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On the Front Lines for Justice: NYLAG in 2022

I have a message for my NYLAG attorneys: You gave me hope when I didn’t have it. You gave me the opportunity to have a new life. Thank you.


adults and children impacted by NYLAG’s services

$50 million

saved for NYLAG clients


dedicated team members

Using the power of the law, New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) fights for economic, racial, and social justice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. We center the voices of our clients to help them achieve justice, safety, and stability. Our services include comprehensive, free civil legal services, financial empowerment, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community partnerships.

Letter From Leadership

Our Year in Review

Our Programs

Donors and Sponsors

A Message From Our President and Board Chair

Lisa Rivera

President and CEO

Jill L. Rosenberg

Chair, Board of Directors

Dear Supporter,

2022 was a year of ongoing challenge for many. Still recovering from the financial and political turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic, countless New Yorkers struggle to simply survive while facing rising costs of living and uncertainty. For NYLAG’s clients, who are experiencing poverty and are predominantly people of color, their needs continue to grow. The legal system and the administrative bodies that our clients rely upon for safety and stability often fail to provide justice, especially to individuals who cannot afford to pay for an attorney. NYLAG uplifts the voices of our clients every day to ensure they are heard in the institutions that hold power. From the first meeting through every hearing, NYLAG’s advocates work side-by-side with clients in asserting their rights. As we have for over 30 years, in 2022 NYLAG responded to meet clients’ needs during crises:

  • Providing immigration relief—including defense against deportation—to hundreds of Afghans, Ukrainians, Venezuelans, and people from other nations fleeing violence, poverty, and political turmoil.
  • Defending tenants against the devastating impacts of eviction and foreclosure—an urgent need after COVID-19 protections ended—preventing homelessness and displacement for countless families and individuals.
  • Supporting those most vulnerable from the continued fallout of the pandemic, including workers earning a low wage, people with disabilities, and elders in need of life-saving medical care.
  • Expanding legal access on-the-ground in communities across NYC though our COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline (in operation through April 2022) and our Mobile Legal Help Center, which comes to New Yorkers directly in their neighborhoods to minimize barriers to justice.

Our work is only possible through the steadfast support of our partners and people like you. With a donation to sustain our work, you can help bring life-changing legal services to New Yorkers most impacted during this challenging time. Thank you for supporting the fight for justice for all.


Lisa Rivera
President and CEO

Jill L. Rosenberg
Chair, Board of Directors

Our Year in Review

Standing Up For the Rights of Immigrants

In the face of constant political attacks, we stood with immigrant communities seeking safety, opportunity, and stability in the United States.


immigrants represented by NYLAG, including for asylum claims and deportation defense

"Finally, someone listened to my story and really heard me: my NYLAG attorney. They looked at me and said, ‘We will not give up.’ And for seven years, they didn’t. The immigration system is complicated, but no issue was too much for them."

Supporting Survivors of Violence and Discrimination

We supported survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, LGBTQ+ communities, people with disabilities, and workers earning a low wage in asserting their rights and achieving security.


survivors of domestic violence supported by NYLAG through safety planning, orders of protection, divorce and custody cases, and more


workers defended in cases challenging discrimination and illegal retaliation, securing unemployment insurance benefits and wage claims, protecting employees’ rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and more


LGBTQ+ clients served

When I separated from my husband, he claimed there was never any domestic violence. I thought that no one would ever believe me. I didn’t have the strength or the voice to speak up for myself. That’s why I needed a good lawyer...NYLAG has allowed me to do so many things with peace of mind without having to worry about affording a good attorney.

Protecting Economic Rights

We protected the financial security and prosperity of New Yorkers facing deceptive debt collection and financial hardship, and fought alongside veterans and people with disabilities to receive benefits denied to them.


1,600 consumers defended against predatory debt and lending through NYLAG’s advocacy, granting clients $30 million in relief


in life-changing benefits awarded to veterans of the U.S. armed forces through NYLAG’s advocacy

Demanding Safe and Affordable Housing

We were on the front lines defending tenants from eviction, unsafe housing, and homelessness.


NYLAG represented 7,000 tenants and homeowners who were facing eviction, displacement, or homelessness

Securing Access to Essential Benefits

We secured access to food, health care, and housing for New Yorkers experiencing poverty, elders, immigrants, Holocaust survivors, people with disabilities, and many others.


clients’ health and safety were improved by accessing health and nutrition benefits, including Medicaid, SNAP, and more

Expanding Legal Access in NYC Communities

We served clients directly in their communities to eliminate barriers to justice.


New Yorkers served directly in their communities through our mobile van and community outreach


clients served through the 34 hospitals and healthcare facilities in which NYLAG attorneys are embedded throughout New York City

Fighting for Systemic Change

We pushed for policy changes and combatted institutional failures that denied New Yorkers their rights.


beneficiaries from NYLAG’s impact litigation cases and advocacy

Sustaining Partnerships that Change Lives

NYLAG’s work is strengthened by stellar volunteers—including retired and current attorneys, law graduates, and students—whose skills help us to expand our reach to New Yorkers in need of free legal services.


attorneys and volunteers partnered with NYLAG


hours donated to support NYLAG clients

"It is a privilege and an honor to work alongside the extraordinary and inspiring staff and volunteers of NYLAG. I have seen first-hand how providing legal representation free of charge can dramatically change the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. I am extremely proud to be part of an organization whose priority is access to justice and whose legal representation is client-centered, trauma- informed and culturally sensitive. I am truly grateful for the incomparable training and supervision that I continue to receive."

Our Programs

Advance Planning

Assisting individuals with end-of-life planning needs

Consumer Protection

Defending victims of abusive and deceptive lending and debt collection practices to ensure future financial stability

Domestic Violence Law

Empowering survivors of intimate partner violence to achieve safety and stability

Employment Law

Supporting workers earning a low-wage in asserting their workplace rights

Evelyn Frank Legal Resources

Safeguarding the right to affordable health and long-term care services for seniors with low incomes and people with disabilities

Financial Empowerment and Advocacy

Planning for financial stability

Foreclosure Prevention

Preserving affordable homeownership

Holocaust Compensation

Supporting and advocating for survivors of the Holocaust

Immigrant Protection

Keeping immigrants and immigrant communities strong


Complementing health care with legal care

Legal Hand Project

Addressing problems before they escalate into legal proceedings


Fighting for the rights of LGBTQ communities


Helping families in conflict make informed decisions together with the help of a mediator

Mobile Legal Help Center

Bringing free legal services on wheels to your community

Pro Se Clinic

Providing free legal advice to litigants representing themselves in civil cases in SDNY

Public Benefits

Securing vital public benefits to help people meet their immediate needs

Special Education

Ensuring children with disabilities receive an education to which they are entitled and that meets their unique needs

Special Litigation

Seeking systemic reform for individuals through class actions and other impact litigation

Tenants' Rights

Defending tenants experiencing poverty and facing eviction, displacement, and homelessness

Veterans’ Rights

Helping veterans access vital benefits and services

Your Support Helps to Ensure Fair and Equal Access to Justice. Thank you.

We Thank the Law Firms and Corporate Partners Who Graciously Gave Their Time and Talent, and/or Supported NYLAG Financially

A&O Shearman AIG Risk Management, Inc Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Apple Bank ArentFox Schiff LLP Arnold & Porter Ashurst LLP Binder & Schwartz LLP
Blank Rome LLP Bloomberg BNY Mellon Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP Chapman Cutler LLP Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Cooley LLP
CornerStone Research Covington & Burling LLP Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP Crowell & Moring LLP Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP (Seattle) Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Dechert LLP
DLA Piper LLP (US) Duane Morris LLP EmblemHealth Fenwick & West Fieldpoint Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP Goldman, Sachs & Co Goodwin Procter LLP
Guggenheim Partners Hogan Lovells HOKA Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP Kasirer KCC LLC King & Spalding LLP
Kirkland & Ellis LLP Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP Krieger Kim & Lewin LLP Kurre Schneps LLP Latham & Watkins LLP Levine Lee Liston Abramson LLP Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Mastercard Milbank LLP Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP Morrison & Foerster Foundation Morritt Hock Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Paul Hastings LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Perkins Coie LLP Petrillo Klein & Boxer LLP Pfizer Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Proskauer Rose LLP Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP Seyfarth Shaw LLP Sidley Austin LLP Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP SRD Legal StoneTurn Stout Risius Ross, LLC
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Susman Godfrey L.L.P. Troutman Pepper LLP Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz Walden Macht & Haran LLP Warshaw Burstein Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP White & Case LLP
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP WilmerHale Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati Winston & Strawn LLP

We Thank Our Foundation, Nonprofit, and Community Partners

Altman Foundation America Works of New York, Inc. Anonymous Arab-American Family Support Center Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging Booth Ferris Foundation Butler Foundation Cardinal McCloskey Community Services
Capital One Center for New York City Neighborhoods City Relief Claims Conference Community Service Society of New York Cornell Law School DAV Charitable Trust David Berg Foundation
Day One Dorot Equal Justice America Equal Justice Works Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation Fedcap Footsteps Goodwill Industries of New York & New Jersey
Henry & Lucy Moses Fund Henry Street Settlement Immigration Advice and Rights Centre Immigrant Justice Corps Isaac H. Tuttle Foundation Jewish Community Center of Greater Coney Island John Jay College Justice Catalyst
Leon Levy Foundation Long Island Community Foundation Marcy Gringlas & Joel Greenberg, Seed the Dream Foundation Nash Family Foundation New York Community Trust New York Immigration Coalition Research Foundation of CUNY Robin Hood
Safe Horizon Sanctuary for Families St. John’s Law School UJA-Federation of New York Venable Foundation Weill Cornell Medicine (NYC Elder Abuse Center) Y.C. Ho/Helen and Michael Chiang Foundation Yale Law School

We Thank Our Government Supporters 

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection/Office of Financial Empowerment NYC Department of Veterans Services NYC Health + Hospitals NYC Human Resources Administration NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice/ NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission
NYS Attorney General NYS Department of State NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services NYS Department of Health NYS Office for New Americans NYS Office for the Aging NYS Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance NYS Office of Victim Services Office of Court Administration

We Thank Our Community Health Center and Hospital Partners 

Blythedale Children’s Hospital CancerCare Community Care of Brooklyn Maimonides Medical Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center MJHS Institute for Innovation Montefiore Medical Center Mt. Sinai Medical Legal Partnership
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital NYU Langone Hospitals One Brooklyn Health System Westchester Medical Center

We Thank the Following Individuals and Family Foundations Who Supported NYLAG With a Gift of $1,000 or More Last Year

18220 Fund Abramson Household Anders Household Anderson Household Ann Law Household Anonymous Household Antonelli Household Baldick Household
Banga Household Bansal Household Baumgarten Household Benevity Fund Berkman-Breen Household Berman Household Bharara and Narang Household Bharara Household
Biben Household Bishop Household Blaeser Household Blumberg Household Bogart and Wein Household Bremmer Household Canellos Household Chazan Household
Cheney Household Chinn Household Chosky and Cohn Household Cohen Household Cohen Levin Household Coleman Household Cordova Household Corratti Household
Eatroff Household Ferguson & Nazareth Household Finch Household Fleischer Household Freeman Household Froman Family Fund Furman Household Genn Household
Gilles Household Girsky Household Goldberg Household Goldman Household Goldstein Household Goodwin Household Graff Household Gray Jr Household
Haag Household Heller Household Herbert and Ramos-Herbert Household Hiltzik Household Horan and Trotter Household Hunt Household Jackson Household Khuzami Household
Koeppel Household Kramer Household Kubek Household Levy Household Lore Household Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation Mann Household Mark Household
Martin Household Mayer Household McInerney Household Melamid Household Meyers Household Miller Household Mirvis Household Molinaro Household
Monck Ricigliano Household Mullady Household Murphy Household Musoff Household Neuhaus Household Nooyia Household Oblak Household O'Connor Household
Ortiz Household Paris Household Pogrebin and Shapiro Household Polizzotto Household Pollin Household Reid Household Ringel Household Rosenberg Household
Ross Household Schachter Household Schilling Household Shapiro Household Shore Household Stein Household Steinwurtzel Household The Liman Foundation
The Steptoe Foundation Truhalft Household Weissman Household Wexler Household Wolfe Household Wolfensohn Family Foundation Wong Household Yates Household
Zabel Household


Your dollar at work.

2022, Unaudited


One Time Small Business Administration Loan Forgiveness
Hospitals and Corporations
Special Events
Court Awarded & Earned Fees
Total Revenue Before In-Kind Legal Services
In Kind
Total Revenue


Total Expenses Before In-Kind Legal Services
Total Expenses

How You Can Support

There are a variety of ways you can support NYLAG’s work:

ONLINE: Visit nylag.org/donate

BY CHECK: Checks may be made payable to New York Legal Assistance Group and sent to:

New York Legal Assistance Group
C/O Development Department
100 Pearl Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004

MORE WAYS TO GIVE: To make a gift by wire transfer, a planned gift, a matching gift, or stock gift please email donate@nylag.org.

GET INVOLVED: To learn about pro bono, internship, and volunteer opportunities, visit nylag.org/pro-bono.

All stats are for fiscal year 2022 (July 1, 2021-June 20, 2022) unless otherwise noted

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  • With the fall of the Afghan government following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, NYLAG immediately responded to assist Afghan nationals through screening, mentorship, and supervision of humanitarian parole cases to bring the most at-risk Afghans to the U.S. We handled dozens of cases for Afghan nationals, including those at risk of retaliation or persecution by the Taliban.  

  • With an escalating humanitarian emergency following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NYLAG harnessed our years of experience serving immigrants from the former Soviet Union, including language capacity and deep community partnerships. We handled 479 cases for Ukrainian nationals in the U.S., including asylum claims, deportation defense, Temporary Protected Status, reunification with family impacted by the war, and more.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic saw a wave of xenophobic and racist anti-Asian violence and discrimination. To respond to these urgent threats against the Asian immigrant community, NYLAG founded the Asian Immigrant Justice Project, with a grant from the New York City Community Trust, to provide legal education and representation to this historically underserved community.  

  • We represented over 700 clients in removal proceedings and appeals, including people in detention and post-removal orders. 


The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on immigrant workers in low-wage industries, workers with disabilities, and unemployed New Yorkers. When employers left people in crisis without sick leave, family leave, reasonable accommodations, and unemployment insurance benefits, we were there to secure the rights they were unjustly denied. We also helped clients win favorable settlements in cases of wage theft, illegal retaliation, and discrimination based on race, national origin, disability, and more.

  • Major Win: In Sierra v. SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, NYLAG favorably settled a federal Title VII lawsuit for $140,000 on behalf of a former hospital worker who was subjected to a hostile work environment due to her sexual orientation and gender expression.


  • NYLAG is one of the few agencies providing civil legal assistance to taxi medallion owners who have been saddled with devastating debt due to medallion loans. We assist drivers in working with lenders to resolve or reduce this grueling debt, closing 600 cases and saving our clients $28 million last year.

  • Many students who took out loans to finance their education in pursuit of a brighter future have become burdened with exorbitant debts. For people experiencing poverty, student loan debt can crush economic stability and progress for entire families. NYLAG assists student loan borrowers with legal pathways to discharge their federal student loans, advises borrowers on loan relief programs, and advocates with partners across the country for fair student loan policies. Last year, we secured over $200,000 in savings for student loan borrowers.

  • Military veterans who have received a less-than-honorable discharge are more likely to have experienced post-traumatic stress and military sexual trauma, but their discharge status denies them benefits for healthcare, education, and disability. Last year, NYLAG launched a project to assist veterans in the complex process of upgrading their discharge status, helping dozens of vets receive $509,000 in life-changing benefits they deserve. Overall, we supported 1,088 veterans with their legal needs.


  • New York City public housing, overseen by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), is notorious for systemic neglect, delayed repairs, and bureaucratic failings. Many NYCHA tenants are forced to live with dangerous conditions—such as mold, lead paint, and vermin—that put their health and safety at risk. To protect their rights, we founded an innovative program—unique to NYLAG—dedicated solely to responding to issues of neglect and rights violations in NYCHA housing.
  • Tenants Were Panicked, and We Stepped In. 
    When NYLAG learned that NYCHA tenants received notices that their Section 8 rental assistance would end, even after they submitted renewal paperwork, our team took swift action for their rights. We sent a demand letter urging NYCHA to immediately stop the terminations, and soon learned of a massive failure in their case management system. The terminations stopped and tenants were able to breathe a sigh of relief.
  • With the implementation of New York City’s Right to Counsel law, NYLAG’s Tenants Rights Unit has quadrupled to 100 people over the last five years. Our staff have a dramatic impact on the lives of clients who are facing eviction, preventing displacement over 80% of the time.


  • Many older adults and people with disabilities contracted COVID-19 from hospitals and rehab facilities, but when they tried to access Medicaid home care services needed to return home, insurance plans denied them. NYLAG represented or advised older adults and people with disabilities in over 1,497 legal battles to win the home care they needed.

  • Our Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program is a statewide leader in fighting harmful changes in New York State’s Medicaid home care program, and in training law and social work professionals on strategies to help clients navigate the ever-changing obstacles to accessing services in the complex Medicaid and Medicare systems. EFLRP’s website, nyhealthaccess.org, had nearly 1.2 million views and downloads.

  • NYLAG advocates compassionately for survivors of the Holocaust—now in their eighties and nineties—who are eligible for specific types of compensation. We also guide survivors through medical and legal systems to gain access to medical and long-term care to maintain their health, independence, and dignity. Last year, NYLAG served 234 Holocaust survivors, with compensation totaling $573,000.


  • For many New Yorkers, barriers to legal services are severe, especially for people in under-resourced communities, people who are geographically isolated, people with disabilities, and survivors of intimate partner violence. Navigating the legal system alone can feel impossible without assistance, and these difficulties worsened when courts closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. To expand legal services to communities that may otherwise not have access, NYLAG created the Community Access Programs Unit (CAPU) to reach clients directly in their neighborhoods. CAPU includes NYLAG’s innovative access to justice programs, including the Mobile Legal Help Center van and community-based partnerships.

  • Through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, NYLAG’s COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline served 3,890* people in New York City and beyond: an essential resource for callers on the most current COVID-related policies and information to help them stay in in their homes and obtain benefits to regain economic stability.
    *Number accounts for people served since the hotline opened in 2020 until it closed in 2022

  • When New York’s courts went almost entirely virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our clients experienced significant hurdles in accessing the civil legal justice system, including technology barriers and inconsistent procedures. In response, NYLAG published an issue brief, Access to Justice in Virtual Court Proceedings: Lessons From COVID-19 and Recommendations for New York Courts, outlining these challenges and listing clear recommendations for courts to ensure virtual proceedings are accessible to all, during the pandemic and beyond. 


  • Passage of Landmark LGBTQ+ Rights Legislation  
    Thanks to the efforts of NYLAG and many fellow advocates, the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) was passed in the New York State Senate, making it easier for New Yorkers of all gender identities and expressions to change their names and sex designations on government-issued identification documents so that they reflect their true gender identities. 

  • $1 Million Secured for Wronged Student Loan Borrowers   
    NYLAG secured final approval of a settlement of a nationwide class action lawsuit involving 80,000 individuals who were defrauded by companies offering scam federal student loan debt relief services. NYLAG obtained $1 million for the class and the permanent cessation of collection on all outstanding loans, valued at an additional $1.1 million. 

  • Huge Expansion of Medicaid Coverage for New Yorkers  
    With a statewide coalition, NYLAG won a huge victory in Medicaid eligibility expansion for older New Yorkers and those with disabilities who were left out of the Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act. With this win, in 2023 more New Yorkers will be eligible for crucial Medicaid coverage: income and resource limits will increase, and the Medicare Savings Program will subsidize Medicare premiums for a larger number of New Yorkers experiencing poverty.    

  • Successful Advocacy for Benefits to Help Young Immigrants Build Futures in the U.S.   
    NYLAG built on an earlier successful litigation on behalf of asylum seekers to advocate for an expansion in public benefits for unmarried immigrants under 21 who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by one or both of their parents, and are experiencing poverty. The expansion will allow these young people to receive much-needed support as they build lives and pursue their dreams in the United States. 

  • Historic Settlement Levels the Playing Field for Immigration Advocates  
    NYLAG and its co-counsel, Public Citizen, entered an historic settlement under which the Board of Immigration Appeals will for the first time make the vast majority of its decisions available to the public online, helping to level the playing field for immigrants who previously couldn’t access crucial legal authority to defend their cases and seek relief. 


NYLAG held our first annual Pro Bono Awards to honor the generous contributions of our law firm partners, pro bono attorneys, and volunteers. Awards were given to Alexander Bowerman of Hogan Lovells, Reyhan Watson of Kramer Levin, Linklaters LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, and long-term volunteer Pam Wexler.