On June 22,2017 the Suffolk Pro Bono Project and the Suffolk County Pro Bono Foundation proudly celebrated the generosity of Suffolk’ s pro bono attorneys. The Hon. A Gail Prudential, Hofstra Law School Dean, was the guest speaker.


Recent Study - 86 Percent of low-income Americans’ civil legal issues get inadequate or no legal help.


LONG ISLAND PRO BONO ATTORNEYS WORK TO BRIDGE THE JUSTICE GAP

In recent months, Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee Inc. has continued its tradition of periodically honoring outstanding attorneys who volunteer their time to serve low income and disabled Long Islanders. Partnering with the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Foundation and the Nassau County Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee , the agency works to recruit and assign pro bono attorneys to represent low income clients in compelling civil cases, giving those who are less fortunate access the justice system.Hear the inspiring words of these volunteer attorneys.


Our Fall Fundraiser is scheduled for October 25, 2017 at the Larkfield. Save the date!


Helaine Barnett, Chair of the Permanent Commission on Access to Justice

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore addressed the Access to Justice Law School conference where the announcement was made on May 18, 2017.

The NYS Access to Justice Commission recently announced that Suffolk County was chosen to pilot a local strategy approach to closing the justice gap. NSLS has been invited to participate and we are ready for the challenge!



17 A Guardianship Project Now Open for Intake

In an effort to meet the demand for 17A guardianship services, the Suffolk Pro Bono Project has launched a new Self Help Initiative. This new program will help parents and other close relatives of young adults with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities prepare their Surrogate’s Court guardianship petitions. This new program is officially now open and ready to screen clients for eligibility. To be eligible, the client seeking guardianship must be live in Suffolk County, and the total household income must be within 200% of the federal poverty level. The new project is limited to self help assistance, but we may be able to arrange for a full service pro bono attorney in some cases.
Be advised that Nassau County clients can apply to the Nassau VLP for 17A Guardianship pro bono services, in most cases for full representation.
Those wishing to be screened for eligibility should contact us at (631) 232-2400 and ask to speak with the Pro Bono Unit. In Nassau County please call 516 292-8299



NYS Bar Foundation Congratulates NSLS on Receiving a Grant for the Veterans Rights Project.

With so many veterans on Long Island, the funding is being put to good use. In a recent case, a veteran and reservist was being evicted from the apartment where he, his fiancé and child were living. A few months remained until he would be deployed, and he was eligible for full time military pay and a housing stipend. The Veterans Rights Project attorney was able to negotiate with the landlord’s attorney by citing federal laws that protect active military personnel and assuring the landlord that the veteran was willing and able to make ongoing payments as well as payments towards the rental arrears to avoid the eviction. The negotiation was successful and the veteran was able to go overseas knowing that his family would continue to have secure housing.

NSLS’ legal staff is very gratified to be able to assist in cases such as these to extend legal protections to our veterans.


Stephen Gassman, senior partner of the matrimonial firm Gassman, Baiamonte Gruner, PC presented at the CLE program.

On April 20, 2017, NSLS, the SAFE Center of LI, and the Nassau Academy of Law (NAL) hosted “On Trial: the Preparation of a Matrimonial Action.” The CLE was an important pro bono recruiting effort for the programs with the NAL granting a tuition waiver to those participants who agreed to volunteer on a divorce case. Kudos to our own Susan Biller, Volunteer Lawyers Project coordinator, who worked on promoting the seminar.


A New Pro Bono Online Service

Free Legal Answers is a virtual legal advice clinic sponsored by the American Bar Association in cooperation with state bar associations, including the NYS Bar. Qualifying users post their civil legal question to their state’s website. Users will then be emailed when their question receives a response. Attorney volunteers, who must be authorized to provide pro bono assistance in their state, log in to the website, select questions to answer, and provide legal information and advice. Volunteer attorneys will not answer criminal law questions.



The Nassau County Bar Association is sponsoring free consultations and educational programs for the community.  Registration is required.

PUBLIC EDUCATION SEMINARS:
Monday, May 15 – Detecting, Preventing, and Remedying Elder Abuse
Tuesday, May 23 – Employment Law: What You Need to Know from Job-seeking to Losing the Job

FREE CONSULTATION CLINCS:
Monday, May 8 – Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic
Thursday, May 18 – Senior Citizen Clinic
Monday, May 22 – Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic