Mission, Vision and History
The mission of LSHV is to provide high quality counsel in civil matters for low-income individuals and families and other vulnerable persons who do not have access to legal representation to maintain their basic needs, and to pursue equity through dismantling systemic oppression.
The vision of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) is to help create a society where all individuals have equal access to justice. LSHV is committed to actively opposing racism and changing systems that tolerate and perpetuate all forms of oppression.
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 Counsel
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.