NYLAG And Legal Hand Launch New East Harlem Call-In Center

February 19, 2024

On Monday, Legal Hand opened its new call-in center operated by the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) serving the East Harlem community.

Like all Legal Hand programs, the East Harlem call-in center will train community volunteers to provide free legal information and assistance with the goal of resolving community members’ problems before they become court cases. 

With operational supervision from NYLAG, the Legal Hand partnership empowers community members to work with their neighbors in the spirit of collective care and advocacy, and brings access to justice directly to those seeking it around issues including employment, housing, immigration, domestic violence, and public benefits access. NYLAG will also station its Mobile Legal Help Center van at the new site as they begin operations this month. 

“We’re thrilled to continue our work with Legal Hand, now serving the community in East Harlem,” said Lisa Rivera, NYLAG President and CEO. “Our investment in the Legal Hand model is critical to our mission in fighting for economic, racial, and social justice; it all starts with directly empowering communities and facilitating a proactive legal resource hub they can trust, because it’s neighbors helping neighbors. We’re so grateful for the opportunity to work on this newest site and grow our partnership.” 

“Legal Hand Inc. is happy to partner with NYLAG, Fordham Law School and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to open our fourth Call-In Center,” said Judge Fern Fisher (Ret), Legal Hand Executive Director. “East Harlem will be greatly benefited by the help offered by NYLAG, which is known for its excellent legal services and the students Fordham has recruited. We are grateful to the City of New York for agreeing to house the Center and for all its assistance in launching this effort. We are confident that this partnership will improve the lives of many individuals.” 

The East Harlem Legal Hand call-in center, operated by NYLAG, is a partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH), and Fordham University School of Law. 


Founded in 1990, New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is a leading civil legal services organization combatting economic, racial, and social injustice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. Our services include comprehensive, free civil legal services, financial empowerment, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community partnerships. NYLAG exists because wealth should not determine who achieves justice. We aim to disrupt systemic racism by serving individuals and families whose legal and financial crises are often rooted in racial inequality. NYLAG goes to where the need is, providing services in more than 150 community sites (e.g., courts, hospitals, libraries) and on our Mobile Legal Help Center. NYLAG’s staff of 350 impacted the lives of 129,000 people last year. 

Legal Hand 

Legal Hand provides free legal information and assistance to Visitors to help them resolve problems before they become court cases and empowers Visitors and Community members to help themselves. We do proactive and preventive work in the community. Jonathan Lippman, Former New York State Chief Judge said, “Our goal with the Legal Hand Centers is to break down barriers between the community and the justice system…This will lead to more just outcomes, more crises averted, less litigation, and money savings for our state and local governments.”

Photo credit: SPEAKER: Padmore John, Assistant Commissioner of the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness.mov (apologies for clarity from the client).

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