Getting Legal Assistance

Note: If your issue does not originate in the state of New York, please consult the ACLU's affiliate directory.

Because the NYCLU is a private and non-profit organization with limited resources, we can only accept a small percentage of the very large number of matters brought to our attention.

Please note that our provision of information regarding legal intake does not mean that we will be able to assist you in your particular situation or represent you.

To find out how to request legal assistance from the NYCLU, please click on the map below on the area where your issue originates.

Southern Tier EastSuffolk County ChapterNassau County ChapterCapital Region ChapterLower Hudson Valley ChapterNew York City / Other RegionsNew York City / Other RegionsNew York City / Other RegionsCentral New York ChapterGenesee Valley ChapterWestern Regional OfficeWestern Regional OfficeSuffolk County ChapterSouthern Tier EastGenesee Valley ChapterNew York City / Other RegionsNassau County ChapterLower Hudson Valley ChapterCentral New York ChapterCapital Region Chapter

Issues that the NYCLU Addresses – How Do We Choose Cases?

The NYCLU is a public-interest law firm that principally addresses issues involving challenges to a government law, policy or practice affecting the constitutional rights – that is, the civil liberties and civil rights – of a significant number of people arising only in New York State. Almost all of our cases involve constitutional issues and because the United States Constitution and New York Constitution protect only against unlawful government action, we rarely take on disputes involving private companies.

Generally, the NYCLU only takes on issues that can affect a large number of people directly or involving a small number of people or an individual that could set a precedent that would impact a significant number or people. We are especially interested in issues that may break new ground in interpreting constitutional rights.

For examples of the types of issues the NYCLU addresses, you can click here to see a list of cases.

Issues that the NYCLU Generally Does NOT Accept

We do not generally take issues that involve:

  • individual criminal defense;
  • complaints about an individual’s attorney in a criminal case;
  • claims of innocence by prisoners;
  • individual employment disputes;
  • disputes involving private companies;
  • landlord-tenant disputes;
  • obtaining green cards/visas for immigrants;
  • and only monetary damages.