Please be advised that some of the New York State Unified Court System Office for Justice Initiatives’ volunteer attorney programs are now available online.
We are working hard to restore all of our volunteer programs. Please check this page regularly to receive updates.
Find Free LEGAL ASSISTANCE during the Coronavirus crisis by phone and online
New and easy to follow instructions for making phone and video court appearances are here:
Virtual Court Appearances for the Public
The New York State Unified Court System’s Office for Justice Initiatives led by Honorable Edwina G. Mendelson, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, is charged with directing the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program. The Office for Justice Initiatives (OJI) also oversees child welfare and juvenile and adolescent justice initiatives, including implementation of legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York (commonly known as the “Raise the Age” law). The Office for Justice Initiatives works closely with the Permanent Commission on Access to Justice, as well as with the Advisory Committee on Access for People with Disabilities, the Center for Court Innovation (CCI), the Division of Technology, the Grants Office, the Office of Language Access, Office of Legal Information and law schools.
Law Day Report
Law Day, celebrated every year on the first of May, offers us the opportunity to celebrate the role of law in our society in protecting our liberties and pursuing justice. In celebration of Law Day, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson and the Office for Justice Initiatives (OJI) are issuing the attached inaugural Law Day Report. This report, the first in a series of planned annual issues, reflects this year’s Law Day theme of “Advancing the Rule of Law Now” and the Office for Justice Initiatives’ mission to ensure meaningful access to justice for all those who pass through the doors of every New York State courthouse. The report is principally comprised of two sections: “The Landscape of Office for Justice Initiatives Programs,” detailing the existing programs and projects of the OJI as they have operated over the past several years, and “Reimagining Justice,” describing those programs and initiatives that have been developed over the unprecedented events of the past year, or are scheduled for release in the near future.
Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives
Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson Profile
Chief of Staff
Michelle Smith, Esq.
- New Video on Jury Service and Fairness
Video | Transcript
- Law Day Report
- A Call to Action: Advancing Equal Justice in New York’s Courts
- Residential Eviction and Foreclosure Hardship Declaration Forms
- Commercial Eviction and Foreclosure Hardship Declaration Forms
- Important Consumer Debt Case Information
- Court User Survey
- Family Court Representation in the Virtual Age Upstate
Video | Transcript
- Family Court in the Virtual Age Video | Transcript