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New York BBB Wise Giving Report for
Legal Aid Society

A BBB Accredited charity


  • Meets all standards

Expiration Date:
Legal Aid Society
199 Water Street
New York, NY 10038
Year, State Incorporated:
1876, New York
Stated Purpose:
" The Legal Aid Society, the nation's oldest and largest not-for-profit legal services organization, is more than a law firm for clients who cannot afford to pay the counsel. It is an indispensable component of the legal, social, and economic fabric of New York City -passionately advocating for low-income individuals and families across a variety of civil, criminal and juvenile rights matters, while also fighting for legal reform. "

Evaluation Conclusions

Legal Aid Society meets 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.


The Legal Aid Society has performed this role in city, state and federal courts since 1876. We do so by capitalizing on the diverse expertise, experience, and capabilities of more than 1,100 of the brightest legal minds. The Society's legal program operates three major practices - Civil, Criminal and Juvenile Rights through a network of borough, neighborhood, and courthouse-based offices in 26 locations in New York City with more than 1,800 attorneys, paralegals, and support staff, along with volunteer help from law firms, corporate law departments, and expert consultants coordinated by the Society's Pro Bono program. As a result, we are able to provide comprehensive legal services to fulfill our mission that no New Yorker should be denied access to justice because of poverty. With an annual caseload of more than 300,000 legal matters, The Legal Aid Society takes on more cases for more clients than any other legal services organization in the United States. The depth and breadth of knowledge that we provide is unmatched in the legal profession.


Chief Executive Officer:
Mr. Seymour W. James Jr., Attorney-in-Chief
Highest Paid Executive:
Mr. Steven Banks, Attorney-in-Chief
: $253,928
Chair of the Board:
Mr. Richard J. Davis
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation:
Offices of Richard J. Davis
Board Size:
Paid Staff Size:

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.

Fund Raising

Method(s) Used:

Direct mail appeals, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements (newspapers, magazines, etc.), grant proposals

Tax Status

This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.


The following information is based on the Legal Aid Society's Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Source of Funds  

Criminal Defense Practice


Revenue from Legal Services


Juvenile Rights Practice


Civil Practice




Return on investments, net


Court awards


Other income


Program expenses from legal services


Total Income


Program Expenses  

Criminal Defense Practice


Juvenile Rights Practice


Civil Practice

Total Program Expenses:
Fund Raising Expenses
Administrative Expenses

Total expenses

Income in Excess of Expenses




Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 94%  Fund Raising: %  Administrative 6% 
Roll the cursor over the pie chart to see the dollar amounts.

Beginning net assets $(37,839,522)
Ending net assets (39,411,572)
Total liabilities 105,491,432

Total assets



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This report is not to be used for fundraising or promotional purposes and may not be reproduced or distributed in whole or in part.