesiano

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Benjamin McCallen

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Joseph M. McLaughlin

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Christopher J. Meade`


Jamie Moser

Joele Frank, Wilkinson, Brimmer, Katcher

David Moy

Maeve O'Connor

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Dolores Perez-Harvin

Jacqueline P. Rubin

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Jeffrey S. Sabin

Venable LLP

Alan J. Sinsheimer

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Warren J. Sinsheimer

Founder, Partnership for Children’s Rights

Stephanie Sowell

Johnson & Johnson

Arnold Stephens

Ariana J. Tadler

Tadler Law LLP

Ronald J. Weiss

David W. Ichel

Director Emeritus

Eric M. Roth

Director Emeritus

Mark E. Segall


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/23/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation