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Free Bridge-the-Gap CLE

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Check-in: 9:30 AM
*Ethics - 10:00AM - 1:00PM
*Uncontested Divorce - 2:30PM - 4:00PM<
Location: NYC Civil Court,111 Centre Street, New York, NY

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Check-in: 9:30 AM
*Consumer Debt Part I - 10:00AM - 1:00PM
*Consumer Debt Part II - 2:00PM - 4:30PM<
Location: NYC Civil Court,111 Centre Street, New York, NY

Thursday, November 3, 2016
Check-in: 8:30 AM
*Landlord/Tenant Law - 9:00AM - 6:00PM
Location: NYC Civil Court,111 Centre Street, New York, NY
View flyer for more information.

Gain invaluable experience in lawyering while helping some of New York’s most disadvantaged civil litigants obtain due process of law. Participants are supervised on site by attorneys with expertise in Consumer Debt, Housing and Divorce law.

TO REGISTER EMAIL: or call (646) 386-5425

Limited Seating—Registration Required to guarantee your seat!



Maryland State Court Officials Visit the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program

On September 28, 2016, representatives from the Maryland State Court System visited the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program to share ideas and discuss programs and resources that increase access to justice in landlord-tenant cases. In the morning, Special Counsel Yacine Barry-Wun escorted the Maryland delegation to the Kings County Housing Court to observe the Volunteer Lawyer for the Day and Court Navigator Housing Programs in action. The group was also able to observe the Court Help Center, the Volunteer Lawyers Program, and the Housing Court Answers and University Settlement Court Navigator Programs. In the afternoon, the visitors joined Justice Fern A. Fisher for lunch, followed by presentations on the DIY Form programs, the Guardian Ad Litem Program and the Assigned Counsel Program.

Maryland State Court Visitors with Judge Fisher
Maryland State Court Visitors with Judge Fisher

The Maryland visitors included District Court Chief Judge John P. Morrissey and District Court Judge Mark F. Scurti. In addition, three representatives from the Administrative Office of the Courts attended: Access to Justice Program Department Director Pam Ortiz, Esq., Court Services Center Manager Lonni Summers, Esq. and Government Relations Representative Andrew F. Tress.

Hispanic Heritage Month: New Spanish DIY Form Program Resources

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15, the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program working with the Office of Language Access has added new Spanish resources for the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form programs and a new Spanish DIY Form homepage on the CourtHelp website. The new CourtHelp page contains a list of both the old and new Spanish resources available in the programs. New Spanish resources added to the programs include Spanish instructions in the Guardianship Article 17A DIY Form program and Spanish Pop-Ups and instructions added to the: Child Name Change DIY Form program, Uncontested Divorce DIY Form program, and Vacate Default Judgment Consumer Debt DIY Form program.


Cortland County Surrogate’s Court Chief Clerk Wins DIY Star Award

On June 27, 2016, Cortland County Surrogate’s Court Chief Clerk Lynne Day, was awarded the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program’s prestigious DIY Star Award. Ms. Day’s promotion of the DIY Form programs has enabled unrepresented litigants to create their Surrogate’s Court Small Estate and 17A Guardianship court papers. Read about Ms. Day and the DIY Star Award Ceremony.

Spanish Instructions Added to the Child Name Change DIY Form Program

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program has added an option for unrepresented Spanish speaking litigants to print Spanish instructions when using the Child Name Change DIY Form program. Litigants now have a choice of printing instructions in English only or English and Spanish. This free and easy DIY Form program helps parents create all the court papers needed to ask the Supreme or Civil Court to change the name of one or more children. The program is available on CourtHelp.

Nepal Delegation Visit

On June 2, 2016, a delegation from Nepal visited the Access to Justice Program to learn about the programs and initiatives that the Access to Justice Program employs to increase access to justice for unrepresented litigants. The seven-person Nepal delegation included Judges and staff from the Supreme and District Courts of Nepal as well as members of Nepal’s recently created Access to Justice Commission, which was established after a Nepal delegation visit in 2015. Presentations were made by Justice Fern Fisher and members of the Access to Justice Program staff on various topics, including, court-based unbundled volunteer lawyer programs, the CourtHelp website, DIY Form document assembly programs, Court Help Centers, the Mobile Legal Help Center and community outreach, and the Housing Court Guardian Ad Litem program. The presentation concluded with a tour of the New York County Civil Court Help Center.

Nepal Delegation Visit 2016
Nepal Delegation with Justice Fern A. Fisher


New York County Community Law Day

NYS Courts Access to Justice Program commemorated National Law Day this year by holding a Community Law Day in the Bronx. Despite the cold and rainy day, the festive event complete with balloons, refreshments and free giveaways was held indoors at the Bronx County Supreme Court. Over 200 people stopped by to gather information from the 22 agencies that participated. Safe Horizon, Human Resources Administration, LIFT and The Legal Aid Society were just some of the agencies that gathered indoors to take part in the two and a half hour event. The Mobile Legal Help Center, a traveling Help Center sponsored by NYLAG and the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program, was stationed outside of the Bronx County Supreme Court. Volunteer lawyers on the Mobile Legal Help Center provided legal advice and referrals to a half dozen litigants on their immigration, housing, employment and family law cases.


Unrepresented Litigant E-Filing Website

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program, working with NYSCEF and the Department of Technology, have launched a new e-filing website for unrepresented litigants: The purpose of the e-filing unrepresented litigant track is to streamline the process and explain the e-filing procedure in simple terms that non-attorneys can better understand. The new website explains the basics of e-filing to help a litigant decide whether e-filing is right for him or her. The website clarifies the procedure for setting up an account to start a case or e-file in an existing case. In addition, the website contains content explaining what is needed before logging in, including information about motions, fee waivers and document redaction. The website also contains helpful links to explain terms, find forms and find live assistance.


2015 Report

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program issued its 2015 Report, entitled, "Delivering Cost Effective Legal Services and Information in Challenging Economic Times". The Report provides a brief overview of the Access to Justice Program's programs and resources, as well as the highlights of the Access to Justice Program's accomplishments in 2015. Some of the highlights include: expansion of the Uncontested Divorce Program; VLFD Consumer Debt Program serving 20,000 litigants; opening of new Help Center in Columbia County; new statewide Child Name Change DIY Form program; over 200,000 litigants assisted by Court Help Centers; improvements to the CourtHelp website; and a Law a la Carte limited scope conference held. In addition, this year’s Report describes the Access to Justice Program’s cost-effective methods utilized for the delivery of legal services and legal information. Thank you to all the partners, friends, volunteers and court personnel who helped make 2015 a success!

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