Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Monday cut the ribbon on an expansion of his free legal services clinic at Brooklyn Borough Hall, which will provide critical resources for Brooklyn families who want to claim their rights under the law but cannot afford to hire an attorney. Operated in collaboration with the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, Brooklyn Legal Services, the Domestic Violence Project and the Veteran Advocacy Project of the Urban Justice Center, as well as Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), the effort expands on efforts by Adams to improve access to legal assistance in Brooklyn.
“Entering a government building presents a difficult task to someone unfamiliar with the territory, a task that multiplies when that person does not have legal representation, and that task multiplies again if the person does not know English fluently,” said Adams. “Our partners here are sending a very loud and clear message that your economic status should not have an impact on your ability to seek fair legal advice. I want to thank each of the participating organization for coming together to fill that need.”
The Domestic Violence Project of the Urban Justice Center will assist the survivors of domestic violence on the third Monday of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“The Domestic Violence Project will be providing legal consultations on custody, visitation, orders of protection, financial literacy and housing workshops,” said Madeline Garcia Bigelow, managing director of the Domestic Violence Project at the Urban Justice Center. “It is our goal that through this partnership, we will be able to provide greater access to those most in need.”
The Veteran Advocacy Project of the Urban Justice Center will help veterans with pension matters and Social Security overpayments every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Brooklyn Borough Hall’s location over a major transportation hub makes it an ideal site for all of Brooklyn’s veterans, service members, and their families,” said Coco Culhane, director of the Veteran Advocacy Project of the Urban Justice Center.
The Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, Inc., will assist residents with foreclosure intervention and prevention on the second Wednesday of every month from 2 to 5 p.m.
“Brooklyn was among the hardest-hit communities in the foreclosure crisis,” said William Flynn, managing attorney for the foreclosure prevention unit of the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, Inc. “Homeowners are better off when they have legal representation. Creating this clinic has allowed us to support homeowners and keep them in their homes.”
LIFT will help families that are dealing with custody, visitation and child support issues every Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m.
“LIFT serves parents and grandparents embroiled in the complex New York City Family Courts, where the vast majority of families must represent themselves because they cannot afford to retain a lawyer,” said Sharon Myrie, chief executive officer of LIFT. “They are addressing matters fundamental to the well-being of children, such as child support, custody, visitation and domestic violence. Thanks to Borough President Adams, LIFT will reach families that seek support and guidance in a convenient location outside of the courthouse. Families will now have access to urgently needed legal information at times that do not conflict with their work or school schedules.”
Brooklyn Legal Services will assist people with housing matters, trusts and estates, government benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security, as well as elder law, which includes advanced directives such as health care proxies and power of attorney, on the second Thursday of each month from 2 to 5 p.m.
“We look forward to our continued relationship with Borough President Adams and his staff in their efforts to provide legal services to those in greatest need,” said Fraidy Nachman, director of outreach and elder law for Brooklyn Legal Services. “Our goal is to ensure that all those seeking assistance in areas such as housing, government benefits and issues impacting the elderly of Brooklyn have access to legal representation and a hope for resolution.”
Anyone with questions or interest in making an appointment with Adams’ free legal services clinic is asked to call (718) 802-3777. Appointments are required, and walk-ins are allowed only based on availability.
—Information from BP Adams’ Office