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.
Volunteer Lawyer for the Day (VLFD)
Consumer Debt VLFD
Volunteer attorneys provide limited representation for unrepresented consumer debtors in Civil Court in New York, Kings, Bronx, Queens, and Richmond Counties. Volunteer attorneys represent litigants during settlement negotiations and in vacating default judgments. This program is conducted in partnership with New York County Lawyers' Association, New York Legal Assistance Group, and the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program.
The Consumer Debt VLFD program is now operating virtually on a limited basis in some counties.
Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP)
Volunteer attorneys provide advice to unrepresented Housing Court litigants under the supervision of the Civil Court’s Help Center Court Attorneys. Volunteer attorneys meet with unrepresented litigants on a walk-in basis in the Court’s Help Centers. This is an advice-only program. Volunteer attorneys do not represent the litigants in court or file papers on their behalf. The Housing VLP operates in all counties of New York City, with an additional site for the Housing VLP in the Harlem Community Court.
This program is temporarily unavailable. Please check this page for updates for when the program will resume.
The NYS Court’s Office for Justice Initiatives’ Access to Justice Program in collaboration with the City Bar Justice Center, offers free online and phone consultations to pro se litigants (individuals or parties representing themselves in court without the assistance of a lawyer) in New York City Civil Court. Volunteer attorneys provide legal advice and guidance on a variety of Civil Court matters including Small Claims, Name Change, Security Deposit Issues, Warranty of Habitability, Consumer Debt, Judgment Collection/Payment, and Service of Papers. This is an advice-only program. Volunteer attorneys do not represent the litigants in court or file papers on their behalf.
Guardian Ad Litem - Housing (GAL)
The Civil Court’s GAL Program recruits, trains, and supervises a pool of GALs who are appointed by Housing Judges to advocate on behalf of mentally or physically impaired litigants facing eviction in landlord-tenant cases. Attorneys and non-attorneys are eligible to participate.
Volunteer attorneys provide legal advice on support, paternity, custody, visitation, family offense, and guardianship matters to unrepresented litigants in Family Court Help Centers in New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx, and Richmond Counties.
The Family Court Volunteer Attorney Program has resumed operation virtually in all NYC Counties.
Volunteer attorneys assist unrepresented litigants with the preparation of uncontested divorce papers in New York City’s Supreme Courts. Volunteer attorneys do not represent the litigants in court or file papers on their behalf.
The Uncontested Divorce Program is now operating virtually on a limited basis in NYC counties.
Virtual Court Navigators are specially trained, supervised, and available to help court users prepare for court appearances, file court forms, organize court papers, get answers to general questions, find community programs and services, refer people to legal service providers, navigate the court’s website, and more. Virtual Court Navigators are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.
The Virtual Court Navigator Program operated virtually on a limited basis in Erie County Surrogate’s Court, and the Civil Supreme and Surrogate’s Courts in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties. Stay tuned for more information about the Virtual Court Navigator Program.