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 Childrens 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


During the COVID-19 public health emergency, New Hampshire Legal Assistance is OPEN. Masks are required in NHLA's offices. If you do not have a mask, we will give one to you. If you are feeling sick, please do not come to our offices. We can talk with you by telephone or video meeting instead. To apply for legal assistance, please visit or call 603-224-3333

To fax documents to any NHLA office: 1-833-722-0271

NHLA was awarded the 2022 Nonprofit Impact Award from the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits. Check out NHLA Executive Director, Sarah Mattson Dustin's, acceptance speech in the video below.

New Hampshire Legal Assistance is a nonprofit law firm working to make justice a reality for and with people who experience economic hardship that threatens their basic human needs. Through representation and systemic advocacy, NHLA offers civil legal aid that addresses the effects and root causes of poverty.

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. 

NHLA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity, in the delivery of services.

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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.

NHLA priority issues

Legal aid at the doctor's office might help low-income patients

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

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

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

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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.

United Way Corporate Fund New Hampshire Bar Foundation New Hampshire Bar Foundation

Latest News

NHLA Statement on HB 49 Regarding the Sununu Youth Services Center

Posted Mar 23, 2023

Statement from Michelle Wangerin, Youth Law Project Director of New Hampshire Legal Assistance New Hampshire has a long history of institutionalizing kids when their needs could be appropriately supported through a robust array of community-based services. Senate Bill 94 (2021) prioritized fro more

NHLA Welcomes New Staff Attorneys for 2023

Posted Feb 17, 2023

There are some new faces at New Hampshire Legal Assistance in 2023. Our team is thrilled to welcome attorneys Jonathan Teller-Elsberg and Elyssa Willadsen to our dedicated staff. Jonathan will be representing NHLA at our medical legal partnership with Dartmouth Health and TLC Family Resource Center more

NHLA Statement on Governor Sununu's 2023 Budget

Posted Feb 14, 2023

Statement from Sarah Mattson Dustin, Executive Director of New Hampshire Legal Assistance The Governor’s budget, released today, includes $2,250,000 per year in civil legal aid funding for New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA). NHLA provides civil legal aid related to our clients’ most basic ne more

Judge: Manchester Can Evict Homeless From Downtown Sidewalks

Posted Jan 19, 2023

Superior Court Judge John Kissinger ruled Tuesday that the eviction of about 50 people living in tents on Manchester sidewalks can go ahead. The encampment is outside the Families in Transition shelter in the area of Pine and Manchester streets in downtown. “The Court believes the city should co more

NHLA Advocate Elliott Berry to Retire After 47 Years of Service

Posted Nov 07, 2022

Elliott Berry, a renowned and stalwart advocate for disadvantaged Granite Staters for close to 50 years, announced his upcoming retirement on October 31, 2022. Berry is the managing attorney and director of the Housing Justice Project for the Manchester office of New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Fol more