A Unique Organization Serving Low-Income New Yorkers
For the past two decades, Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT) has pioneered initiatives that bolster access to justice for low-income families involved in the New York Family Court system. We believe in justice for all, one family at a time.
Supporting 30,000 Vulnerable NYC Families In Family Court
Each year, LIFT empowers nearly 30,000 unrepresented litigants by providing them with the tools they need to successfully advocate for themselves in Court and enhance their families’ well-being. LIFT is there in the Courthouses in all five boroughs, explaining documents, teaching participants about their rights and options, and helping them practice the argument they will present before a judge. LIFT is also there in the community-at-large, operating Helplines that provide immediate answers to pressing family law questions from across the state, including homebound, elderly, or physically challenged litigants as well as military members deployed overseas and parents who are incarcerated. We are the only organization providing this kind of assistance in New York City.
Providing Access To Justice For All
There are 250,000 filings each year in New York City Family Court alone, and 80% of litigants are not represented by an attorney. In most cases, the litigant doesn’t qualify for a free, court-appointed attorney yet cannot afford to hire a lawyer on their own. Those seeking resolution in life-altering cases are therefore left to fend for themselves, potentially jeopardizing the well-being of their family and children for years to come. These families usually reside in economically disadvantaged areas without access to quality education and economic opportunity; many are people of color and some do not speak English. These factors should not be a barrier to justice for families in New York City.
With Compassionate Guidance
Through our emphasis on compassionate guidance, we provide a personal connection during an otherwise perilous process. Long after their cases have closed and their families have found stability, what participants remember most about LIFT is that we were there--not just with practical assistance, but also with consistent care and concern for them and their families.