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Free legal van driving around NYC neighborhoods

FLUSHING, Queens (PIX11) – If you need a lawyer or legal assistance, you may not have to travel far. The New York Legal Assistance Group travels to different New York City neighborhoods with a mobile van providing free legal services on wheels.

The organization is a civil legal service that provides free legal help across different boroughs.

“Our goal is to try to make the legal system less intimidating for some people,” said William Steiner, a staff attorney for the organization.

The mobile van was parked outside the Mitchell-Linden Public Library in Flushing on Friday. The van drives directly into underserved communities to see if services can help those in need because the legal system can be tricky to navigate, especially when going through a traumatic experience.

“Typically, people don’t necessarily know what their rights are,” Steiner added. “They don’t know what’s available for their defenses.”

The organization partners with local elected officials to provide accurate information to New York residents. For example, a translator from Council Member Sandra Ung’s office sat in on conversations with lawyers to help those seeking legal help.

Their income must be below a certain level to qualify for the service.

The services the group provides help with a wide range of issues residents may face.

“We have an immigration protection unit,” Steiner said. “We have a domestic law violence unit. We have public benefits units. We have a whole variety [and help for those facing] consumer debt issues.”

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