Who We Are

Neighborhood Legal Services Association (NLSA) was established in 1966 as a non-profit, public interest law firm to provide civil legal assistance to poor and vulnerable residents of Allegheny (and later) Beaver, Butler and Lawrence Counties.

Staffed by highly qualified lawyers, deeply committed to the practice of poverty law, NLSA attorneys sacrifice higher salaries available to private practitioners and lawyers employed in the public sector in order to provide civil legal assistance to people who cannot afford a lawyer.

All of the cases that NLSA handles have reached a crisis stage that threatens the fundamental safety and security of low-income individuals living in the region. These civil legal issues involve the basic essentials of life such as: the ability to maintain housing; obtaining or maintaining essential benefits to the disabled and children; employment practices; child custody and visitation issues; and protection from abuse
and neglect.

Although NLSA typically works case by case, its positive impact is cumulative. Generally, civil legal aid one person improves the lives of entire families. When families live in adequate housing, with essential benefits intact, predatory lenders at bay, and fear of domestic violence reduced or eliminated, communities are stabilized — benefiting to our entire region.

NLSA is the major provider of free civil legal aid to low-income, elderly, and abused individuals in our four-county service area.

Since 1966, NLSA has provided civil legal services to over 1.1 million low-income clients and victims of domestic violence who would otherwise have been denied access to the justice system.

Each year over 17,000—women, children and the elderly—ask for our help with dire legal problems such as protection from abuse, wrongful eviction, mortgage foreclosure, wage claims, child custody disputes, and denial of essential benefits.