Nassau Suffolk Law Services recognizes the power of volunteers to tackle society's greatest challenges, to build stronger communities, and be a force that transforms the world. National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. Today we all have so many volunteer opportunities at the office or the local food bank; whether with a voice or a wallet – doing good comes in many forms, and we recognize and celebrate them all. However, as attorneys, we all have a much sought-after skill (and the requisite bar admission) that can literally transform a life for the better.
Last year, the Nassau Volunteer Lawyers Project and Suffolk Pro Bono Project partnered with dozens of attorneys who gave their time, talent, and patience to help a client with a legal problem. That assistance had a ripple effect on the client's entire life and oftentimes on the lives of many members of their families.  And we believe the ripple keeps going, hence our motto, "Save the family, save the world." We really cannot thank you all enough. Despite the pandemic, philanthropic attorneys spent nearly 2000 hours in 2020 to help their neighbors. It is truly awe-inspiring. Even if we only valued these services at $300 per hour, that adds up to approximately $600,000 in legal fees "donated"  last year alone. We also have to mention the non-attorney volunteers who give their time and effort to assist the Pro Bono Project to screen the hundreds of requests for legal assistance that we receive each week. We have nothing but gratitude, and so do our multitudes of clients.
If you have time and interest, we likely have a way for you to help. If you want to help in any other area of law or if you would like to help with call screening (non-attorneys welcome). In Suffolk County, please contact Carolyn McQuade, Esq. at [email protected] or (631) 232-2400 ext. 3325. In Nassau County, please contact Susan Biller, Esq. at [email protected] or (516) 292-8100 Ext. 3136 or Brenda Rumaldo at [email protected] or (516) 292- 8299.
We are also relaunching the Community Legal Help Project in Suffolk County. This program provides brief consultations in public libraries and is perfect for attorneys who want to volunteer without appearing in court or being responsible for ongoing client representation. Please contact Vivian Storm, Esq. at [email protected] or 631-232-2400 ext. 3309 for more information. We are also seeking a staff attorney to coordinate the program. Please visit our website for the full job posting!

At the end of March, over 30% of New York renters with children reported being behind on their rent. Despite the CDC Moratorium and the NY COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, eviction proceedings are taking place now. Our Covid-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Project allows volunteer attorneys to help Suffolk County tenants without the ongoing obligations of full representation.  
Volunteer attorneys will provide advice and counsel over the phone or through virtual counseling sessions. Those interested may also represent tenants in court on a limited scope representation basis with no commitment to ongoing representation. Michele Fischetti, an NSLS staff attorney with years of experience representing tenants, will coordinate the program and provide training and support to volunteers.   
Nassau Suffolk Law Services' Civil Units in both counties and the Volunteer Attorney of the Day program in Nassau County also continue to serve low-income clients, with the goal of being available at all Landlord-Tenant court days island-wide.     
Attorneys interested in volunteering in Suffolk County to help people struggling to recover from the pandemic's economic consequences may contact Michele Fischetti, Esq. at [email protected]. Attorneys interested in the Volunteer Attorney of the Day program in Nassau County may contact Roberta Scoll, Esq. at [email protected]
Thank you, New York Bar Foundation, for your generous grant supporting our COVID-19 Tenant Legal Assistance Project!
Positions Available:

We anticipate additional hiring later in the spring. Check the employment section of our website for any new postings!

Presented by Dan Okrent, Esq., Staff Attorney in Senior Citizen Law Project
Being prepared for a health crisis is critical at every stage of life, but many people aren't sure how to get started. Learn about health care proxies, advance directives, powers of attorney, and basic Medicaid and estate planning considerations. 

Thursday, April 22, 2:00 p.m.

Presented by Agnes Bonavoglia, Esq., Staff Attorney in NSLS ICAN Unit
ICAN, or Independent Consumer Advocacy Network, supports people in Medicaid long-term and managed care plans who need services in the community, like home attendants or adult daycare. This presentation for Medicaid recipients, families, and caregivers will describe Nassau Suffolk Law Services' ICAN Unit. Learn about the assistance, advocacy, and representation we provide for Long Island residents receiving long-term care in the community. The presentation will also discuss the benefits and services Medicaid long-term care programs provide. It will explain how to access those services and what rights a participant has. Finally, learn how to address quality issues or denials of services. Bring your questions about the 2020 Medicaid amendments! Can't wait to learn more about managed long-term care? A recording of our last ICAN presentation is available here.

Thursday, April 22, 6:00 p.m.

Presented by NSLS Veterans Rights Project
Benefits and services from the Veterans Administration are critical for many who served in our armed forces. Join us to learn about how to overcome common obstacles to accessing Veterans Administration services, including upgrading discharge status. The presentation will also cover legal issues affecting Long Island Veterans as a result of the pandemic. 

Thursday, June 24, 2:00 pm

Presented by NSLS Foreclosure Prevention Project
Many homeowners are struggling to pay their housing expenses because of the pandemic. Come learn about homeowners' rights and options from Nassau Suffolk Law Services' Foreclosure Unit. Topics discussed will include options for working with your lender and the foreclosure process, including:
  • Forbearance; 
  • Repayment plans;
  • Loan modifications;
  • The foreclosure process; and
  • Homeowner assistance programs.

Wednesday, July 21, 6:00 pm

THANK YOU to Representatives Englebright, Ramos, Jean-Pierre, Lavine and Solages, and Senators Gaughran, Thomas, and Kaminsky for supporting three years of stable funding for the New York State Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP). HOPP funding support this presentation and is critical in preventing foreclosures and preserving homeownership for the thousands of New Yorkers who have fallen behind because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a year of rampant loss, this is a giant step in New York’s long road to recovery. 
Is your organization interested in learning more about how COVID-19 has impacted the legal issues low-income and marginalized people confront?

Contact the Legal Support Center for Advocates to request training geared toward the interests of your organization. The Legal Support Center for Advocates is also available to meet virtually with your staff to discuss the services that Law Services provides and how to make appropriate referrals for legal assistance. Contact us at (631) 232-2400, ext. 3324 (Cathy Lucidi) or ext. 3309 (Vivian Storm).
The information contained in this material is not legal advice. Legal advice depends upon the specific facts of each situation. These materials cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel.