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Guardian Ad Litem Program

The Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) Program offers free training to attorneys and non- attorneys interested in becoming a Guardian Ad Litem in Housing Court. Participating attorneys are provided with free CLE credit, including one credit hour of ethics. This required course is taught by a panel of experts in the fields of legal and social work advocacy and landlord-tenant law.

In exchange for the credit, new GALs (attorneys and non-attorneys alike) commit to taking on a minimum of 3 pro-bono appointments over the course of the first year following training. Pro-bono appointments are appointments involving a ward that is not an Adult Protective Services client. The GAL Program will be offering its next training on June 28th and June 29th from 10 am- 2:15 pm each day. The training will be provided “live.”

To learn more about how to apply to become a GAL and participate in the next training, please go to Prospective Guardian Ad Litem Application Process. If you need additional information, send an email



Unrepresented Litigant E-Filing Website

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program, working with NYSCEF and the Department of Technology, have launched a new e-filing website for unrepresented litigants: The purpose of the e-filing unrepresented litigant track is to streamline the process and explain the e-filing procedure in simple terms that non-attorneys can better understand. The new website explains the basics of e-filing to help a litigant decide whether e-filing is right for him or her. The website clarifies the procedure for setting up an account to start a case or e-file in an existing case. In addition, the website contains content explaining what is needed before logging in, including information about motions, fee waivers and document redaction. The website also contains helpful links to explain terms, find forms and find live assistance.


2015 Report

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program issued its 2015 Report, entitled, "Delivering Cost Effective Legal Services and Information in Challenging Economic Times". The Report provides a brief overview of the Access to Justice Program's programs and resources, as well as the highlights of the Access to Justice Program's accomplishments in 2015. Some of the highlights include: expansion of the Uncontested Divorce Program; VLFD Consumer Debt Program serving 20,000 litigants; opening of new Help Center in Columbia County; new statewide Child Name Change DIY Form program; over 200,000 litigants assisted by Court Help Centers; improvements to the CourtHelp website; and a Law a la Carte limited scope conference held. In addition, this year’s Report describes the Access to Justice Program’s cost-effective methods utilized for the delivery of legal services and legal information. Thank you to all the partners, friends, volunteers and court personnel who helped make 2015 a success!

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