Neighborhood Legal Services Association, founded in 1966, continues to be guided by the following mission statement:
The mission of Neighborhood Legal Services Association is to meet the civil legal needs of the poor and vulnerable in our community through effective legal representation and education.
NLSA offers free civil legal services for individuals and families who would otherwise be denied access to justice — one of the very basic rights that so many of us take for granted. NLSA exists to protect the poor and vulnerable individuals in our community through effective civil legal representation and provides assistance to those clients seeking a fair resolution to significant problems. NLSA’s clients include hard-working low-wage earners, victims of domestic violence, the disabled, abused seniors, and the homeless, as well as countless others –people without the resources to afford legal assistance even when their need is desperate. Assistance may include direct legal representation, legal advice and counsel, referrals, community legal education, self-help clinics, or special projects.
Not everyone can afford a lawyer, especially those living in poverty who struggle to make ends meet. It is for these families and individuals that NLSA works to ensure equal access to justice. These are people who do not have the means to hire counsel to work out the civil legal problems that come their way.
From helping a single mom collect the child support she deserves, to helping an elderly person prevent the loss of their home from a predatory loan, NLSA works closely with communities and individuals to help people protect themselves. The following examples illustrate the scope of our work:
• Domestic and Family violence: Protection Assistance and safety for victims
• Children: Seeking a safe and nurturing environment;
• Seniors: Preserving dignity & human necessities – income, health care, shelter;
• People with disabilities: Promoting fairness and independence for all;
• People with housing problems: Preserving shelter for families;
• People facing mortgage foreclosures: Helping families preserve their homes; and
• Enabling people to solve problems on their own.
In today’s society, justice is not always easily achieved, it must be pursued. Not only does the local community benefit, but the region as a whole benefits from NLSA’s services, as these services help reduce burdens on taxpayers as well as the costs of homelessness and domestic violence within the region.