Our Mission

Our mission is to advance equality and civil rights, with a focus on health justice, disability rights and environmental justice, through the power of community lawyering and partnerships with the private bar.

Our Approach

Through community lawyering, NYLPI puts its legal, policy and community organizing expertise at the service of New York City communities and individuals.  NYLPI's partnership with the private bar strengthens its advocacy and connects community groups and non-profits with critical legal assistance.

NYLPI was founded in 1976 to serve the legal needs of underserved, underrepresented New Yorkers and their communities. What began as a small-scale staff working to link low income clients and organizations with attorneys willing to volunteer pro bono legal services has grown into an unparalleled resource for low income, community-driven legal representation.

Our Four Main Project Areas
  • NYLPI's Pro Bono Clearinghouse maintains a network of over 80 law firms and corporate legal departments willing to volunteer their time to address the legal needs of New York's underrepresented communities 
  • The Disability Justice Program works to advance civil rights and ensure equality of opportunity, self-determination, and independence for people with disabilities. Our work focuses on three primary areas:
    • The Deinstitutionalization Program addresses the needs of adults who are or have been institutionalized, as well as those of children in foster care 
    • The Education Program represents parents and children with disabilities trying to secure appropriate, integrated special educational opportunities 
    • The Opportunity and Access Program fights for equal access for people with disabilities to a range of municipal services and activities including public transportation, housing, businesses, voting, police protection, and medical care and equipment 
  • The Health Justice Program works with community coalitions to ensure access to quality health care for people in medically underserved neighborhoods as well as those who face barriers due to limited English proficiency, or racial and ethnic discrimination 
  • The Environmental Justice Program provides community organizing and legal assistance to low-income neighborhoods and communities of color that bear an unfair burden of environmental threats
Our Community Partners 
  • The Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods (OWN)
    A citywide community-based coalition formed to address the common threat to NYC neighborhoods presented by waste transfer stations.
  • Southeast Queens United in Support of Healthcare (SQUISH)
    The mission of the SQUISH is to strengthen existing healthcare services in the community by raising community awareness about issues that affect the delivery of services and advocating against the reduction and removal of critical health services in Southeast Queens. 

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