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To inquire about getting NYCLU assistance, please complete the Request For Legal Assistance Form (PDF) and send it to the NYCLU either by mail, fax, or email. It is important that you do not send us documentation or legal papers because we cannot guarantee their return. If we need more information, we will contact you. Please be sure to include a mailing address. 

If your issue did not originate in New York City, please consult the map to locate the area where your issue originates and the corresponding NYCLU Chapters.

If your issue originates in New York City or the Northern Region that is shaded in light blue on the above map, please contact the Legal Intake Department at the New York City office at:
Phone:  212-607-3300
Fax:  +1 212-607-3329
Email: legalintake@nyclu.org
Post:  New York Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Attention: Legal Intake Department

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 our provision of information regarding how to make requests for legal assistance does not mean that we will be able to assist you in your particular situation or represent you.  


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 of 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.

Given that the NYCLU can accept only a small percentage of the large number of matters that are brought to our attention, you may want to review our referrals list to view agencies that may be able to assist you.