A Test of Unbundled Legal Services in the New York City Housing Court

By: Fern A. Fisher and Juanita Bing Newton. Published by: Civil Court of the City of New York and New York City Bar Association. Published in February 2008

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This collaboration was an effort to study the effectiveness of unbundled legal services. Lawyers volunteered to represent a litigant in New York City housing court for one day. The lawyer would represent the litigant in one single appearance before the court.

Key findings:

  • A Lawyer for a Day Program in Housing Court benefits the litigants by improving access to justice.
  • A Lawyer for a Day Program in Housing Court benefits the litigants and the court system by improving perceptions of fairness and accessibility to justice.
  • A Lawyer for a Day Program in Housing Court benefits the judge and court staff by improving courthouse efficiency.
  • A Lawyer for a Day Program in Housing Court is an attractive pro bono opportunity for Attorneys.
  • New York City Housing Court settlement conferences are an ideal arena for unbundled legal services in factually and legally simple cases.
  • Based upon these findings, this report concludes that a Lawyer for the Day Program is a feasible and useful approach to alleviate the overwhelming unmet legal needs of New York City Housing Court litigants.


Categories: Homeless, Housing, Housing, Legal Aid Practitioners, Researchers and Academics, State-Specific, Unbundling

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