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New York StateUnified Court System

Volunteer Lawyers Program
Unrepresented Litigants


In General
How Do I Meet With A Volunteer Lawyer?
What is the Difference Between a Volunteer Lawyer and a Help Center Court Attorney?
What Should I Bring to the Help Center?
How Do I Get to the Help Center?
Read What Satisfied Litigants Have to Say

 

In General

If you are not represented by an attorney and you need legal advice about a residential landlord-tenant law matter, the Housing Court’s Volunteer Lawyers Program can help you.

Our trained volunteer lawyers provide free legal and procedural information and advice in the Housing Court’s Help Centers. Our volunteer lawyers will review your court papers, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your individual case, help you fill out forms, and assist you in creating a plan to defend or prosecute your case. They will not represent you in court or file papers on your behalf. You are responsible for meeting all court dates and for all filing deadlines. Should you need representation, the volunteer lawyer can refer you to a Legal Aid or Legal Services office or to a Bar Association Legal Referral Service.

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How Do I Meet With A Volunteer Lawyer?

If you are not represented by an attorney and you need legal advice about a residential landlord-tenant law matter, consult the appropriate calendar below to see if a volunteer attorney is scheduled to appear in one of the Housing Court’s Help Centers located nearest you.

If there is a volunteer lawyer scheduled on a particular date and at a particular time, you should go to that Help Center at that time, and inform the staff that you wish to meet with a volunteer lawyer. Please note that the information in the calendars is updated weekly, and may not reflect last-minute cancellations or other changes made to the schedule.

In addition, please note that if there are no volunteer lawyers scheduled to appear on a given day, you may still find it helpful to go to the Help Center to meet with one of the Help Center Court Attorneys to discuss a pending Housing Court case.

CALENDARS

Bronx County
January - March

Kings County
January - March

New York County
January - March

Queens County
January - March

Richmond County
January - March

 

If you wish to see a Volunteer Attorney in the Harlem Community Justice Center, you must check in with the Help Center on Mondays and Thursdays for availability.

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What is the Difference Between a Volunteer Lawyer and a Help Center Court Attorney?

Help Center Court Attorneys work for the Civil Court. These experienced lawyers, many of whom have years of landlord-tenant law expertise, meet daily with unrepresented litigants in the Help Centers. They provide referrals to appropriate government agencies, social service organizations, and legal services providers, and can explain court procedures, legal terminology, and available options. Like the volunteer lawyers, they provide these services free of charge.

Because Help Center Court Attorneys work for the Civil Court, they are not permitted to give legal advice to either owners or tenants. This means that they cannot interpret the law as it relates to your situation or recommend that you follow a specific course of action. In addition, they cannot represent you in court or file papers on your behalf.

Volunteer lawyers may provide legal advice, and may be able to devote more time to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your individual case. Like the Help Center Court Attorneys, they cannot represent you in court or file papers on your behalf.

If there are no volunteer lawyers scheduled on a given date, and you have questions about a pending Housing Court case, you should still consider going to the Help Center to discuss your concerns with one of our experienced and knowledgeable Help Center Court Attorneys.

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What Should I Bring to the Help Center?

Whether you will meet with a volunteer lawyer or a Help Center Court Attorney, you should bring any court papers and relevant notices you received, information from relevant social service or governmental agencies, any previous stipulations or court orders, and a marshal’s notice, if you received one.

You should also bring any documents which may prove your case or disprove the other side’s case.

Examples:
• copy of lease/ lease renewals/agreements
• rent payment history/rent breakdown
• rent receipts
• petition and notice of petition
• answer
• stipulation and/or court order
• marshal’s notice
• deed, if relevant
• notice of termination/notice to cure
• Section 8 documentation

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How Do I Get to the Help Center?

Help Center locations, hours, and directions are available on the Civil Court’s web site.

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Read What Satisfied Litigants Have to Say

Be the first to write about your experience with a Volunteer Lawyer. Send an email.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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