Foundation Awards Grants to Over 100 Legal Services Organizations Across NY

Responding to the immense need for legal services by New Yorkers across the state, The New York Bar Foundation announced it will be giving over $700,000 in charitable and educational grants to over 100 legal services organizations in 12 judicial districts across the state.

“Our grants help children and adults throughout New York access justice for essentials of life, including housing and homelessness prevention, safety from domestic violence and elder abuse, gaining food and other sustenance benefits, help with debt collection, veterans’ affairs, educational, and healthcare issues,” said Foundation President Lesley Rosenthal.  “The nonprofit legal services organizations receiving Foundation grants also assist our neighbors with front-page issues such as COVID relief, immigration problems, and redressing racial inequity.”

These special-purpose grants will fund COVID-19 legal assistance for New Yorkers needing assistance in the following matters.

  • Advocacy for elderly clients experiencing inappropriate discharges from nursing homes.
  • Consumer debt relief due to unmanageable medical bills and unexpected funeral expenses.
  • Guidance to unemployed and low-wage workers who need help navigating a complex system to obtain basic sustenance benefits.
  • Help for domestic violence victims and abused LGBTQ+ youth who have been sheltering in place with their abusers.
  • Help with unemployment and small business applications.


“Even in the best of times The New York Bar Foundation supports numerous unmet legal needs across New York State,” Lucia Whisenand, chair of the Foundation’s grants review committee, said. “Our grant program is more important than ever with the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on individuals as well as the negative economic effect on the agencies that serve them.”

“The generosity of state bar members and all of our donors makes it possible to continue to provide critical support to these organizations,” June Castellano, vice-chair of the grants review committee, said. “With the continuation of the COVID-19 impact on top of the ongoing legal service’s needs, our grant program is more important than ever.”

“By promoting access to justice and racial equity, we reinforce the rule of law as a unifying cornerstone of our democracy, improving individual lives as well as the health of the body politic,” Rosenthal said.

2021 Foundation Grantee Organizations

First Judicial District (Manhattan): Advocates for Children of New York; Advocates for Justice; Boys and Girls Republic; Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC; Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York; Center for Family Representation (CFR); Day One New York, Inc.; Emerald Isle Immigration Center; FamilyKind, Ltd.; Goddard Riverside Community Center; Her Justice Inc.; Immigrant Justice Corps; HIAS; International Refugee Assistance Project; LatinoJustice PRLDEF; Lawyers For Children; Legal Action Center; Legal Momentum; Legal Services NYC; Lenox Hill Neighborhood House; LGBT Bar Association and Foundation of Greater New York; Mobilization for Justice, Inc.; National Center for law and Economic Justice, Inc.; New York Asian Women’s Center; New York County Lawyers’ Association; New York Foundling Hospital DBA The New  York Foundling; New York Immigration Coalition; New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG); NMIC; Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights; Open Hands Legal  Services; Pro Bono Net; Safe Horizon, Inc.; Start Small Think Big; The Door – A Center Of Alternatives, Inc.; The Legal Aid Society; The Liberty Fund; The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault; The Open Door NJNY; The Petey Greene Program; UnLocal, Inc.; Volunteers of Legal Service; and Youth Represent.

Second Judicial District (Kings County): Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project; Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A; CAMBA, Inc.; Disability Rights New York; Exalt Youth (exalt); Gender Equality Law Center; Immigration Equality; JustFix, Inc.; Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT); and Make the Road New York.

Third Judicial District (Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster counties): Joseph’s House & Shelter; Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York; New York Newspapers Foundation; New York State Defenders Association, Inc.; New York State Bar Association Office of Diversity and Inclusion; New York State Bar Association Law, Youth and Citizenship Program; New York State Bar Association Lawyer Assistance Program; Prisoners’ Legal Services; The Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood; United Tenants of Albany, Inc.; and Worker Justice Center of New York.

Fourth Judicial District (Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington counties):  The Center for Community Justice

Fifth Judicial District (Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, Oneida, Onondaga counties): Catholic Charities of Onondaga County; Center for Community Alternatives; Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society; Resolution Center of Jefferson and Lewis Counties, Inc.; Syracuse University College of Law; and The Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc.

Sixth Judicial District (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga, Tompkins counties): Horseheads Family Resource Center; Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network; Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital, Inc.; and The American Civic Association.

Seventh Judicial District (Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Yates counties): CASA of Rochester/Monroe County; Empire Justice Center; Hillside Children’s Foundation; Legal Aid Society of Rochester, Inc.; Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.; Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc.; and Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County, Inc.

Eighth Judicial District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming counties): Center for Elder Law & Justice; Family Justice Center of Erie County; New York State Bar Association, Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction; The Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc.; and Western New York Law Center, Inc.

Ninth Judicial District (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester counties): Dutchess County Bar Association; Legal Aid Society of Rockland County Inc.; Legal Services of the Hudson Valley; My Sisters’ Place, Inc.; and Pace Women’s Justice Center.

Tenth Judicial District (Nassau, Suffolk counties): Association for Mental Health and Wellness; Health and Welfare Council of Long Island; Huntington Youth Bureau Youth Bureau Youth Development Research Institute, Inc.; Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee, Inc.; The Long Island Alzheimer’s and Dementia Center; and The Safe Center LI.

Eleventh Judicial District (Queens County): Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans; Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement; Legal Outreach, Inc.; and Queens Defenders.

Twelfth Judicial District (Bronx County): Bronx Legal Services; BronxWorks; Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs, Inc.; and The Family Center, Inc.