About Us

 

VOLS - Volunteers of Legal Service was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1984, when New York City Bar leaders responded to severe federal government budget cuts to legal services. That year, private-sector attorneys committed through VOLS to dramatically increase pro bono service as a strategy to help close the justice gap in New York City. 

Across 35 years and through crises such as the HIV epidemic, September 11th, the financial crisis of 2008, and Hurricane Sandy, we have provided free, civil legal services when and where they are needed most. 

Today, VOLS harnesses the power of New York City's legal community and neighborhood-based groups to provide services that empower our neighbors to attain dignity, security, and opportunity in their lives. We serve New Yorkers who are unable to access an attorney due to low household income or underserved socioeconomic background.

Through five legal projects, VOLS collaborates with 210 community-based groups – such as schools, hospitals, or senior centers – to ensure that New Yorkers can learn about and access our services in a trusted setting. Our expert team works alongside a network of 1,000+ pro bono attorneys at over 60 law firms and corporate law departments, to advise, represent, and advocate for our clients.

Our programs help to anchor the safety net in our city, including the:

  • Children’s Project
  • Elderly Project and Veterans Initiative
  • Immigration Project
  • Incarcerated Mothers Law Project 
  • Microenterprise Project

VOLS’ mission is to leverage the good will, resources, and talents of New York City’s leading law firms to provide legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers. Our vision is that all New Yorkers can access the justice they deserve.