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Open Hands Legal Services

Attend Virtual Training to Serve the Poor & Oppressed in NYC

About this Opportunity

Our mission is to uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed in New York City. We bring free legal services directly to community members at host non-profit organizations throughout the city.

We are always looking for people who want to dedicate their time and talent to ensure justice for all in NYC by serving at our Legal Aid Desk. Click RSVP below to sign up for our next virtual training on Tuesday, January 25 from 6-8pm.

Read about our volunteer roles below. All volunteers must attend a training before volunteering.

Attorney Volunteers

Attorney Volunteers attend our legal aid desks at host non-profit organizations to conduct intake interviews with people in need. In conjunction with and under the supervision of OHLS attorneys, Attorney Volunteers provide legal information, advice, and/or referrals to clients on a variety of legal issues, including housing, family, immigration, and public benefits. No specific legal expertise is required, although we encourage volunteers to attend Experienced Volunteer Trainings throughout the year. These trainings are generally CLE approved and provide information and instruction on the substantive areas of the law most commonly seen at the Legal Aid Desks.

Paralegals, Law Students, and Law Graduates

Paralegal, law student, and law graduate volunteers partner with attorneys for consultations at our legal aid desks and assist with legal research and note taking, while working under the supervision of OHLS attorneys.

Non-attorney Volunteers

Non-attorney volunteers are also needed to serve at our Legal Aid Desk. Although they cannot provide direct legal advice, they may be paired with an attorney to assist in client intake, setup, clerical/copying, flyer distribution, monitoring surveys, host-greeter, and/or tech issues. Non-attorney volunteers work under the supervision of OHLS attorneys.


We need volunteers who can work with Volunteer and OHLS attorneys to interpret for our non-English-speaking clients at our mobile legal aid desks and during phone consultations. The most needed language skills are Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) and Spanish. In addition, other languages, as well as American Sign Language, are needed at times.

In addition, ALL volunteers may address the spiritual needs of our neighbors and clients, whether talking with them or praying with and for them.