What We Do

Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. provides free civil legal services (we don't handle criminal matters) to low income and elder residents of Essex county, Massachusetts.

We provide assistance with housing matters, including eviction defense, housing discrimination and housing conditions issues. We provide assistance in family disputes involving divorce, custody of children, child support and protection from abuse. We assist individuals and families to receive needs-based assistance they are entitled to including TAFDC, Food Stamps, Medicaid and Medicare, SSI and Social Security and Veterans Assistance. We enforce our client’s rights in the workplace and assist them to secure unemployment when necessary.

NLS also helps low income community groups and individuals create housing and job opportunities in our communities.

We can assist individuals and groups to incorporate businesses, create housing development ventures and organize themselves in other ways designed to help improve their communities.

We help elders facing all of these problems and, in addition, assist them with issues of financial exploitation, consumer fraud, nursing home abuse and medicare estate planning. We also have special programs to assist individuals with HIV and AIDS, to provide immigration assistance to immigrant victims of domestic abuse and to help clients with consumer debt issues.

Like other legal services programs NLS decides what kinds of cases it will handle by surveying low income residents and other interested persons in its region to ask what kinds of legal assistance are considered most important. We then try to direct our resources to these most pressing needs. NLS receives funding from a wide variety of private and governmental sources.

To learn more about some of our specific cases and a couple of huge victories we've won lately, check out our Advocacy section.