Poverty and deprivation get worse when low-income people suffer from consumer fraud; impossible debt burdens; discrimination; and the unfair denial of government benefits.

CLS protects vulnerable people against consumer fraud, with a particular focus on the elderly; defends against unfair debt collection; fights against employment discrimination; and advocates for its clients to receive supplemental security income and other indispensable benefits.


Safe, stable, and affordable housing is the foundation for health, employment, education, family, and connection to community. So CLS works to prevent homelessness; improve housing conditions for vulnerable people; and protect against housing discrimination.

We fight unfair evictions and help clients get and keep housing subsidies; litigate to improve housing conditions for vulnerable people; and protect against housing discrimination.


Nobody can thrive unless they are physically safe.  Our work to keep vulnerable people safe includes representing children who have been victims of parental abuse and neglect; securing protection orders for domestic violence and sexual assault victims; and standing up for immigrants who face deportation into dangerous and violent circumstances.


Physical and mental health are so important in their own right -- and they are essential prerequisites for a happy childhood, financial success as an adult, and a secure retirement.  CLS helps vulnerable people secure health care and government health benefits. We also work to ensure high-quality care for elderly and disabled people who are in state institutions.


Children and adults alike depend on strong relationships with loving and supportive families. CLS helps vulnerable people build family relationships through obtaining visitation orders and child support. And our advocacy in divorce cases helps low-income people escape toxic, harmful, and unsafe relationships.


Every child needs a strong education as a predicate to economic opportunity and a lifetime of learning. CLS protects children against inappropriate discipline that pushes them out of school, and advocates for all children -- with a focus on children with special education needs -- to receive the educational supports and services that they need to thrive.


Everyone should be able to make decisions about their own future. CLS advocates for the dignity and autonomy of low-income elderly and disabled people by helping them obtain wills, advanced directives, and powers-of-attorney so that they can make critical decisions for themselves and keep control over their healthcare and their assets.