Mission, Vision and History
Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) is a non-profit law firm, originally incorporated in 1967. The mission of LSHV is to provide free, high quality counsel in civil matters for individuals and families who cannot afford to pay an attorney when their basic human needs are at stake. These include urgent legal needs such as: housing emergencies (eviction and foreclosure prevention), domestic violence (orders of protection, child custody, etc.), healthcare, disability and benefits, elder law, consumer fraud and more.
Our Vision is Justice for all!
Legal Services of the Hudson Valley has worked to ensure fairness in the justice system for those who can’t afford an attorney and are at risk of losing the basic necessities of life, including food, shelter and safety. LSHV is often the last hope for people who are facing crisis and in need of assistance, and our attorneys and staff are dedicated to protecting the rights of those seeking help.
History Civil Legal Assistance
As we grew we created targeted practice areas to better serve vulnerable populations in need of legal assistance, including the Domestic Violence Unit, Family Law Program, Disability Advocacy Project, Elder Law Unit, HIV/AIDS Project, Veterans and Military Families Advocacy Project, LGBTQ Legal Program, and the NYS Independent Consumer Advocacy Network.
Most recently we have broadened our scope to include the Breast Cancer Project (Pink Project), the Family Defense Unit and Kinship Caregivers Unit.
Right To Council
Anyone who’s ever watched a cop show knows what all the bad guys are told:
“You have the right to speak to an attorney.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”
But what about the good guys? What happens to the folks who’ve done nothing wrong
but need an attorney they can’t afford?
A right to an attorney is not available in most civil cases. While federal law does not guarantee a right to counsel in civil cases, many states and localities have begun to recognize its critical value in certain civil legal matters and have adopted a right to counsel at the state and local levels across various policy areas, including
evictions. This progress has taken years. And we still have a long way to go.