Special Projects

Our special projects provide direct legal services to low-income people across our service area.  In some cases, these projects serve the entire state and may include particular partnerships with other agencies providing services to our client populations.  

Consumer Law Projects for Elders

We provide advocacy to seniors across a broad range of substantive areas of civil law, focusing on the unique needs of the growing elderly population.  We also house a statewide elder hotline that triages cases, provides immediate legal advice, as well as longer term broad range legal representation to those seniors experiencing consumer law issues or who are victims of financial exploitation or abuse.  Our overall objectives are to provide referral systems for low-income seniors, and to increase the legal services network’s presence and continued involvement with the agencies that serve low-income seniors in order to serve their legal needs.  

Undocumented Minors

We provide legal assistance to help undocumented youth obtain immigration relief by seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Through this initiative, CLS will Represent eligible undocumented children (under the age of twenty-one), who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both of their parents, Help children to obtain the necessary probate court decrees, Apply for children’s SIJS green cards, Represent them before the immigration court. To learn more about the SIJS process or ask questions about your eligibility please view our flyer.

Financial Distress Research Project

Example of a past project: CLS is providing representation for low-income people with credit card debt as part of the Financial Distress Research Project, a collaboration with Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab.  The project studies the effect of legal help on the lives of people who are being sued in small claims court. We started work in June of 2017 and we’ll help at least 600 before we’re done!  We’ll help them get out from under debt and achieve financial stability — and we’ll show the difference that legal aid lawyers can make.

Equal Justice Works Fellowship – Human Trafficking

Example of a past project: Civil legal services can make an enormous difference in legal and life outcomes for human trafficking survivors. Survivors may need help with restraining orders, child custody, or divorces. They may need access to government benefits if they cannot work because of physical or emotional trauma, or help overcoming barriers to housing, employment, or obtaining legal residency status in the United States. Legal services can help them vindicate their rights as victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system.

Bank of America – Affordable Housing Advocacy

Example of a past project: We, in partnership with Open Communities Alliance, are engaging in efforts to drive regionalized, community-driven redevelopment in Fairfield County.  We have implemented two strategies: deploying advocates to provide legal representation, organizing, and policy advocacy resources to support community groups in building a community-led campaign for the development of high-quality, affordable housing; and, initiating a process of developing new housing units in high-opportunity areas that have been closed off to low-income people restrictive zoning practices.

special projects partnerships with other agencies