Western New York Law Center


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About the Western NY Law Center: The Western New York Law Center is a not-for-profit law firm organized to promote equal access to justice for all. Our legal services program fills in the gaps in traditional legal services representation and advocates for people in need.

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Western New York Law Center

  1. 1. Western NY Law Center The Western NY Law Center, Inc. is a notfor-profit corporation formed in 1996. The center represents low-income Western New Yorkers in civil matters. 237 Main Street, Suite 1130 Buffalo, NY 14203 Telephone: (716) 8550203 Fax: (716) 270-4005 http://wnylc.com/ EMail: wnylc@wnylc.com
  2. 2. Mission Statement: The Western New York Law Center is a not-for-profit law firm organized to promote equal access to justice for all. Our legal services program fills in the gaps in traditional legal services representation and advocates for people in need.
  3. 3. What We Do Represent low-income Western New Yorkers in civil matters: How We Got Started: Assists in areas restricted by LSC. Help low-income people receive a full range of free civil legal services: This includes “non-traditional” legal assistance like policy advocacy and legal education. Statewide technology support center for legal services programs: Help statewide legal services offices use technology in a cost effective manner to better serve their clients in this time of diminishing resources. Target populations are legal services managers, attorneys, paralegals, clients and support staff. The Western NY Law Center was formed in 1996 after Congress restricted the types of cases that Legal Services Corporation (LSC) grantees could handle.
  4. 4. Our Work: Legal Technology
  5. 5. Free Legal Services Our Work: Legal Direct representation of homeowners facing foreclosure.  Fair lending advocacy, education and outreach to community residents and real estate professionals.  File class action litigation on behalf of our clients. • Foreclosure Assistance  Offer community clinics and legal assistance programs for victims of unfair debt collection practices. • Fair Lending Advocacy • Class Action for Timely Processing of Public Assistance applications
  6. 6. Legal - Class Action Litigation: Cases filed on behalf of Western New York residents whose applications for public assistance were not being processed in a timely manner. Successfully litigated these cases in partnership with the National Center for Law and Economic Justice. Monitoring the settlements on an ongoing basis. Erie County: Martin v. Weiner, 06-CV00094S Steuben County: Kari C. and April M. v. Muller, 6:09-CV-06367 Niagara County: Public Assistance benefits are crucial to the health and well-being of those living in poverty. As a result of processing delays, Western New York’s poorest residents needlessly faced great hardships putting food on their table and making ends meet. McCoy v. Restaino, 1:2013cv0711
  7. 7. Legal Accomplishments Martin v. Weiner, 06CV-00094E In 2006, a lawsuit, Martin v. Weiner, 06CV00094S, was brought claiming that the Erie County Department of Social Services (“ECDSS”) was not processing applications for food stamps, Medicaid and public assistance on time. The lawsuit also asked the court to require the State of New York to supervise ECDSS. Plaintiffs asked the court to certify the case as a class action on behalf of Erie County residents who, since June 1, 2005, had or would apply for or seek to apply for food stamps, Medicaid and/or public assistance.
  8. 8. Legal CLARO functions under the auspices of the Western New York Law Center (WNYLC), BFNC HOPE Center, SUNY Buffalo Law School Financial Advocacy Clinic, and volunteer attorneys, with the support of the 8th Judicial District Courts and sponsorship of The John R. Oishei Foundation. The aim of CLARO is to educate unrepresented debtors regarding their rights as consumers and to help them through the legal process. CLARO aims to maximize legal resources to those in need by providing limited scope legal advice to unrepresented litigants, as part of the larger pro se movement. Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO) FREE legal advice & help from an attorney on: • Collections • Garnishments • Frozen bank accounts Court cases or judgments related to credit card debts, medical debts, student loans, car loans, utilities collections, lines of credit, charge accounts, foreclosures. TUESDAYS FROM 5 PM – 7 PM BFNC Hope Center 2495 Main Street, Suite 260 Buffalo, NY 14214
  9. 9. Our Work: Technology  On-line Resources  Cases WNYL C WNYLC  Tutorials  Advocacy  Email Hosting  Spam Control/Filtering  Discussion Groups
  10. 10. Technology Online Resource Center: Supports legal services advocates and pro bono attorneys by providing free online training and support materials:  Training modules Some eligible for CLE credit  Caselaw  Disability Forms  Health Care Resource Information  Fair Hearing Bank  Benefits Database  Tenant Advocacy  Domestic Violence Law CATRAP (Computer Assisted Tenant Representation Advocacy Program)  Summaries of Federal Court Decisions Social Security, Disability  Agency Directives Database Services allow legal professionals to assist the impoverished, disabled or disenfranchised using up-to-date technology. WNY Law Center maintains the Online Resource Center with the Empire Justice Center and other legal organizations that contribute to it. We videotape, edit and stream online trainings for IOLA (Interest On Lawyer Account fund) grantees in NYS.
  11. 11. Technology A sign-up page for email discussion groups is available at: WNYLC Email Discussion Groups (http://service.wnylc.com/email.signup/email.signup.cgi) Questions about these lists can be sent to wnylc@wnylc.com The list archives are here. (http://wnylc.net:8100/Lists/) Email Discussion Groups:
  12. 12. Technology  Email accounts are hosted on the law center’s Linux server which is attached to two high speed fiber connections. Email is passed through two mirrored Barracuda appliances and is filtered for spam and viruses.  The Barracudas are automatically updated hourly, and if one appliance is offline, the other takes over so email is almost never interrupted. IOLA grantees who do not host their email on the WNYLC server are welcome to use the barracuda appliances for email filtering. Email Support: We provide email addresses, with a wnylc.com extension and with other domain extensions, for IOLA funded grantees in NYS.
  13. 13. Our Work: Other Services  Events  Job Boards  Website  Facebook  Collaboration
  14. 14. Other Services Job Posting Center: http://wnylc.net/jobcenter/
  15. 15. Other Services News & Events: The Western NY Law center website maintains a page posting relevant news and events. Events and articles are archived.
  16. 16. Website Find Us Online: http://wnylc.com/
  17. 17. Facebook Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/wnylc
  18. 18. Collaboration Other Organizations: The Western NY Law Center has worked with with a number of organizations:  National Center for Law and Economic Justice  Empire Justice Center  IOLA (Interest On Lawyer Account fund)  CLARO (Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office)  SUNY Buffalo Law School Financial Advocacy Clinic  BFNC HOPE Center (Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers)  The John R. Oshei Foundation  SEFA (State Employee Federated Appeal)
  19. 19. Support Us Donate: You can donate to us through SEFA. Our SEFA number is 5700375 SEFA, the State Employee Federated Appeal is a joint venture of State employees, public employee unions, management and notfor-profit organizations. SEFA pledge form
  20. 20. Thank You! Note: some photographs used in this work are licensed under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/