The Legal Aid Society

Justice in Every Borough

New York, NY   |  www.legalaidnyc.org

Mission

The Legal Aid Society exists for one simple yet powerful reason: to ensure that no New Yorker is denied their right to equal justice because of poverty. Since 1876, we have fought to remove the hidden, systemic barriers preventing vulnerable people from advancing in New York. We work on the frontlines and behind the scenes to offer a voice to those who have struggled in silence for far too long. Through our Civil, Criminal Defense, and Juvenile Rights Practices, we provide an unmatched depth and breadth of legal expertise to marginalized New Yorkers, no matter what legal challenges they may face.

Ruling year info

1943

President

Janet Sabel Esq.

Main address

199 Water Street

New York, NY 10038 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-5562265

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Legal Services (I80)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Civil Practice

Our Civil Practice operates 21 specialized units and programs that serve nearly 135,000 New Yorkers every year. Our units provide clients with comprehensive legal assistance covering virtually any issue they may be facing, including: disability-related assistance; public assistance; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits; health law; HIV/AIDS and chronic diseases; elder law; housing, homelessness prevention, and foreclosure prevention; family law and domestic violence; employment issues faced by low-wage workers; tax law for low-income workers; consumer law; education law; immigration law; re-entry services; and community development legal assistance.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Our Juvenile Rights Practice represents more than 30,000 children in a typical year—more than 90% of all children involved in child protective and juvenile justice cases annually in New York City’s Family Court. With the support of our specialized units and interdisciplinary teams, our innovative practice model gives children and youth powerful voices in their cases and ensures that all aspects of their lives receive the expert, focused advocacy they deserve. 

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

As New York City’s primary public defenders, the staff in The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice (CDP) are the voice for the most vulnerable New Yorkers in and out of the courts – handling over 125,000 criminal matters in a typical year. Our clients rely on us for direct representation, but our units and programs work in the communities themselves to provide guidance, resources, and lasting relationships. Through our advocacy and innovative programs, we aim to overturn a flawed system and keep vulnerable communities out of it altogether.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of civil litigation matters handled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Civil Practice

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We help our clients with a wide range of civil legal matters, including but not limited to housing, immigration, employment, and health benefits.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Civil Practice

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The number of individuals benefiting from our free civil legal services. *Court closures and delays during COVID-19 limited our ability to serve clients in 2020 and 2021

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.

Through free legal services, as well as advocacy and law reform initiatives, The Legal Aid Society seeks to protect low-income New Yorker’s fundamental rights, ensure their access to critical benefits and resources, and fight oppressive systems to improve their lives.

By providing free direct legal advice and representation to tens of thousands of individuals and families across the city on topics like housing, public assistance, and employment, we stay connected to the diverse communities that make up New York. This community connection allows us to identify trending issues as they develop and address them in real-time. It also ensures our advocacy and law reform work stays on the forefront of pressing racial and social equity issues and that we combine grassroots voices with our legal expertise and credibility.

Provide direct legal services to individuals and client groups in all five boroughs through a network of neighborhood and courthouse offices, citywide units, and special projects.

Utilize our satellite outreach sites, evening clinics, Mobile Justice Unit (on hold during COVID-19), and seven telephone helplines to increase access to legal assistance.

Provide Know Your Rights trainings for our clients and their communities, expert technical assistance to other professionals, and pro se materials for clients and client groups, community-based organizations, other legal service programs, and constituent services staff of elected officials.

Utilize advocacy efforts, impact litigation, and legislative reform to hold government programs and agencies accountable and to meaningfully change systems that hold back low-income communities.

Financials

The Legal Aid Society
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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The Legal Aid Society

Board of directors
as of 03/24/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Zachary Charter

Zachary Carter

Former Corporation Counsel

Thomas Meriam

Goodwin Procter LLP

Alan Levine

Cooley LLP

Thomas Cerabino

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Mark Goodman

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Tracy High

Sullivan & Cromwell

Sara Moss

The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.

Bradley Ruskin

Proskauer Rose LLP

Richard Albert

Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C.

Deborah Archer

New York University School of Law

Nicole Argentieri

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Christopher Belelieu

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Barry Bohrer

Mintz

Lara Buchwald

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

John Carroll

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Nancy Chung

Sidley Austin LLP

Eva Cole

Winston & Strawn LLP

Roger Cooper

Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP

Matthew Matthew

Fordham Law School

June Dipchand

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

William Dougherty

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Elyse Echtman

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Scott Edelman

Milbank LLP

Natasha Fapohunda

Mastercard

Edward Flanders

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Edward Flanders

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Jeffrey Fuisz

Arnold & Porter LLP

Matthew Furman

Willis Towers Watson

Christopher Garcia

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Jeffrey Glen

Anderson Kill P.C.

Linda Goldstein

Dechert LLP

Meaghan Gragg

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Carol Greene-Vincent

Morgan Stanley

David Greenwald

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Adam Hakki

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Jason Halper

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Richard Hans

DLA Piper LLP

David Hille

White & Case LLP

Elai Katz

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Atif Khawaja

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Marvin Krislov

Pace University

Gillian Lester

Columbia Law School

Aaron Marcu

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

J. McCarthy

BNY Mellon

Joan McPhee

Ropes & Gray LLP

Perry Napolitano

Reed Smith LLP

Charles Platt

Legal Business Services, LLC

Sharyl Reisman

Jones Day

Antony Ryan

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

William Savitt

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Paul Schoeman

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Bart Schwartz

Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data