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Nassau Suffolk Law Services Testimony at the Senate Democrat Public Forum 2008

December 11, 2008


Prepared by:

Presented by:

Sheila Johnson, Nassau Suffolk Law Services 

Good afternoon. My name is Sheila Johnson and I am the Government Affairs Coordinator for Nassau Suffolk Law Services, often referred to as Law Services. Law Services is a member of the Legal Services Funding Alliance, a coalition of the 20 civil legal services providers from outside NYC. 

Law Services provides free civil legal services in civil matters to poor and disabled persons and families in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Our staff is comprised of attorneys, paralegals, social workers and support staff. The social work component is a unique feature of our program. It is based on the recognition that some of our clients may need special support and services to manage and deal effectively with the legal system and their problems. We also provide services to the Long Island community through our Legal Support Center for Advocates. This Center offers expert legal information, advice, and training to hundreds of community advocates each year, as well as publishes a bimonthly newsletter. The Center deals with a wide range of legal issues and is available to every religious organization, community agency and government office that works with the poor and disabled. We receive calls regularly from the legislative offices of county, state, and federal legislators. Each year we host “Using the
Law To Help Constituents” sessions for legislative staff. By counseling advocates, we make it possible to provide legal assistance to thousands more Long Islanders. We are the only legal organization which provides legal services in such a wide range of legal issues on Long Island.

Senators Foley, Johnson, Montgomery, Oppenheimer, and Sampson we want to thank you for conducting this hearing. Senators Johnson, Montgomery, Oppenheimer, and Sampson, I know that you are supporters of civil legal services and that you signed on to Senator Ruth Hassel Thompson’s letter in support of funding for civil legal services.

Click here to read the enitre testimony.