Currently Available Pro Bono Opportunities

Listed below are pro bono opportunities currently available for referral. All pro bono referrals are made on behalf of Legal Aid’s clients, whose cases have been screened by our attorneys for legal merit and financial eligibility. In the overwhelming majority of cases, Legal Aid continues as Attorney of Record, and law firms and their attorneys serve as Of Counsel. A Legal Aid attorney remains on the case as a mentor until final disposition.

NOTE: These opportunities are only available to attorneys affiliated with firms that have an established pro bono relationship with The Legal Aid Society.

Please browse the current opportunities below, listed by category, and contact Andrew Childers, Pro Bono Administrator Pro Bono Practice, at achilders@legal-aid.org or (212) 577-3919 if you are interested in learning more about one of these matters.  

tRANSACTIONAL aTTORNEYS nEEDED

Bronx Organization Empowering Youth Through the Arts Seeks Assistance with a Commercial Lease

The Legal Aid Society represents a 501c3 organization located in the South Bronx that uses art to empower youth. Their mission is to engage and educate youth, ages 15-19, by exploring their artistic gifts through art programs. They offer a 10 week certificate program that teaches youth graphic design, screen printing, and digital/print production techniques. The goal is to teach young adults how to turn their artistic talents into a career and to encourage young adults to attend college. In the program young adults have an opportunity to develop several art pieces for their portfolio either for employment or college. The organization also offers workshops that provide an overview of the art of graphic design and educational, career, and employment opportunities using art.

The organization’s lease agreement expired and it is seeking to relocate to a storefront in the Morrisania/Melrose section of the South Bronx. They have found a suitable space and negotiated the major terms with the landlord. Our client seeks pro bono assistance with review and potential negotiation of the commercial lease. The landlord has already prepared the lease, so pro bono assistance is needed immediately.

Intellectual Property Attorney Needed To Advise Disabled Author Re Self-Publishing Author Agreement

A former Legal Aid Health Law Unit client has written a book that she is looking to have published and sought Legal Aid’s advice about maintaining her Medicaid benefits. In the process of discussing how Legal Aid could help protect her benefits by redirecting any income she might receive from the book into her Special Needs Trust, it became clear that she needs legal advice on the publication process.

This client, a woman in her fifties, has written a biography about her childhood days in a small town in Italy to the present time  She immigrated to the United States with her family when she was ten years old, settling in the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx, where her mother and father still live. She worked in theater for many years but had to leave the workforce as a result of progressive Muscular Dystrophy. She is now paraplegic and  wheelchair-bound.  Her only income is Social Security Disability.

Our client has been working on the book for many years with the director of a non-profit foundation that promotes projects in the arts, who volunteered to help her. She has no formal agreement with this non-profit and it has never been made clear whether she would be receiving proceeds or whether proceeds would redirected back to the foundation. Although it is unknown whether the book will be successful, our client is not in a position to give up all rights to potential income. Together, this client and the foundation are planning to contract with a self-publishing organization in Maine. The publishing organization prepared a Self-Publishing Author Agreement  that they are asking the foundation and our client to sign.

Upon learning that our client is seeking legal advice on how best to proceed,  the foundation’s director told our client that she wants to register the copyright under the foundation’s name alone.  Legal Aid has advised our client to tell the foundation  that she does not consent to this arrangement. The foundation has recently published an excerpt from the book on their website and our client is concerned that the foundation will move forward with a publishing agreement on their own in the very near future.

Pro bono attorney with intellectual property experience is needed to advise this client re the proposed Self-Publishing Author Agreement.

Immigrant Couple Seeks Pro Bono Assistance Drafting Contract

The Legal Aid Society represents a husband and wife who are low-income immigrants who started a business over a year and a half ago. The business provides home repair and painting services, mostly in apartments. They need assistance with drafting a contract that they can use for the services that the business provides. We are seeking pro bono assistance to draft this document.

Nonprofit Organization Supporting LGBTQ Youth Seeks Assistance with Corporate Governance

The Legal Aid Society represents a nonprofit organization that was created in September 2015 whose mission is to provide support programs and a safe haven for vulnerable LGBTQ people, with a focus on young adults. The organization is developing residential and educational programs to emphasize the wellness, self-realization, and social recovery of dispossessed and traumatized LGBTQ individuals through farming, art therapy, and holistic programs. Additionally, the founder of the organization owns property upstate and wants to transfer ownership of that property to the nonprofit. A consultant is currently acting as the Executive Director, creating a new board, developing best practices, and creating a strategic plan.

The organization is seeking pro bono assistance with the following:

1.     Corporate governance: update by-laws, conflict of interest policy and other policies and procedures that would establish good governance practices;

2.     Advise the organization about how best to receive ownership of the founder’s property, including the possibility of creating a holding company for the purpose of using the land to carry out the organization’s mission; and

3.     Advise on general employment issues.

Civil Court Litigation

 

Pro Bono Assistance Needed on Behalf of Older Immigrant Who Suffered from Shocking Lack of Medical Care While in Immigration Detention in New Jersey

The Legal Aid Society represents a 65-year-old man who fled Communist Poland in 1981 and has lived in the same community in Brooklyn for thirty-five years. In 1985, our client married and had a daughter with whom he had lost contact. Through investigation, the Society was able to locate his daughter, whom he had not seen since she was an infant—she is now 32 years old. At some point after the untimely death of a dear friend, our client began drinking uncontrollably and he amassed 6 DUI-related arrests, including felony DUI/DWI. Following an arrest in 2015, our client was ordered into a year-long rehabilitation program where he was tested on a daily basis. He successfully completed the program and has been sober since then. In February 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested our client at his home and he was detained at the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey. Our client has Type II diabetes and is insulindependent. When he first entered Bergen County Jail, he was given the wrong insulin and passed out in his living quarters. Among other medical complications, he also has a chronic wound under his left heel. When the Society’s immigration attorney first met her client in March 2017, the wound was open and bleeding, and it remained that way on each subsequent occasion the attorney met with him. To clean the wound, our client was given a pumice stone that only aggravated it further. By June 2017, the foot was extremely swollen and his toes were purple; he had developed a bone infection as a result of the poor wound care and had to spend five days in emergency care. The Legal Aid Society made a request for parole based on medical need and that request was denied following a review by ICE, which concluded that this man’s medical needs were being met. Our client is in constant pain and now walks with the aid of a cane since his foot and toes are still swollen. On August 15, 2017, he was successful at his bond hearing and was released after a generous benefactor paid his entire $2,000 bond. Our client will reside in a permanent rehabilitation home where he will receive appropriate medical and supportive care and a proper diet. On September 26, 2017, one of his toes was amputated and he remains in danger of losing others. There has been some press on this case; our client has been featured in a story by NY1 as well as a Polish newspaper. Pro bono assistance is needed to investigate and file litigation seeking appropriate relief, including federal and state law claims against ICE, Bergen County, the treating doctors at the detention facility and possibly the private medical contractor with Bergen County. A Legal Aid immigration attorney and a Prisoners Rights Project supervising attorney will be available for a consulting and collaborative relationship with the pro bono attorney, who needs to be barred in New Jersey and be familiar with that state’s law because any litigation will be filed there and could include state law claims.

Man Seeks Assistance Recovering His Bike from Storage Facility

The Legal Aid Society represents a man in a criminal case who, during the course of his arrest, had his motorized bicycle taken from him by law enforcement. He was recently sent a Notice of Lien and Sale indicating that he had the option to pay several thousand dollars to get his bike back. The Legal Aid attorney found that the police never vouchered the bike into evidence, but rather, sent it to a private garage, which we have learned has a contract with NYPD as part of the “Rotation Tow program.” A notice of the impending lien should have been served on our client within five days of towing and storage, but months passed before it was sent him. 

Our client is not able to afford to pay several thousand dollars for the return of his bike. We believe, based on case law, that absent a timely statutory notice, the owner is only liable for towing and not storage. This would bring the cost of retrieving his bike down to approximately two hundred dollars.

We are seeking pro bono assistance to help this client get his bike back. 

Housing Assistance

Couple Facing Eviction Seeks Pro Bono Help with Appeal

The Legal Aid Society represents a couple, ages 45 and 49, both of whom have disabilities, being threatened with eviction. In 2014, the couple began caring for the woman’s grandmother, who lived in a rent controlled apartment in midtown Manhattan, part-time. The grandmother’s dementia and Alzheimer’s progressed to the point of needing constant care by 2015. In May 2015, the couple made a decision to move in with the grandmother and gave up their apartment in Brooklyn. They moved most of their belongings at this time, and never slept in their Brooklyn apartment again. However, the Manhattan landlord now contends that their residence in the grandmother’s apartment began in December 2015 based on a form for the Division of Housing & Community Renewal (DHCR) that our client completed in December 2015. Since then, our client has testified that she made a mistake on the form, and that they moved into the apartment full time in May 2015.

In July 2016, the grandmother, who was the tenant of record, died. We believe our client has the right to succeed her grandmother’s tenancy under 9 NYCRR 2204.6 because she is an immediate family member of the tenant and co-resided with the tenant for at least one year before her death. However, the trial court found in favor of the landlord based on the DHCR document stating that their residency began in December 2015.

The client has filed a motion for a stay pending appeal, and The Legal Aid attorney has filed a notice of appeal. The Legal Aid Society is seeking pro bono assistance representing our client in the appeal of the trial court’s decision.

Pro Bono Counsel Needed to Defend Low-Income Tenant in Breach of Contract Action Brought By Unscrupulous Landlord in Supreme Court, Kings County

The Legal Aid Society represents a woman in her late forties who is a low-income tenant living in a rent-stabilized apartment in Brooklyn with a federal Section 8 HUD subsidy administered by NYCHA.  The landlord of the building entered into a Housing Assistance Payments (“HAP”) contract with NYCHA and must abide by the terms of the HAP contract, Rent Stabilization Code, and second partial consent decree in Williams v. New York City Hous. Auth. No. 81 Civ 1801 [US Dist Ct, SD NY 1995] (governing eviction proceedings commenced against NYCHA Section 8 tenants), in seeking allegedly unpaid rent from a tenant and/or NYCHA.  Under the HAP contract, the landlord also must maintain the apartment in a manner that meets federal housing quality (“HQS) standards.  The landlord is alleging that as a result of our client’s failure to provide access to her apartment, she “allowed conditions to develop” that caused the apartment to fail NYCHA’s HQS inspection in or about August 2015 and November 2015.  As a result, NYCHA suspended payments to the landlord in or about September 2015.  By May 2016 It is undisputed that repairs had been made and after re-inspection, NYCHA reinstated payments to the landlord with a retroactive payment to July 2016. 

The landlord first brought a holdover summary judgement proceeding against our client in housing court, seeking our client’s eviction from the apartment.  The Legal Aid Society represented our client in this proceeding, which was ultimately discontinued without prejudice to either party’s rights or defenses because it was undisputed that the repairs had been made at the time the proceeding was commenced.

Based on the same underlying facts, the landlord then filed a breach of contract action in Supreme Court, Kings County, seeking a substantial money judgment from NYCHA and our client for the market-rate share of the rent that was not paid during the HQS suspension, even though under the terms of the HAP contract, the Rent Stabilization Code and the Williams consent decree, a landlord may not collect the unpaid Section 8 share of a tenant’s rent, absent proof of a new agreement obligating the tenant to pay more than her share of the rent.  This is true even when, as here, the landlord claims that the tenant allegedly caused her subsidy to be suspended or terminated.  Moreover, for rent-stabilized tenants like this client, lease renewals are subject to the same material terms and conditions of the previous lease(s) that incorporated the HAP contract. 

NYCHA has filed a motion to dismiss the proceeding, arguing that it should have been brought as an Article 78 rather than as a dispute in contract, and in addition the landlord is time-barred from commencing the action.  Case law supports NYCHA’s position that the proceeding should have been brought as an Article 78, and the Court could sua sponte convert the action to an Article 78.  While not our client’s defense, she would likely join in NYCHA’s motion, or at least not oppose it. 

Finally, it is also possible that our client could seek to counterclaim against the landlord for harassment under Section 27-2005 of the New York City Administrative Code, for among other things, commencing two frivolous suits against her and misrepresenting facts that could have led to her eviction in the previous holdover summary judgment proceeding.

The landlord filed the complaint in June 2017 and our client filed a pro se Answer timely.  In response to a motion filed by NYCHA to dismiss the lawsuit in January, 2018, the Court adjourned the matter to Wednesday, March 14 for our client to retain counsel and/or submit papers in response to the Complaint and/or motion to dismiss.  The Legal Aid Society appeared in court on behalf of the client  on March 14 and hopes to begin working with pro bono counsel soon.

Pro Bono counsel is needed to assist this client in defending this lawsuit as well as obtaining a judgment that the Plaintiff violated multiple provisions of HUD Guidelines promulgated by the federal government, the Rent Stabilization Code and the Williams consent decree, enjoining the landlord from issuing rent demands or commencing nonpayment proceedings against our client for the NYCHA Section 8 share of the rent and obtaining statutory damages, costs and reasonable attorney fees pursuant to Section 27-2005 of the New York City Administrative Code.  Initial steps include moving to amend Answer, potentially responding to NYCHA’s motion to dismiss and moving for summary judgment on our client’s substantive defenses to the proceeding.  We are hopeful that the case be resolved on a motion for summary judgment because, even pre-discovery, most material facts are undisputed. 

 

New York State Pardon Initiative For Immigrant Clients Facing Removal

Father of Two Seeks Assistance Applying for a Pardon

The Legal Aid Society represents a 36 year old man who was born in the Dominican Republic. He came to the United States with his older brother in 1997 at the age of 15 to join his mother, who came to the country in 1996; his father had died when he was eight years old. His mother was employed and our client went to school and looked after his younger sister when he was younger.

Our client and his friends, who were all immigrants from the Dominican Republic, would hang out at a beauty salon after school where his friend’s mother worked, watching TV and playing video games. It was a safe space for them in a neighborhood where people were arrested often, mostly for drugs. One day in October 1998 while they were at the salon, the police were outside, and our client went out to see what was happening, and proceeded to go back inside. The next time he went outside, the police grabbed him and handcuffed him. At his arraignment, he learned that he was accused of armed robbery in the building next to the one he lived in, and bail was set at $10,000. After six months in jail, our client’s attorney convinced him to take a plea and he was then released on his own recognizance. Our client subsequently received two summonses for possession of marijuana even though he had none.  At sentencing for both the robbery and the two marijuana cases, the court imposed a sentence of five years on our client.

While incarcerated, our client was well liked, did well in the vocational program, and had no fights. He was conditionally paroled in September 2004 and lived in the home of the woman who worked at the hair salon where he had been arrested because his mother had moved to Boston. This was his approved parole residence, but he stayed there only a short time because the woman did not like the parole officer visiting. He then went to live with his mother in Boston. While in Boston, a police officer checked his ID and learned that he had absconded from parole in New York. Our client’s parole was revoked and he did a 97 day program. Upon his release in 2006, he found employment and rented a room. Since then, he has had several jobs, mostly at restaurants. He left each job voluntarily for a better job.

Our client currently lives in Harlem with his wife, who he met in 2010, and their two young children. He currently works as a driving instructor and is taking night classes at Columbia to get his GED.  Our client has a green card, but his wife, who is not a citizen, does not. Years ago he tried to become a citizen, but after initially receiving approval, he was informed that he was turned down because of the criminal conviction. We are seeking pro bono assistance in applying for a pardon for this deserving client.

Lawful Permanent Resident and Victim of Abuse Facing Deportation Seeks Pardon

The Legal Aid Society represents a woman in her fifties with a severe history of trauma, depression and alcohol abuse who is facing deportation. Our client, originally from the Dominican Republic, entered the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident at the age of nine and has lived in the United States for over twenty years.  She came to the United States to join her mother, who was living in New York with her husband, who was not our client’s father, and their children. Soon after moving to New York, our client suffered abuse both from her mother and her step-father. She also was abused by her aunt’s husband, multiple partners, and her children throughout her life. At times, this abuse drove our client to attempt to take her own life.  Our client sought treatment for her mental health problems on multiple occasions and tried to improve her relationship with her children, despite their abuse, but it did not work. After an incident in 2005, she called the police on one of her children, who was arrested and sentenced to nine months in jail.

Our client was extremely depressed and began drinking heavily. She was first arrested in 1996, but then was not arrested again until November 2006. Over the course of five months from November 2006 until March 2007, our client was arrested three times. All three of these arrests were for incidents where our client was defending herself. A judge sent her to a correctional facility, where she received treatment and participated in additional therapeutic programs. In January 2009, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picked her up from the correctional facility and detained her in New Jersey. Since she was not a citizen, she was told that she would be sent back to the Dominican Republic.

In 2009, The Legal Aid Society began representing our client. The client worked with social workers to create a plan to ensure she would receive appropriate services upon her release. In January 2010, she was released and began an outpatient program with a social services organization. After her release she lived in various shelters. Unhappily, in 2011 she learned that one of her children had died and she became depressed and began drinking. In 2016, she again fell into a depression and attempted to take her own life.  However, she did not have any interaction with the criminal justice system until she and her former boyfriend had a disagreement that resulted in both parties being arrested in June 2017.  She was released on her own recognizance by the judge overseeing her Criminal Court case and was told to return to Criminal Court in July, which she did. After her case was heard on the July adjourn date, she was detained by ICE officers at Criminal Court and brought to the Hudson County jail, where she is still incarcerated.  The pending Criminal Court charges were dismissed in September 2017 and she is currently in removal proceedings.  Our client is now working with a Legal Aid social worker to secure appropriate services upon her release from detention.  She plans to attend a day treatment program with the comprehensive services she needs and will also be able to resume her attendance at an additional program where she will be able to receive the medication she requires to treat her mental health needs. 

Our client is facing removal to the Dominican Republic, but if a pardon is granted she would be eligible to apply for cancellation of removal, and/or if all of her convictions are pardoned she would not be removable as charged. Pro bono counsel is needed to file a pardon on behalf of this vulnerable client.  The primary conviction we are seeking a pardon with is assault in the second degree, one of the arrests from the period in 2006-2007 when our client was arrested multiple times

guardianship

70 Year Old Woman Seeks Assistance To Become Legal Guardian of Son with Down Syndrome

The Legal Aid Society represents a 70 year old woman who lives with her 49 year old son who has severe down’s syndrome. Her son is currently in a program during the day, but she does not like the program and would like to move her son to another one. In order to move him, she needs to become his guardian. We are seeking pro bono counsel to assist our client in  obtaining guardianship of the son.  Although The Legal Aid Society will not be co-counsel on the matter, a Legal Aid housing attorney will be available for consultation. Interested law firms will sign a letter of engagement directly with the client and serve as independent counsel.

Trusts & Estates

Trusts and Estates Pro Bono Counsel Needed to Assist Woman to Become Administrator of Her Deceased Mother’s Estate

Legal Aid represents a woman in her early sixties whose mother passed away intestate. At the time of her death, our client’s mother owned the entirety of shares of her Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) apartment in the Bronx. There is a clause in the original proprietary lease that allows for the passage of the shares to a “responsible family member,” however, the shares did not pass to anyone in our client’s family but instead, the co-op went into foreclosure and the property was sold and bought by the co-op board in a nonjudicial foreclosure sale with no notice to our client. Although our client is the voluntary administrator of her mother’s estate, this position does not give her the authority needed to act on her mother’s behalf in relation to the co-op.  Pro bono counsel is needed to assist our client to become the official administrator of her mother’s estate.   Although The Legal Aid Society will not be co-counsel on the matter, a Legal Aid housing attorney will be available for consultation. Interested law firms will sign a letter of engagement directly with the client and serve as independent counsel.

Translation Assistance

Legal Aid Seeks Assistance Interpreting for a 96 Year Old Native of Poland

The Legal Aid Society represents a 96 year old Polish native living in Brooklyn. Her daughter, her only child and sole caretaker, travels daily from her job in Long Island to stay with her mother overnight to ensure her safety. Approximately one year ago, our client began to wander at night, and increasingly needs more physical assistance. We are currently working with the client to increase her homecare hours so that her daughter can also attend to her own children and home life.

We are seeking pro bono assistance from someone, who does not need to be an attorney, who speaks Polish and would be willing to accompany our paralegal to our client’s home and interpret for her in order to ascertain her capacity to initiate a Power of Attorney.  A Power of Attorney would guarantee that our client’s daughter can continue to assist our client with her affairs if she were to decline further.

If our client is deemed to have capacity, there may need to be a subsequent visit to the client’s home in order for her to execute the Power of Attorney under the supervision of an attorney from The Legal Aid Society, and we would need interpreting assistance for that visit as well. If scheduling allows, we may be able to arrange for the Legal Aid attorney to attend the initial meeting, in case our client is willing and able to initiate a Power of Attorney on that occasion

Social Security Disability Cases

Our Disability Advocacy Project has a significant number of matters on behalf of clients seeking Social Security benefits.  These matters fall into two categories:

1. Hearings: The volunteer attorney, working with a senior Legal Aid Society disability attorney, will have the opportunity to conduct a client interview, gather factual information, collect and review medical evidence, draft a letter memorandum, prepare testimony, and represent the client before the administrative law judge at a hearing.

2. Decisions On The Record: The volunteer attorney, working with a senior Legal Aid Society disability attorney, will review the client’s documents, obtain additional necessary information, and complete a memo for submission to the Social Security Administration. We are not asking the pro bono attorney to appear at a hearing on behalf of the client. These matters are well suited for transactional attorneys.

 

Hearings

Pro Bono Assistance Needed for Woman Suffering from Lupus

The Legal Aid Society represents at 54 year old woman who lives with her two teenage children. She completed 3 years of college, and used to work as a nursing staff coordinator and receptionist over 25 years ago. She suffers from lupus, chronic bronchitis, depression, and insomnia, among other things. Her sitting, standing, and walking are severely limited because of her condition. The report from her doctor is comprehensive and compelling in documenting her situation. We are seeking pro bono assistance to represent her at a hearing on September 18th.

Decisions on the Record

Man Who Worked for 15 Years Seeks Assistance with SSI Benefits

The Legal Aid Society represents a man who last worked in 2007. He completed 12th grade, but never actually graduated from high school. He worked in a plant for 8 years in North Carolina as a machine operator, and before that did similar work in another plant. Prior to that he worked in construction. In total, he worked for at least 15 years, but since it was so many years ago, he only applied for SSI benefits. Our client suffers from cirrhosis of the liver from drinking. He stopped drinking in 1998, began to drink again in 2014 when his mother got sick, and stopped drinking again in 2015. Additionally, he has a herniated disc and uses a cane. His medication causes drowsiness and frequent urination, and he is limited in his ability to walk and stand. His doctor has stated that he would miss about 4 days of work per month. He currently is living on church contributions, and his friends and family assist with cooking, shopping, and cleaning.

The Legal Aid Society is seeking pro bono assistance to submit a request for a decision on the record on behalf of our client by May 2018. The pro bono attorney will review the client’s documents, obtain additional necessary information, and complete a memo for submission to the Social Security Administration. We are not asking the pro bono attorney to appear at a hearing on behalf of the client.

Pro Bono Counsel Sought To Obtain SSI Benefits for Client With Psychiatric Disabilities

The Legal Aid Society represents a man in his late forties who has a long history of incarceration and is currently living in a homeless shelter.  Although he has severe psychiatric impairments, he is compliant with treatment and needs SSI income so that he can secure housing. 

The Legal Aid Society is seeking pro bono assistance to submit a request for a decision on the record on behalf of our client by May 2018. The pro bono attorney will review the client’s documents, obtain additional necessary information, and complete a memo for submission to the Social Security Administration. We are not asking the pro bono attorney to appear at a hearing on behalf of the client.

Former Receptionist With Physical Disabilities Needs Pro Bono Assistance to Obtain SSI/D Benefits

The Legal Aid Society represents a woman in her early sixties who has a high school education and finished one semester of college. Her work history includes being a receptionist at two different companies and she worked at the second company for 14 years beginning in 2001. In 2013, she had to take a year off work following hip replacement surgery because doctors found a blood clot on the sciatic nerve so she had to undergo another surgery 5 days after the hip replacement.  She still has a dropped foot and walks with a brace. She went back to work after a year but was laid off in July 2015.  She also had a fractured foot and stress fracture for a certain amount of time. Additionally, there is a neurologist’s report stating that there is evidence of a severe axonal neuropathy affecting the left tibial and left peroneal motor and sensory nerves as well as chronic left L5-S1 lumbosacral radiculopathy. She has very limited walking and sitting ability and does not take subways because of the stairs. This client lives alone and has someone take her to the grocery store and do her laundry. She also sees a therapist every two weeks.  She received unemployment benefits until January 2017 but needs the SSI and SSD income in order to live. 

The Legal Aid Society is seeking pro bono assistance to submit a request for a decision on the record on behalf of our client by July 2018. The pro bono attorney will review the client’s documents, obtain additional necessary information, and complete a memo for submission to the Social Security Administration. We are not asking the pro bono attorney to appear at a hearing on behalf of the client.

Former Dog Trainer Seeks Assistance Obtaining SSI Benefits

The Legal Aid Society represents a 43 year old woman who worked as a dog walker and trainer for 9 years, until 2017. Prior to that she worked at Home Depot for three years. She used to live with her son, but he was removed from the apartment because he was abusive, so she now lives alone. She suffers from severe mental illness, hears voices, and has insomnia. She also has panic attacks and anxiety on trains and in closed places. Two years ago she tried to commit suicide and spent 7 days in a hospital. She again attempted suicide in June 2017 and was hospitalized again. She sees a therapist three times per week and a psychiatrist twice a month. Medications have not helped her. Additionally, she has lost over 200 pounds and had surgery to remove the excess skin. The wound from the surgery has not healed and it has to be cleaned by a nurse who comes three times per week.

The Legal Aid Society is seeking pro bono assistance to submit a request for a decision on the record on behalf of our client by July 2018. The pro bono attorney will review the client’s documents, obtain additional necessary information, and complete a memo for submission to the Social Security Administration. We are not asking the pro bono attorney to appear at a hearing on behalf of the client.