New Hampshire Legal Assistance

Helping to balance the scales of justice for everyone since 1971.

Domestic Violence Legal Help

Domestic Violence Legal Help

The Domestic Violence Advocacy Project represents victims in emergency protective order hearings and in divorce and parenting (custody) cases. The issues typically addressed in these cases are the following: restraining orders and emergency relief, parental rights and responsibilities (child custody and visitation), paternity, child support, alimony and property division.

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Public Benefits

Public Benefits

Benefits Project advocates help individuals obtain the assistance they need to stabilize their income and move toward self-sufficiency as possible. Advocates help the disabled obtain Social Security, SSI, and APTD benefits and access to health care through Medicare and Medicaid. The Project also works for improvements in the APTD/Medicaid system.

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Housing Legal Services

Housing Legal Services

NHLA focuses its efforts on a variety of housing issues with its Housing Justice Project.

Housing Justice Project (HJP) attorneys and paralegals promote equal access to housing for NHLA clients by working on preserving their housing. The HJP helps individuals and families who are either currently without shelter or are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. The HJP also investigates complaints of discrimination and assists people who are victims of housing discrimination.

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Special Projects

Special Projects

NHLA responds to the emerging needs of clients with new projects and efforts, often in collaboration with other organizations in the state.  Some of these include programs concerning Children's Dental Health, as well as the Youth Law Project, which works with children and teenagers who are facing delinquency or CHINS petitions.

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Legal Services for Older Adults

Legal Services for Older Adults

The Senior Law Project (SLP) assists our state’s most economically and socially needy seniors with civil legal problems including consumer protection/debt collection, health care, public and private housing, family problems, food stamps, public assistance benefits, utility shut-off, and nursing facility and assisted living/residential care facilities problems.

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Our Mission

NHLA's mission is to fulfill America’s promise of equal justice by providing civil legal services to New Hampshire’s poor, including education and empowerment, advice, representation, and advocacy for systemic change.

We offer our clients high-quality civil legal aid to address the legal problems that affect their daily survival and most basic needs. These services range from simple legal information and advice to vigorous and thorough representation in all of New Hampshire's courts and before many of the local, state and federal agencies which play large roles in their lives. In providing legal services to the poor, NHLA helps ensure the legal system provides the fairness and justice that all New Hampshire residents deserve.

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A note about this website: Clicking on the red "ESCAPE" button that appears next to our logo at the top of every page will give you a quick escape from the website. Computer use can be monitored and may be impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your use of the internet or the computer may be monitored, use a secure computer, call a local domestic violence hotline, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

Latest News

May 20, 2016: NHLA announces conference about access to housing in New Hampshire for immigrants

The conference, to be held on Tuesday, June 21, will include a discussion of access to subsidized housing and shelter programs, as well as the language-access obligations of housing entities that received federal funds. For more information, click here.

May 6, 2016: NHLA employment law attorney encourages state Senate to protect low-wage and hourly workers

Thanks to testimony and public advocacy, including a column in the Concord Monitor, NHLA's policy advocacy team convinced the New Hampshire Senate to table a bill that could have created new and overwhelming difficulties for our state’s low-wage workers. For more on our policy advocacy work, click here.

April 26, 2016: Summit generates plan for NH's response to elder financial exploitation

Nearly 140 leaders from criminal justice, financial services, legal services and community-based supports from all regions of the state gathered at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord on April 20 for Combating Elder Financial Exploitation in New Hampshire: A Leadership Summit. Participants learned about effective strategies, shared perspectives and generated ideas for improving our state’s response to elder financial exploitation in a collaborative, coordinated way. To learn more about the results of the summit, or learn about upcoming regional meetings on elder financial exploitation, click here.

April 13, 2016: Legal aid at the doctor's office might help low-income patients

NHLA’s Senior Law Project Director Cheryl Steinberg spoke to NHPR about our Medical-Legal Partnership with Manchester Community Health Center. Preliminary findings suggest legal services can reduce stress, help people take medications on a more regular basis, and reduce hospital admissions for people with chronic illnesses, among other benefits. Click here to read more and listen to the interview.

February 1, 2016: Standing against increasing the cost of open government.

The Union Leader joins the Nashua Telegraph, the New Hampshire Press Association, ACLU-NH, New Hampshire Legal Assistance, the New Hampshire Coalition for Open Democracy, New Hampshire Right to Life and the New England First Amendment Coalition in opposing HB 1611. Our government should not use fees to limit our right to know. Click here to read more.

January 12, 2016: NHLA joins ACLU-NH in a federal suit challenging the city of Manchester's unconstitutional anti-panhandling practices

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire (ACLU-NH) and New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA) together filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Manchester police department’s practice of detaining, dispersing, and charging peaceful panhandlers for allegedly “obstructing vehicular traffic on public streets” under New Hampshire’s disorderly conduct statute, even when the panhandlers are in a public place and do not step in the roadway.

This lawsuit is being brought on behalf of Plaintiff Theresa M. Petrello, an Army and Navy veteran who has panhandled to make ends meet. On June 3, 2015, the Manchester police department cited her for disorderly conduct after she, without stepping in a roadway, engaged in peaceful panhandling speech directed at motorists from a public place. Click here to read more.

NHLA work with New Hampshire Foreclosure Relief Project featured in Concord Monitor article, January 3, 2016

NHLA achieves settlement for Deaf resident who complained of discrimination at Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority, December 10, 2015

NHLA priority issues

How local welfare should work: One client's story as told by her NHLA advocate

The Telegraph of Nashua features NHLA's on-going outreach to clients of the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter.

NHLA protects low-income tenants from the dangers of lead paint

NHLA, Pro Bono expand program to help low-income debtors

NHPR features New Hampshire Legal Assistance work to protect domestic violence victims from housing discrimination

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Truly thankful for the help...

Truly thankful for the help...

I am truly thankful for the help, kindness, [and] treatment that I received right from the first person I talked to. I was very upset and at a very low point and that first person gave me gentle kindness.