Our History

New York’s legal services community has a long and rich history of collaborating to deliver effective legal services to low income New Yorkers.  Passionate about ensuring access to civil legal assistance, these independent member organizations range from large multi-service, multi-county or citywide organizations to pro bono programs to neighborhood based organizations meeting the needs of specific populations.  
In light of the common mission to ensure access to civil justice for those in need, we have joined together to create a single, powerful statewide voice.  Our mission is further propelled by growing concern about stable on-going state funding to meet the critical legal needs of our communities; needs that vary by region, but have a common vision of justice.

To launch this effort, organizations from across the state joined together in two planning retreats to identify commonly held principles, objectives and strategic approaches, giving birth to a new combined entity--The Association of New York State Legal Services Organizations, Inc. (ANYSLSO.)  Now doing business as The New York Legal Services Coalition, our Board of Directors and membership are actively engaged in defining our mission and structure, including collaborative engagement on initiatives affecting those we serve and shared advocacy efforts to address the evolving issues affecting our membership and constituents.  

We invite you to learn more about the Coalition and to consider joining our efforts.  Together we can advance our mission of advocating on legal issues affecting low-income communities and the delivery of civil legal aid; identifying and promoting best practices in the civil legal aid profession; providing technical assistance and capacity building resources for our members; and working to ensure fairness for all in the judicial system through a wide range of educational activities.  For more information on the work of the Coalition, please call 917-268-2569 or email maha@nylscoalition.org


Maha Syed, Executive Director

Board of Directors

Carla Palumbo, Co-President of the Board, Legal Aid Society of Rochester

Carolyn Silver, Co-President of the Board

Barbara Finkelstein, Co-Vice President, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

Jeffrey Seigel, Treasurer, Nassau Suffolk Law Services

Joe Kelemen, Secretary, Western New York Law Center

Amy Barasch, Her Justice

Rodrigo Sanchez-Camus, Northern Manhattan Improvement Center

Robert Elardo, Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc.

Tina Foster,Volunteer Legal Services Project of Rochester

Adriene Holder, Legal Aid Society

Paul Lupia, Legal Aid Society of Mid New York

Mark O'Brien, Pro Bono Net, Inc.

Raun Rasmussen, Legal Services NYC