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About the Universal Access to Legal Services Law

Some tenants can get a free lawyer in their cases under the Universal Access to Legal Services Law, also called the right-to-counsel law. New York City is the first city in the country to provide universal access to lawyers for tenants in housing cases.


How Do I Qualify for a Free Lawyer?

Visit Free Lawyers for Tenants to see if you qualify.


How Can a Lawyer Help?

A lawyer can help by:

  • Representing you in court
  • Stopping an eviction
  • Getting an order for repairs
  • Figuring out if the rent you are charged is too high
  • Connecting you with service agencies that can help
  • Negotiating with your landlord
  • Preparing and filing court papers

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How Do I Find a Lawyer?

To find out if you qualify and to find free legal help through nonprofit legal services provider partners:

  • Call (718) 557-1379 or (212) 962-4795 from Monday – Friday, between 9am and 5pm
  • Call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline
  • Email [email protected]. In your email, give your name, telephone number, and Housing Court case index number for your eviction case
  • Contact a nonprofit law office near you that provides free legal help for tenants
  • If you are already in the courthouse, ask the Clerk or Court Attorney in the courtroom about getting a free lawyer.
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    Where to Get More Information

    For more information, go to Housing Court Answers or HRA's Office of Civil Justice.


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