New York State has long been a leader in the access to justice community and serves as a model for states around the country. From New York City to rural upstate communities, Pro Bono Net's programs have played a transformative role in how legal help reaches the underserved across the state.
LawHelpNY.org is an online resource for helping low-income and vulnerable New Yorkers find solutions to their legal problems by providing access to high-quality information about their legal rights, court forms, the courts and referrals to free legal services.
In New York, our programs offer students educational resources and opportunities to volunteer to fulfill their 50 hour pro bono requirement. Probono.net/ny hosts resources designed specifically for law students interested in pro bono and access to justice. LawHelpNY offers the opportunity to volunteer through our live chat services, or to support the upkeep of its extensive online legal library of content for individuals and families in New York.
LawHelp Interactive (LHI) helps self represented litigants in New York State and advocates and volunteers assisting them more easily and accurately complete a variety of essential legal documents and court forms on issues such as an eviction, child support or obtaining a name change.
In 2018, more than 155,000 court forms and legal documents were completed in New York using LHI.
Our remote lawyering platforms such as ClosingtheGapNY.org connect legal aid advocates and volunteer attorneys located in urban areas of New York State with rural clients to expand the quantity and scope of legal help available on issues such as consumer debt, family law, eviction and more.
The New York Crime Victims Legal Network is a partnership of the NYS Office of Victims Services, Empire Justice Center, Pro Bono Net, and the Center of Human Services Research to transform access, awareness and collaboration in civil legal services for victims of crime. Learn more at crimevictimshelpny.org.
Empowering Domestic Violence Survivors
The LHI-powered Family Offense Petition Program in New York provides trained domestic violence advocates in every county of the state with access to an online document assembly interview to help domestic violence survivors apply for and remotely file an order of protection. The Family Offense Petition Program is also a key element in New York’s first-in-the-nation, statewide Remote Access Temporary Order of Protection Project that enables domestic violence victims to request protective orders via video-conference when traveling to or appearing in court would pose an undue hardship or risk of harm to victims.
In 2018, more than 7,000 petitions were filed in New York through the Family Offense Petition Project
Other Special Initiatives
Helping Communities Recover
After a natural disaster, underprivileged individuals and communities especially face an uphill battle to access disaster aid. Many face legal issues directly caused or made worse by the disaster. We develop and host self-help tools and information for communities impacted by disasters, and facilitate collaboration, networking, and resources to legal advocates engaged in disaster recovery efforts.
Justice for Older Americans
Many seniors, but particularly those living on the economic margins, are vulnerable to issues such as financial exploitation, abuse or eviction. We create online tools that power new models of collaboration to serve the legal needs of older Americans, including those who are who are homebound, disabled or isolated.
The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) expands access to immigration legal resources and information through collaboration and technology. IAN was created in 2007 by leading immigrants' rights organizations, to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them.