Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

Protecting Rights, Promoting Justice

aka LSHV   |   White Plains, NY   |  www.lshv.org

Mission

The mission of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley is to provide high quality counsel in civil matters for poor and low-income individuals and families and other vulnerable persons who do not have access to the legal representation needed to meet their basic needs. Pursuit of this mission includes a commitment to principles and practices of diversity and inclusion to ensure justice for all persons regardless of their economic or social conditions.

Ruling year info

1968

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Barbara Finkelstein Esq.

Main address

90 Maple Avenue

White Plains, NY 10601 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-6265606

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Although "justice for all" is one of our society's most basic promises, there is no legal right to counsel in civil matters, including housing, family, and public benefits cases. Many people cannot afford an attorney and are unable to navigate the legal system on their own. When crisis strikes – loss of a job, diagnosis of an illness, subjection to domestic violence – and a legal matter ensues, these individuals and families do not have the resources to access legal assistance. Not knowing where to turn, they are often lost in the legal system; thwarted by confusing processes, paperwork, and legal jargon. Even in the cases that have legal merit (which an overwhelming percentage do), the lack of a trained advocate usually results in defeat. Justice is not served in these situations, and the vulnerable of our communities find themselves further disadvantaged.

This is not a minor issue that affects the margins of our society. It is estimated that one in five Americans qualify for free l

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?

Free Civil Legal Services

Provision of civil legal services is our only real principal activity. The services we offer include homelessness prevention; income stability and enhancement; health benefits; consumer protection; discrimination advocacy and advance directive planning for the disabled, chronically ill and elderly; protection from domestic violence; educational advocacy for disabled children; and representation and advocacy for veterans and military families.

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley is the only provider of comprehensive civil legal services to all seven counties of the lower Hudson Valley (Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan). We are the recipient of Legal Services Corporation funding for the region and provide a full array of services to low income individuals and families to meet the legal needs for "essentials of life” and preserve the stability of client households.

Population(s) Served

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 clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Free Civil Legal Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2017, we served 11,871 clients. We handled a total of 14,993 cases for those clients, as some clients had multiple cases with our agency.

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.

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley's primary goal is to provide free civil legal assistance to those who cannot afford an attorney. More than half a million residents of New York's Hudson Valley are eligible for our services.

We provide comprehensive civil legal services to all seven counties of the Hudson Valley by meeting the legal needs of low income and impoverished individuals and families, maintaining their basic necessities of life and preserving the stability of client households.

Provision of civil legal services is our principal activity, with objectives including:
 Saving children from neglect;
 Protecting women from domestic violence;
 Defending seniors against abuse;
 Serving veterans on the home front;
 Supporting the rights of the disabled;
 Keeping families in their homes.

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley's 130-person staff, eight offices and hundreds of pro bono volunteers are passionate advocates for our credo, which summarizes our overarching goals: Protecting Rights, Promoting Justice.

We are committed to making “Justice for All" a reality throughout the region we serve - providing fairness through equal access to justice, regardless of income.

Advice and counsel; advocacy in civil proceedings; full representation; community legal education; pro se assistance; and referrals for related issues.

HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION: prevent or delay evictions and foreclosures; PROTECTING the RIGHTS OF THE DISABLED, CHILDREN, ELDERLY, ABUSE VICTIMS and VETERANS: advocacy to prevent discrimination against disabled individuals, the chronically ill and elderly; protection for victims of abuse, domestic violence and crime; educational advocacy for children with disabilities; and representation and advocacy for veterans and their families; STABILIZING FAMILIES & HOUSEHOLDS: income retention and stability; access to health and public benefits; CONSUMER PROTECTION: protection from consumer fraud, abuse and predatory lenders/debt collectors.

With offices in White Plains, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Peekskill, Spring Valley, Kingston, Monticello, Newburgh and Poughkeepsie, a dedicated staff of 130 lawyers, administrators and support staff, and hundreds of private attorneys who volunteer their time, we serve more than 12,500 people annually across seven counties, impacting over 30,000 household members.

We are experienced attorneys, volunteers and advocates passionate about our credo -- Protecting Rights, Promoting Justice. That is why Legal Services of the Hudson Valley has been able to provide free non-criminal legal assistance to nearly 300,000 clients since inception, as well as save New York State and local government from spending millions of dollars to combat homelessness, abuse, hunger and other societal harms that result from an absence of justice.

Providing free civil legal aid to low-income families or recently unemployed individuals experiencing financial crises is a priority for Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, ensuring basic access to justice, safeguarding their stability and survival, and benefiting the community as a whole.

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley has experienced exceptional growth in recent years due to the extraordinary confidence that the organization has generated in funders, elected officials, courts, judges, stakeholders and constituents at the federal, state and local levels, as a result of its expertise, capabilities, reputation, impact and success.

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley was originally incorporated in 1967 as Westchester Legal Services. In 1995 we added Putnam and Dutchess Counties, and in 2004, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan Counties. Our name has evolved to reflect the geographic expansion of our service area.

In the past few years, we've hired many new staff members and opened new offices in Spring Valley and Peekskill. We increased the size of our centralized intake unit and opened access to our services to large numbers of potential clients. We restructured the management team to enable better oversight and accountability and increased the size of our administration/finance department to increase efficiency and effectiveness. In 2017-2018, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley generated $43,500,000 in taxpayer savings which includes hundreds of thousands of dollars saved by the counties and state by avoiding long-term welfare costs.

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley is the “go to" civil legal services provider organization in New York's Lower and Mid-Hudson Valley. Our CEO and executive staff are highly-regarded as “thought leaders" in their fields, and their expertise, advice, knowledge and advocacy is sought throughout the region, by legal services providers, not-for-profit leaders, legislators, courts, community organizations, agencies and peers.

We've also established new collaborations and expanded existing collaborations with non-profit organizations in areas including foreclosure prevention, eviction prevention, domestic violence, LGBTQ rights, elder abuse, and veterans' rights. We also upgraded our data technology and case management software, and dramatically expanded our intake processes.

Financials

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

Board of directors
as of 12/11/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Alfred Donnellan

DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP

Alfred Donnellan

DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP

Kenneth Thompson

John Flannery

Wilson Elser LLP

Jonathan Kozak

Jackson Lewis LLP

David Posner

McCabe & Mack LLP

Jonathan Harris

MBIA, Inc.

Courtney Rockett

Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP

Eric Gordon

Keane & Beane, PC

Sarah Chianese

Andrew Williams

Paul Adler

Rand Commercial Services

Amber Jeunegens

Nathalie Riobe-Taylor

Erik Haas

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Barbara Hawkins

Thomas Lalla

Pernod Ricard USA

William Marsillo

Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP

Frances Pantaleo

Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP

Sean Brady

Clarfeld Financial Advisors

Christopher Cabanillas

Cabanillas & Associates, P.C.

Corinna Carillo

Jeremiah Frei-Pearson

Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber

David Owens

Jane Rembert-Wigfall

Sidney Rosdeitcher

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP

Justin Sher

Sher Tremonte LLP

Vanessa Kaye Watson

Mastercard International Incorporated

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