Programs & Services

For more than 67 years, we have been dedicated to the principle that no one in our community shall be denied justice because of a lack of means.

The major areas of representation in our general Civil Program are domestic relations, housing (primarily eviction proceedings) and unemployment.

The Society provides representation in divorce proceedings to residents of Onondaga County. Due to limited resources and high demand for this service, our handling of matrimonial cases is restricted (with some limited exceptions) to representation of people who are recipients of Public Assistance or Supplemental Security Income. However, if you are in a divorce proceeding or wish to commence a divorce proceeding and have children, you may be entitled to assignment of counsel. For more information, please call 315-422-8191.

The Society represents low income persons and families who reside in privately-owned property in the City of Syracuse and are facing eviction, illegal lock-out, or other housing emergency situations. We also provide advice, brief services and referral in other housing matters to address landlord-tenant problems and avoid eviction and homelessness.

The Society assists people who have lost their jobs in obtaining Unemployment Insurance Benefits that were improperly denied.

Family Court
Representation is provided to adults in mandated cases in Onondaga County Family Court including abuse/neglect, custody/visitation, termination of parental rights, paternity, family offense and support violation cases. Cases are assigned to the Society by the Court.


Thanks largely to the support of the New York State Office for New Americans and the New York State Liberty Defense Project the Society is able to provide immigration legal services to three regions of New York State, covering a total of 18 counties, as follows:

  • Central New York (Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties)
  • Mohawk Valley (Herkimer, Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie, Otsego, and Oneida Counties)
  • North Country (Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Lewis Counties)

Under these programs we provide immigration legal services, including assistance with naturalization, adjustment of status, family reunification, asylum, employment authorization, travel documents, temporary protected status, deportation and removal defense, and more. We are also available to provide off-site Legal Clinics, Community Information Sessions, and Know Your Rights presentations, and to answer immigration queries from community members and partners.

Those seeking any of the above services should call us at (315) 422-8191, or contact the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.

On this Page

The Society provides representation to persons on appeal from criminal convictions and from judgments of Family Court. Cases are assigned by the Appellate Division of the Fourth Judicial Department and the New York State Court of Appeals.

The Society represents parolees in parole revocation proceedings brought by the New York State Division of Parole. Cases are assigned by Onondaga County Court.

Representation is provided in Onondaga County Court to persons facing extradition to another state to answer criminal charges. Cases are assigned by Onondaga County Court.

Specialized projects provide representation to special populations:

Domestic Violence Project
The purpose of the Domestic Violence Project is to provide complete legal representation in civil cases for domestic violence victims in Onondaga County, obtaining permanent solutions to end violence in the home and to help victims and children to leave abusive situations. The Domestic Violence Project represents victims in both divorce and Family Court proceedings, helping to secure orders of protection, custody, child support, spousal maintenance and property distribution. We also provide representation and advocacy to victims in some collateral matters arising out of the abusive situation.

Cancer Legal Advocacy and Services Project (CLASP)
Founded in 2006, the Cancer Legal Advocacy and Services Project (CLASP) is a collaborative partnership between Legal Services of Central NY (LSCNY) and Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLA). This unique project provides free holistic legal services for low-income individuals and families affected by cancer throughout 16 counties of Central New York (Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Tioga, and Tompkins).

CLASP offers comprehensive legal services, including: lifetime planning (power of attorney, healthcare proxy and living will, last will and testament, future care of minor children); access to healthcare (Medicaid/Medicare, private insurance, medical debt); income maintenance (SNAP, public assistance, disability benefits); family law (guardianship, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, divorce and separation agreement); employment (unemployment insurance benefits, medical leave, disability accommodations); and housing preservation/eviction prevention.

CLASP attorneys work throughout the Central New York region and provide services in homes, hospitals, and other off-site locations as needed. CLASP attorneys also provide trainings for medical professionals, social workers, and non-profits regarding common legal issues faced by low-income individuals battling cancer. Low-income individuals and families affected by cancer should contact CLASP at 315-703-6599 to request free legal assistance.

Foreclosure Prevention Project
The Hiscock Legal Aid Society, in partnership with Legal Services of Central New York, Home Headquarters and other housing counseling agencies, has established this project to provide counseling and representation to homeowners who are facing foreclosure and tenants who are facing eviction due to foreclosure. For more information, call 315-422-8191.

The majority of our clients are employed yet still meet our eligibility guidelines based on Federal poverty standards.